The best time to get orthodontics is as a teenager — but if that period is behind you, don’t worry. Adults of all ages may be great candidates for braces, the Damon System or Invisalign.
It’s a little easier to manipulate teeth in adolescents because they are still growing. However, with quality orthodontics and healthy teeth, it’s usually possible for a skilled orthodontist to move teeth into better alignment no matter what the patient’s age.
If it’s better to get orthodontics as a teen, why are so many adults opting for braces these days? It’s simple: Orthodontics wasn’t an option for them as teens. Here are a few of the most common reasons:
1. The family couldn’t afford it: Orthodontics, when paying 100 percent out of pocket with no financial plans in place, can be expensive. The technology for orthodontics is better today, and in some cases more affordable. For instance, the Invisalign Teen Program offers up to six free aligner replacements. Orthodontics sometimes is completely covered by insurance (check with your provider), and if it’s not, in-office payment plans may be an option.
2. The teen never saw an orthodontist: In fact, some teens don’t even see a general dentist on a regular basis, it’s often your dentist who refers you to an orthodontist. You can’t fix a problem when you don’t know it’s there.
3. The technology wasn’t advanced enough: Orthodontics is far from an easy fix. Depending on the age of the patient, the technology to perfectly straighten teeth may not have been available. Fortunately, orthodontics has advanced rapidly in recent years. Now there’s a solution for most tooth/mouth ailments out there. Orthodontics might not always be the answer, but often it is.
4. Dentophobia: Fear of the dentist, whether it’s a procedure or the sound, smell or another related fear of the office, can be so debilitating that sedation dentistry is needed. However, years ago, sedation dentistry wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is today. Some adults are walking around with misaligned teeth solely because their dental fears were so strong as a teen — and the sedation so lacking — that orthodontics wasn’t feasible.
5. Vanity wins: A strong-willed teen determined not to be “metal mouth” can sometimes override passive parents. Looking back, assenting to orthodontics would have been well worth the right bite and a flawless smile. Today, adults are hopefully more reasonable than they were as kids! If vanity is still an issue, Invisalign might be the answer. It moves teeth nearly invisibly with clear aligners.
Is your teen ready for orthodontics, or are you the one who’s finally ready to get the smile you deserve? Contact Johnson Elite Orthodontics today, the local solution for all your ortho needs.