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Can You Get Braces as An Adult?

By September 28, 2022Blog

We’re all used to seeing braces on teens — it’s almost a right of passage for many! But did you know that braces aren’t just for kids? Are you wondering, “Can you get braces as an adult?”

Yep, for sure. If you didn’t have orthodontic treatment when you were younger or didn’t maintain your orthodontic treatment with a retainer, it’s not too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted. Adult braces are more common now than in previous years, and we at Davis Orthodontics are your Upstate, SC smile transformation experts.

So what does getting braces look like for adults? In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about adult braces, such as:

  • How Orthodontics Works For Adults
  • What Adult Braces Can Fix
  • Benefits of Getting Braces As An Adult
  • Types of Adult Orthodontics To Choose From
  • How Much Adult Braces Cost

How Orthodontics Works For Adults

In general, adult orthodontics works the same as for kids. The only differences? Adult teeth can be a little more resistant to moving; they’ve been sitting in their spots for a long time. So adult treatment might take longer than with a young teen. Adults have also had more time to experience cavities or gum disease which have to be resolved before braces treatment can start. 

So how do braces actually work to straighten teeth? Your archwires are bent and threaded through the brackets. As the wires try to return to their original shape, they exert gentle pressure and act as a track, moving your teeth along with them. 

And what’s happening with your actual teeth? As they move, the periodontal ligaments on one side of each tooth is compressed while ligaments on the other side are stretched. The bone on the compressed side loses blood supply and your body’s inflammation process kicks in. In response, cells called osteoclasts are sent to the area and the bone breaks down. The teeth are free to move where your braces guide them. 

On the stretched ligament side, cells called osteoblasts start to deposit new bone, which forms around the teeth and locks them in place. Eventually, your periodontal ligaments tighten back up. This process takes time and continues after your braces come off, which is why it’s important to wear a retainer after braces treatment to ensure your teeth don’t shift before they’re secure.  

If your treatment plan also calls for correcting your bite, the addition of rubber bands connecting your upper and lower jaws pulls them into a perfectly-aligned bite.

What Adult Braces Can Fix

More than ever, adults are concerned about how their teeth look and function, and they also want to keep their natural teeth into their older years. Ensuring you have straight teeth using adult orthodontics goes a long way in a smile you’re proud to show off, and helps with optimum oral functioning and health.

Whether you’ve always had crooked adult teeth or they started shifting as you got older, adult orthodontics fixes specific orthodontic issues like crowded teeth, gaps, a bad bite like an overbite, underbite or openbite, and twisted teeth. In turn, a straight, well-aligned smile is easier to brush, floss, and keep clean. And avoiding tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease means a higher chance that you’ll have more of your natural teeth in your senior years.

Now, we should mention that if you’ve noticed your teeth shifting as an adult, it’s completely normal. Our teeth naturally start moving as we age because of the decreasing bone density in our jawbone. Less dense bones mean a weaker base for holding our teeth in their spots, and a shrinking jawbone leads to less room for teeth and crowding.

Thankfully, getting adult braces can counteract your teeth’s natural movement and set you up for great teeth for years to come. Just remember to wear your retainer to maintain your dream smile after orthodontic treatment is over!

Benefits of Getting Braces As An Adult

With age comes wisdom, and, by now, you’ve most likely realized that a short-term experience can be worth it for its long-term benefits. Getting braces as an adult typically takes between 18-26 months, but that time is a blip compared to the life-long rewards you’ll reap from having straight teeth. And Davis Orthodontics, you’ll be happy to know that we focus on providing treatment that’s efficient, comfortable, and quick — for an experience that goes by in a snap. So you can get to enjoying your dream smile before you know it.

A well-aligned, functional smile not only improves your oral health as mentioned earlier but also positively impacts your health overall. Adult orthodontics can help:

  • Alleviate breathing problems like snoring and sleep apnea by aligning jaws and opening the airway
  • Improve speaking and pronunciation
  • Reduce pain like headaches and migraines
  • Improve TMJ disorder and allow sore jaw muscles the time to heal
  • Minimize teeth grinding and wear & tear on enamel, which helps with chewing and sensitivity
  • Avoid trauma to teeth by making protruding teeth less susceptible to injury
  • Create space for dental implants if gaps in your teeth were not suitable before

And don’t forget, a new smile can lift your confidence and self-esteem, opening a new chapter in your life!

Types of Adult Orthodontics To Choose From

At David Orthodontics, we’re all about building a community of happy smiles —that includes adults who are proud of their grins. To achieve your new smile, we offer a variety of modern orthodontic options for adults, including both braces and Invisalign. 

Clarity™ ADVANCED Braces: These clear braces are perfect for adults looking for a discreet, aesthetic option. Made of transparent ceramic, these customized braces are small and barely noticeable. But don’t let their size fool you — Clarity ceramic braces are effective for all ages, including adults.

Self-Ligating Braces: This type of braces use brackets and wires as you expect but they don’t require the elastic or metal ties you normally see on traditional braces. Instead, the brackets have little doors that hold the archwire in place allowing the exact amount of pressure and movement to transform your teeth. Self-ligating braces are great for patients with considerable crowding and are designed to improve efficiency and comfort.

Traditional Metal Braces:  Do these look familiar? They might remind you of braces that were around when you were growing up, but don’t be fooled; they’re today’s version. The metal braces we offer at Davis Orthodontics harness modern technology, resulting in smaller brackets and thinner wires — altogether a more streamlined look. 

But rest assured, you’ll be happy to know you’re not sacrificing effectiveness for aesthetics. In fact, many of our adult orthodontics patients choose traditional braces because of their proven track record. Plus, they’re much more comfortable than the metal braces worn by previous generations. 

Invisalign Clear Aligners: Now, if you’re not excited about straightening your teeth with braces, we get it. So we also offer Invisalign for adults. Can Invisalign fix the same things that braces can? Yes, Invisalign can fix most orthodontic issues — especially in the hands of an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Buddy. Your Upstate SC orthodontist will custom-design a series of clear aligners that you wear on your teeth one after the other according to your treatment plan. 

Invisalign offers many perks for adults who want to straighten their teeth discreetly and with minimal interruption in their daily lives. You can barely see them, and they don’t change your usual eating habits that much. Because you take your Invisalign out when you eat or drink anything other than water, you can continue eating what you want, without worrying about damaging your appliance. 

How Much Adult Braces Cost

Braces for adults might not be as expensive as you think but the costs do vary from person to person. Whether for kids or adults, braces — and Invisalign — costs at Davis Orthodontics depend on two main factors: the type of orthodontics you choose and the severity of your case. Your Davis Orthodontics doctor will go over your treatment options and help you figure out what works best for your smile goals and budget. 

Once we determine the cost of your orthodontic treatment, we want to help make the payment process as easy as possible. So we offer flexible, in-house payment plans with no interest.

Now, many patients ask us, “Does insurance cover braces for adults?” Simply put, yes. Usually, a portion can be paid for by your dental coverage. Our knowledgeable admin staff can check with your insurance provider on your behalf if you’re not sure of the specifics. You can also bring down your out-of-pocket cost by applying your FSA/HSA funds towards your adult braces or Invisalign. 

An initial consultation at any of our eight Upstate SC offices is always free, so you’re also saving money at the start of your adult orthodontics journey. 

Start Your Adult Braces or Invisalign Treatment With Davis Orthodontics

To sum up, can you get braces as an adult? You betcha. And how about Invisalign for adults? Of course! So if you’re excited and ready to start your smile transformation, the team at Davis Orthodontics is here to help. You won’t regret it! Our statistics say that 92% of adults who had orthodontics credit their straight teeth with contributing to their confidence.

Make an appointment for any of our eight locations: Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, Walhalla, Clemson, Anderson, Greenville, or Berea, SC. Dr. Buddy and the Davis Orthodontics team look forward to helping you achieve a smile you finally don’t have to hold back!