If you’re like most people, when you think of orthodontics, you probably imagine teenagers wearing braces. This persistent stereotype isn’t quite true. The truth is that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of all ages – including adults! Did you know that more adults than ever are choosing orthodontics to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. About 1 in every 5 orthodontic patients is over the age of 18, and that number is constantly growing. Below we’re debunking some of the most common myths about braces for adults (and give you a look at why they’re the most popular orthodontic treatment, year after year!)
Have you spent years of your adult life feeling unhappy with the way your teeth look, feel, or function? If so, it’s the perfect time to take a look at how Bowen Family Orthodontics can help! We offer a variety of state-of-the-art treatment options to correct mild and severe orthodontic issues, including traditional braces. Although today’s braces are comfortable and efficient, some patients are still on the fence about them. If you find yourself reluctant to consider braces to achieve a healthier smile, it’s probably because of what you think you know about them.
Myth #1: Only children and teens need braces
One of the most common myths about braces for adults is that braces are designed only for children and teens. It’s true that a large number of our patients are kids and teens, but anyone can benefit from all orthodontics has to offer. We often begin to understand the many ways our oral health is related to our total body health as we get older. This can result in a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking dental care or orthodontic treatment.
Maybe you have crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues that you’ve waited years to correct. Or you may simply be looking to improve their smile cosmetically. Whatever inspired you to seek treatment as as adult, braces can give you a straighter, healthier, more confident smile.
Myth #2: Braces are too obvious
This is another common myth that keeps many adults from getting braces. You don’t want to draw attention to your teeth if you’re feeling self-conscious about them to start with. Some believe that’s what will happen with braces on, but thanks to modern orthodontic technology, there are lots of treatments available to adult patients! Dr. Bowen offers the following options for a complete smile makeover:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatments. They’re made out of high-quality stainless steel. Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be. They’re also customizable, with lots of fun colored bands to choose from if you want to show off a little personality with your smile! These braces provide great 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, you get 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 we pair them with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they’re a very subtle way to straighten your smile. They’re especially popular with our adult patients.
Clear aligners such as the Invisalign system consist of a series of removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gently move them where they need to go overtime. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of your teeth. These systems offer 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 you can brush and floss normally.
Myth #3: Braces are always painful
Modern orthodontic treatment is much more gentle and effective than in the past. This means braces, in general, are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. While you may occasionally experience a little discomfort as outlined below, these minor issues are usually easy to take care of with a little patience and knowledge!
General mouth irritation
Non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums isn’t uncommon over the course of your treatment. Orthodontic wax is an 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.
It’s possible for a wire to come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed with a 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 any 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, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also make it more stable.
Tenderness in your mouth or gums
It’s normal to feel some slight tenderness right after your braces are put on, or after your adjustment appointments. A saltwater rinse can be 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. Over-the-counter pain relievers are another useful remedy, just be sure to check in with our doctors first!
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
Yes, orthodontic treatment requires an investment of both time and money. However, the benefits you’ll enjoy after treatment will last a lifetime. There are no hidden costs or unwelcome surprises here at Bowen Family Orthodontics. During your consultation, we’ll outline everything included in your treatment plan. These individualized plans contain everything needed for beautiful, long-lasting results, such as:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment follow-up visits
- and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!
Our treatment fees are based on the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the world-class service we provide. Dr. Bowen has many years of experience creating healthy smiles and is proud to serve patients of all ages throughout Mullica Hill, Swedesboro, Woolwich, Mantua, Pitman, Glassboro, and the surrounding communities. We appreciate what a big investment treatment is for patients, and our office will work with your budget to make sure you get a confident smile you love! We offer convenient payment plans, and we also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans. We’ll even file your insurance claims for you!
Get a beautiful smile with braces by Bowen Family Orthodontics
Braces are a great option to straighten your teeth and improve your oral health, whether you’re 14 or 40. Choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Bowen will guarantee you only get the best treatment for your unique smile. Our expert team provides patients with an orthodontic experience that’s rewarding and stress-free from your first appointment to your last!
Don’t let any common myths about braces keep you from a beautiful, healthy smile. 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.