The American Dental Association has gathered orthodontics statistics from 2014 that show braces (and braces alternatives!) just keep growing in popularity. According to the ADA survey, 70 percent of orthodontics are worn by females, and most of them choose braces for aesthetic reasons. Most female patients are between 12 and 15 years old, but plenty of adult women wear braces, too. Adult patients of both genders are also fans of other options for a better smile such as implants, bridges and crowns. This approach is more invasive, but it improves your smile nearly instantly.
When an orthodontist recommends braces, it is usually to correct a bite issue. Proper occlusion, or bite, allows for optimal eating, speaking and facial aesthetics, but the 1 million (and counting) North Americans who wear orthodontics are especially interested in getting that Hollywood smile. Experts say the best age to get braces is around 10 years old, but orthodontics has no age cutoff if teeth are healthy. Also bear in mind that while results from braces take longer than crowns, implants or cosmetic dentistry, they allow patients to keep all of their own teeth, which is a big benefit.
When you are considering orthodontics, you first need a complete evaluation. Your orthodontist will ask about medical conditions and goals and X-rays will be taken and models of your mouth created. Everyone’s mouth is different, so every planning strategy will vary slightly. Reasons to wear braces include overbites, underbites, misaligned teeth, protruding teeth, gaps and crowding. Fortunately, patients have a number of orthodontic options at their fingertips.
Styles of traditional braces include classic metal, but today you can also get ceramic braces, lingual braces, the Damon system or Invisalign. All orthodontics require close monitoring by an orthodontist to ensure the process moves along appropriately. It can take up to three years of orthodontics to achieve the right results, and many orthodontic patients must wear a retainer (often just at night) in order to keep their teeth in their new position. Since younger patients still have developing jaws, they may see results more quickly.
The earlier that orthodontics is taken care of, the better. However, the ADA also notes a trend of more adult patients opting for orthodontics. A straighter, healthier smile and bite doesn’t have a small window of opportunity, which is good news for adults and older Americans who still dream about that perfect smile. The professionals at Johnson Elite Orthodontics can provide you with many options for straightening your teeth and help you find just the right one for you. Call them today to find out how orthodontia can help you get the straight, beautiful teeth you’ve always wanted.