What’s the first thing you think of when you hear orthodontics? If you’re like most people, it’s most likely some combination of a teenager and braces. This stereotype has been around for a long time, and for that reason, you may not be aware that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients from 7 to 70! While it is true that many of our patients are younger, we’re seeing more adults pursuing treatment every day. In fact, there’s been a huge increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment across the board in recent years. Currently, about 1 in every 5 orthodontic patients is over the age of 18!
If you’ve always been unhappy or self-conscious about how your teeth look and feel, know that you’re never too old to improve your oral health! Kottemann Orthodontics is proud to offer a variety of treatment options to successfully correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. To learn a bit more about what orthodontics actually is, and how it can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading below!
What is orthodontics?
If you think of dentistry as an umbrella, orthodontics is a specialty underneath it. An orthodontist is a dentist who has received years of additional specialized education and training in identifying and correcting bite abnormalities, as well as successfully straightening teeth, correcting misaligned jaws, and improving the overall function of the mouth.
Our experienced orthodontists works to diagnose, prevent, and treat any kind of dental and facial abnormalities. If issues such as these are left untreated, they can worsen over time, leading to more serious wear and tear on the teeth, gum tissue, and bone. This may result in pain in the face and neck area, headaches, and even difficulties with chewing or speaking.
Orthodontists are able to diagnose and treat these types of issues, which can improve both the function and appearance of your smile.
Why are more adults choosing orthodontic treatment?
There are a multitude of reasons we’ve seen more adults exploring orthodontic treatment. One is that as we get older, we often begin to understand more about how oral health is linked to our total body health. For some people, this knowledge may lead them to take action by seeking out dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to better care for their teeth and gums.
We also talk to many adult patients who received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that were not able to complete treatment, and now want to finish the process. Touch-up treatment is common, as well. Teeth that were straightened in a patient’s younger years can shift over time due to age, genetics, or improper retainer use. In these cases, we have multiple options, including monitoring the teeth, providing new retainers, or re-treating with braces or aligners.
Then there are the adults who have never had treatment before, and are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. This boosts their confidence and self-esteem, and can even have a positive impact on their personal and professional lives.
What orthodontic options are available for adult patients?
Whatever your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, there are more options than ever before! Kottemann Orthodontics offers the following treatments for a total smile makeover:
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic staple and with good reason! This is one of our most efficient treatments, particularly for more severe or complicated cases. Modern braces use high-quality stainless steel, but innovations in the design mean they’re much more comfortable than previous versions. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter than it used to be.
These function in much the same way traditional braces do but use ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. The brackets can be clear, white, or tooth-colored, and for an almost invisible treatment option, they can be used with elastics or ties that are also clear, white, or tooth-colored. Clear braces can be an excellent choice for image-conscious patients, but because they are more delicate than metal braces, we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are customized to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like braces, the aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment, and replacing them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.
Invisalign offers patients a bit of freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t beat! There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking. They also make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets, and can simply brush and floss the way you normally would.
Both of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! You can trust our doctors to recommend only the treatment method he or she feels will work best with your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
Get the smile you’ve been waiting for with Kottemann Orthodontics
We don’t believe in cookie-cutter treatment here at Kottemann Orthodontics. Every smile is unique, and some treatment methods will be more suitable than others for certain patients. That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist, like our talented team of experts! Our team will build a personalized treatment plan for you based on your specific needs, giving you a positive orthodontic experience and the results you’ve always dreamed of.
Our talented team is committed to providing the latest in orthodontic techniques and technology for patients of all ages in Chaska, Maple Grove, and the surrounding communities. It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted. You can take the first step today by calling us to schedule a consultation!