Ask anyone what their first thought is when they hear the term “orthodontics,” and chances are good that it will have something to do with teenagers in braces. While it’s true that many orthodontic patients are teens, treatment can be beneficial for all ages, including adults. About 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18! However, many individuals still wonder “Am I too old for braces?”
If you’ve spent years being unhappy with how your teeth look and feel, there’s never been a better time to explore how orthodontics can help you achieve a healthier, straighter smile. Here at Windy City Orthodontics, we offer a variety of treatment options to correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. You’re never too old to improve your oral health! To learn more about what orthodontics is and how it can give you the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading below.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty under the dentistry umbrella. An orthodontist is a dentist who has also received additional education and training in identifying and correcting bite abnormalities. This gives them the skill and expertise needed to successfully straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaws, and improve the overall function of the mouth.
Generally speaking, orthodontists focus on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. When these kinds of issues are left untreated, they can worsen over time. The resulting wear and tear on the teeth, gum tissue and bone may cause pain in the face and neck, headaches, and even difficulties with chewing or speaking. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Pakravan will be able to diagnose and treat these issues, improving both the function and appearance of your smile!
Why more adults are choosing orthodontic treatment
As we get older, we often begin to understand a bit more about the many ways that oral health is linked to our total body health. For some people, this knowledge spurs them to take action by seeking dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to better care for their teeth and gums.
We also see some adult patients who received some orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed. Touch-up treatment is also very common. 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 can monitor the teeth, provide new retainers, or retreat with braces or aligners.
Some adults have never had treatment before, and are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. The resulting boost in confidence and self-esteem can positively impact many areas of a person’s life, both professionally and personally.
Orthodontic options for adult patients
Whatever your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, you have more options than ever before! Our expert team is proud to offer the following treatments for a total smile makeover.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic staple here at Windy City Orthodontics 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, can be used with elastics or ties that are also clear, white, or tooth-colored. Ceramic braces can be an excellent choice for image-conscious patients in Chicago, but because they are more delicate than metal braces, Dr. Pakravan generally only recommends 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 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.
Get the smile you deserve with Windy City Orthodontics
Not every treatment method is suitable for all patients and every orthodontic option will have its list of pros and cons. That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Pakravan! We don’t believe that “one size fits all” when it comes to orthodontics, so you can always trust Windy City Orthodontics to recommend only the best treatment option for your specific needs. Dr. Pakravan will build a personalized treatment plan for you based on your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals, giving you a positive orthodontic experience and superior results!
Our talented team is committed to providing the latest in orthodontic techniques and technology for patients of all ages in Chicago and the surrounding communities. It’s our goal to provide you with a rewarding and stress-free journey from start to finish, and we work hard to provide a welcoming atmosphere that feels like home. You’re not just another face here, you’re family!
It’s never too late to get the smile you’ve always wanted! Take the first step today by calling us to schedule your initial consultation.