Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

If you’re like most people, chances are good that when you hear the term “orthodontics,” you immediately picture a teenager wearing metal braces. This stereotype can lead many people to wonder, “am I too old for orthodontic treatment?” While it’s true that many patients here at Smith & Heymann Orthodontics are teens, treatment with braces or Invisalign can have a multitude of benefits for 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, and function now is the perfect time to explore all that orthodontics has to offer!

Here at Smith & Heymann 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 actually 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 umbrella of dentistry. Therefore an orthodontist is a dentist who has also received additional years of education and training to identify and correct bite abnormalities. This gives them the skill and expertise necessary to successfully straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaws, and improve the overall function of your 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 get worse 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 trouble chewing or speaking. Our expert orthodontists are 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 our oral health is connected to our total body health. For some people, this knowledge encourages them to take action by pursuing dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to better care for their teeth and gums.

We also see a lot of adult patients who received some orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed, and they now wish to finish the process. Touch-up treatment is common, as well. Teeth that were straightened when you’re younger can shift over time because of age, genetics, or improper retainer use. In these cases, we can monitor your 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

No matter what your reason is for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, you have more options than ever before! Smith & Heymann Orthodontics is thrilled to offer the following treatments for a total smile transformation.

Metal Braces 

Today’s metal braces are smaller and more comfortable today than ever before. Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wires with connecting rubber bands, which apply a gentle pressure that gradually moves your teeth into alignment. This treatment method has proven to be reliable and effective for decades, and nowadays metal braces are much more comfortable than they used to be!

Clear Braces  

Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, clear braces are similar to traditional metal braces because they use brackets and metal wires that gently shift your teeth to their prescribed positions over time. However, these braces are exceptionally inconspicuous because the brackets are basically the same color as your teeth!

Clear braces can be slightly more expensive than metal braces, so we believe these are ideal for older teenagers and adult patients, especially those who have cosmetic concerns. 

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners customized to fit comfortably over your teeth. Like braces, the aligners gently move your teeth into the desired positions. To do this, you’ll need to wear them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment and replace them every week 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 you remove your aligners 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 Smith & Heymann Orthodontics

Not every treatment method is right for every patient and every option will have its own list of pros and cons. That’s why it’s so important to choose an experienced orthodontist like the doctors at Smith & Heymann Orthodontics

We don’t believe that “one size fits all” when it comes to orthodontic treatment, so you can always trust our team to recommend only the best treatment option for your specific needs. Your doctor will build a personalized treatment plan for you based on your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals so you have 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 Durham, Mebane, Roxboro, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding communities. Our goal is to provide you with a rewarding and stress-free journey from start to finish. We work hard to provide a welcoming atmosphere that feels like home. You’re not just another face here, you’re family!

You’re never too old for braces, and the smile you’ve always wanted! Take the first step today by calling us to schedule your FREE initial consultation.