When it comes to orthodontic treatment, most people tend to think of teenagers wearing metal braces, but the truth is, orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages—including adults! In fact, about 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. If you’ve spent years unhappy with the way your teeth look, feel, or function, we’re debunking common myths about braces for adults! There’s never been a better time to explore how orthodontics can help you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Dr. Douglas Shaw offers a variety of innovative treatment options to correct orthodontic issues, including traditional braces and clear aligner therapy. While modern braces are lighter, more comfortable, and more efficient than ever before, some patients are still on the fence about using them to straighten their smile. If you’ve been hesitant to consider braces to straighten your smile, it’s probably because of what you think you know about them. Keep reading below as we’re debunking common myths about braces for adults (and explore why they’re the #1 treatment option, year after year!)
Myth #1: Braces are just for kids
While it’s true that many of the orthodontic patients we see here at Shaw Orthodontics are young people, the number of adults seeking treatment is growing every day. As we mentioned above, almost 25% of current patients are over the age of 18. That just goes to show that you’re never too old to take advantage of everything orthodontics has to offer!
As we get older, we often begin to understand the many ways our oral health is related to our total body health. This can result in a determination to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include dental or orthodontic treatment. Some adults have crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues they want to correct, while others are simply looking to improve their smile cosmetically. Whatever your reason for seeking treatment as an adult, braces can give you a straighter, healthier, more confident smile.
Myth #2: Braces will be too noticeable
If you’re already feeling self-conscious about your smile, the last thing you want is to draw more attention to it. You may think that’s exactly what will happen when you start braces treatment, but there are actually multiple treatment options available thanks to modern orthodontic technology. For a complete smile makeover, Dr. Shaw offers the following:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatments. Generally made of high-quality stainless steel, modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be. They’re also customizable, with a variety of fun colored bands to choose from if you want to show off a little personality with your smile! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, clear braces function the same way metal braces do. However, they provide patients with the additional 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 are an incredibly subtle way to straighten your smile. This makes them an especially attractive choice for our adult patients.
Lingual braces are placed on the back of your teeth for a completely unnoticeable treatment option. The metal brackets are made specifically to match the unique shape of your teeth, making them the most individualized treatment we offer. This type of braces is great for athletes, musicians who play certain instruments, and adult professionals who are concerned with their braces showing.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear, removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gently move them into the desired positions over time. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to accommodate the movement of your teeth. The Invisalign system offers patients a bit of freedom and flexibility not available with fixed braces since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. Invisalign also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since patients brush and floss as they normally would.
Myth #3: Braces are painful
Technology has advanced significantly since the early days of braces! Modern orthodontic treatment moves your teeth gently and effectively and braces, in general, are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. You may occasionally experience a little discomfort as outlined below, but these minor issues are usually easy to fix with a little know-how!
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.
Occasionally, a wire may come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed by using the eraser end of a pencil 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 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, Dr. Shaw can help you decide what the next step should be. In the meantime, however, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can provide added stability.
Tenderness in your mouth or gums
You may have some slight tenderness immediately after your braces are put on, or following adjustment appointments. A saltwater rinse is 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, along with over-the-counter pain relievers (just to be sure to ask Dr. Shaw about these first!)
Myth #4: Braces will cost too much
While orthodontic treatment is certainly an investment of your time and finances, the benefits will last a lifetime! You won’t find any hidden costs or unwelcome surprises with Dr. Shaw. We’ll outline everything included in your treatment plan before we even begin, and our individualized treatment plans contain everything needed for beautiful results:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment follow-up visits
- and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!
At Shaw Orthodontics, you’ll never find any fees, deceptive pricing, or high-pressure sales tactics. Treatment with braces or Invisalign is a flat, straightforward fee for children, teens, and adults. Dr. Shaw has years of experience creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout Rockwall and Watauga, and he appreciates what a big investment treatment is for patients. We’ll always make sure you get the treatment that’s best for your smile at a cost that fits your budget.
To ensure this, we offer convenient in-house financing, a paid-in-full discount, and we accept most major insurance plans. Our team will even file your claims on your behalf to give you a stress-free experience from start to finish!
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by Dr. Shaw
After debunking common myths about braces for adults, it’s easy to see how they can be an excellent option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health, no matter your age! By choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Shaw, you can trust that you’ll receive only the best in treatments and care for your unique smile. It’s our goal to provide patients with an orthodontic experience that’s rewarding and stress-free from start to finish!
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.