When it comes to orthodontic treatment, most people tend to imagine a teenager wearing braces. While it’s true that many of our Mack Orthodontics patients are teens, orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages – even adults! In fact, about 1 in every 5 of today’s orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. We’re debunking the common myths about braces for adults, showing you that there’s never been a better time to improve your oral health with orthodontic treatment!
At Mack Orthodontics, Dr. Mack and Dr. Jackson offer a variety of innovative treatment options to correct a multitude of orthodontic issues, including traditional metal braces! While today’s braces are more lightweight and comfortable than ever before, some patients still have some reservations about using them. If you’ve been unsure about pursuing braces treatment to straighten your smile, keep reading below as we’re debunking the common myths about braces for adults!
Myth #1: Braces are just for kids
While it’s true that many of our Mack Orthodontics patients are young people, the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment just keeps growing! As we mentioned above, almost 25% of current patients are over the age of 18. This goes to show that you’re never too old to take advantage of all that orthodontics has to offer!
As we get older, we often start to understand more about how our oral health is related to our overall health. This can lead many to seek out ways to take better care of their teeth and gums, which can sometimes include dental or orthodontic treatment. Some adults suffer from crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues that need correction, while others are simply looking to improve their cosmetic appearance. Either way, braces can give you a straighter, healthier smile that boosts your confidence!
Myth #2: Braces will be too noticeable
If you’re already self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, the very last thing you want is to bring more attention to it. You may feel like this is exactly what will happen if you decide to start braces treatment, but there are many subtle treatment options thanks to advances in orthodontic technology. For a more discreet treatment option, Dr. Mack and Dr. Jackson are proud to offer the following treatments:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces continue to be our most popular treatment option. Typically made of high-quality stainless steel, modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they’ve ever been. They’re also customizable, with a variety of fun colored bands to choose from if you want to show off a little bit of personality with your smile! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, these function the same way metal braces do. However, they provide patients with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Both options blend in well with your natural smile. The brackets are about the same size and shape as metal braces, but much less noticeable. When they’re paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastic ties, they are an incredibly subtle way to straighten your smile. This makes them an especially attractive choice for our adult patients. Some clear braces wearers still choose to spice it up with colored elastic ties as well.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear, removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gently move them into the desired positions over time. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of your teeth. The Invisalign system offers patients a bit of freedom and flexibility not available with fixed braces since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. It also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since patients brush and floss as they normally would.
Lingual braces (braces behind the teeth)
In many cases, we can now offer braces BEHIND the teeth. These are called lingual braces. You still get the full power of braces, but even less visible than clear aligners, because the braces are hidden on the backs of the teeth instead of the fronts.
Myth #3: Braces are painful
Modern technology has led to a significantly improved design for metal braces! Modern orthodontic treatment moves your teeth gently and effectively, and braces are now more comfortable than they’ve ever been in the past. You might experience some slight discomfort as outline below, but with some foreknowledge and preparation, you’ll be able to get through it without a problem!
Tenderness in your mouth or gums
You may have some slight tenderness immediately after your braces are put on, or following adjustment appointments. A saltwater rinse is an excellent home remedy that can be beneficial for braces patients. To relieve soreness, simply mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds.
A warm washcloth or a warm heating pad placed on the outside of your jaw can also offer you some relief, along with over-the-counter pain relievers (just to be sure to ask your doctor about these first!)
General mouth irritation
Non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums isn’t uncommon over the course of your treatment. Orthodontic wax is a quick and easy way to get some relief! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, then pinch off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball. Flatten this ball and then gently but firmly place it over the source of irritation.
Occasionally, a wire may come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed with nothing more than an ordinary pencil by using the eraser end to nudge it back against the teeth until it flattens out. You can also place a piece of orthodontic wax over the wire to reduce irritation and provide extra stability.
Loose brackets are a problem we need to know about as soon as possible. Once you let us know what’s happening, we’ll help you decide what the next step should be. In the meantime, however, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also add stability.
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
Orthodontic treatment certainly requires an investment of your time and finances, but the benefits will last a lifetime! At Mack Orthodontics, you won’t find any hidden fees or unexpected expenses. We’ll outline everything included in your treatment plan before we ever get started, and our customized treatment plans include everything you need for beautiful results:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment follow-up visits
- and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!
Our fees reflect the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the top-notch service we provide. Dr. Mack and Dr. Jackson have years of experience creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout Burlington and Hillborough, and they appreciate what a big investment treatment is for patients. Our team will work with your budget to help you achieve a confident, healthy smile you love, thanks to our convenient payment plans. We also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans and we’ll even help you with your insurance claims and paperwork!
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by Mack Orthodontics
After debunking the common myths about braces for adults, we hope you see that braces can be a wonderful treatment option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health, no matter your age! By choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Mack and Dr. Jackson, you can trust that you’ll receive only the best treatment for your unique smile. It’s our goal to provide patients with an orthodontic experience that’s rewarding and stress-free from start to finish!
If you’re ready to take the first step towards the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation.