There is no age limit for when patients should stop considering orthodontic treatments because your teeth will continue to move your entire life; especially if you don’t have a retainer or other type of device designed to keep them fixed in place. At Oppenhuizen Orthodontics, we specialize in helping answer key questions about oral health and orthodontic treatments for adults, and in this article we provide more information on the growing trend of adult orthodontic care and specific treatments that can help you on your journey toward a masterpiece smile.
How many people in the U.S. get orthodontic care as an adult?
Research from the American Association of Orthodontics shows that 1 out of 4 orthodontic patients today is an adult (i.e., over 21), which is higher than ever before. This means that at any given time, there are well over a million adults using orthodontic treatments to improve their smile and oral health.
Why do Adults Seek Orthodontic Care?
According to Dr. Oppenhuizen, many adult patients (particularly those who received treatment as a child) are seeking to correct minor issues that might be perceived as more cosmetic and less functional – though even small fixes in alignment can help adult patients with easier, more effective oral care by allowing for proper brushing and flossing.
Dr. Oppenhuizen provides the simple example of slightly crowded lower teeth as a common adult orthodontic problem:
“A little bit of lower front tooth crowding is a very common problem. We can deal with that kind of thing in a matter of a half a year, and get things lined up and hold onto them in a way that will last. Same thing for a space between your front teeth, and sometimes that space is something that can be fixed in as little as a week or two.”
Many adult patients are surprised to learn that treatments can be relatively quick and cost less than expected. In fact, when compared with other types of medical procedures, the cost of orthodontic work has decreased over the years as modern technology and treatment methods have improved.
What are the Most Common Orthodontic Treatments for Adults?
Adult patients come to Oppenhuizen Orthodontics for a wide range of treatments that can help with everything from teeth straightening to bite correction. The most common adult orthodontic treatments that we provide include the following:
- Standard braces (often only top or only bottom, depending on the patient’s needs).
- Dr. Oppenhuizen’s “Fix in Six” treatment program, which uses barely visible clear braces to quickly make normal adjustments to teeth. This is a great alternative to Invisalign or similar products that can take much longer to show results.
- Laser treatments for impacted teeth, extended gums, the removal of a frenum, or to create ideal bracket positioning.
- Permanent retainers.
The effectiveness of treatments and their total duration also depend on the adherence of patients to the best practices for their treatment, including things like avoiding hard or sticky foods and using components like rubber bands (or replacing them if they come off).
See our full article on some of the most common specialty services offered by Oppenhuizen Orthodontics for more information.
If you or one of your family members has been considering receiving orthodontic treatment as an adult, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation at either our Zeeland or Holland office. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will ensure that you feel welcomed and supported, and Dr. Oppenhuizen will provide expert recommendations for your path to a masterpiece smile at no obligation.
You can take the first step right here on our website using SmileSnap to document your information and upload photos. We hope to see you soon!