If you’ve spent years feeling self-conscious about your smile or uncomfortable with how your teeth look or feel, you’re not alone! At Smith & Heymann Orthodontics, we see adults every day who are unsure about orthodontic treatment to get a straighter smile. If this sounds like you, adult braces could be the perfect solution!
While orthodontic treatment was viewed as a kind of a rite of passage for teens, there’s been a recent shift in the way patients think, and we’re treating more adults than ever before. About 1 in every three current patients is over the age of 18, a record number in the field of orthodontics.
At Smith & Heymann Orthodontics, we know it’s never too late to achieve a healthier, happier smile. Our treatment options can correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, including crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. While the most commonly known benefit of treatment is a more attractive smile, many lesser-known advantages to adult braces. Let’s take a look at some of the issues orthodontics can improve!
Improved oral health
Brushing and flossing are an essential part of any dental hygiene routine. But when teeth are crooked, crowded, or overlapping, they can be challenging to clean. This increases the risk of plaque and bacteria building up, potentially leading to tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis. These may be common dental ailments, but they’re also preventable. Orthodontic treatment at Smith & Heymann Orthodontics can help move the teeth into more optimal positions, making it easier to maintain an effective oral hygiene routine!
When your teeth and jaws are out of alignment, you might have difficulty correctly biting and chewing your food. If left untreated, this can lead to excessive wear and tear on your teeth. It may even lead to the muscles of the jaws weakening. This can cause painful chewing, exacerbating any issues you’re already having.
You may be surprised to find there’s a connection between your stomach and your smile, but your teeth are a crucial component of the digestive process! Chewing your food is the first step of this process and the most important one. If you can’t chew properly due to misaligned teeth, it can affect your whole digestive system. When your teeth can’t properly break down food, it will pass through the digestive system much more slowly. Chewing may also be painful due to tooth or jaw pain, limiting how often you can eat.
The alignment of your teeth and jaws can also affect your speech. Misaligned teeth can influence the placement of the tip of the tongue, which is essential to properly form certain sounds, including ‘t,’ ‘n,’ and ‘d.’ As experienced orthodontists, Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, and Dr. Skillestad will be able to help identify any speech issues related to misalignment. They can also assess the severity of any problems then devise the most effective solution for you based on your specific needs.
Improved jaw alignment
Misaligned teeth can have a noticeable effect on your jaw muscles and joints. If the jaws have to compensate for wrong positioning, the joints will respond, but it will often be to a position that can cause further damage. This is why we tend to see jaw issues and misaligned teeth present in a patient together. Some of the symptoms you may experience with improper jaw alignment are:
- headaches or migraines
- a jaw that seems to pop or “creak”
- pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulders
- sleep disorders
A personalized treatment plan from Smith & Heymann Orthodontics can help minimize or eliminate these symptoms by properly aligning your teeth and jaws. This approach will give you a smile that feels good, functions well, and looks beautiful!
Find your perfect treatment
Whatever your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, you have more options than ever before! We offer the following treatments in our offices in Chapel Hill, Durham, Mebane, and Roxboro for a total smile makeover.
Damon metal braces
Damon metal braces are an orthodontic staple throughout our community and for good reasons! Braces are 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. Our doctors use Damon self-ligating braces, so you’ll have fewer appointments since there are no adjustments. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter, giving you a beautiful smile quicker.
Clear braces function in much the same way traditional braces do but use ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. For an almost invisible treatment option, these clear brackets 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. Still, they are more delicate than metal braces, so our doctors generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system consists of removable aligners customized to fit comfortably over the teeth. These clear aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions like braces. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment as directed by your orthodontist. Each aligner will also need to be replaced for the next system every 1-2 weeks.
Invisalign offers patients an extra measure of flexibility. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking. This removability makes it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy! You don’t have to work around wires and brackets, simply brush and floss the way you usually would.
All of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! You can trust Smith & Heymann Orthodontics to recommend only the treatment method they feel will work best with your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
Get the beautiful smile you deserve with Smith & Heymann Orthodontics
Smith & Heymann Orthodontics is proud to offer patients the total package North Carolina! Our expert team is committed to providing clear communication, compassionate care, and exceptional results. If you’re looking for more information on the many ways an aligned bite can benefit you, get in touch today to schedule a FREE exam with one of our talented doctors and take the first step towards a healthier smile!