When it comes to orthodontic treatment, most people tend to think of teens, but the truth is, orthodontics can benefit patients of all ages—even 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, there’s never been a better time to explore how orthodontics can help. That’s why we’re here debunking common myths about braces for adults.
Dr. Jared Lee offers a variety of innovative treatment options to correct orthodontic issues, including traditional braces. While modern braces are lighter, more comfortable, and more efficient than ever before, some patients still have reservations about them. If you’re 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 debunk some of the most common myths about braces (and explore why they’re the #1 treatment option, year after year!)
Myth #1: Braces are just for kids
While it’s true that orthodontic patients are made up of mostly young people, the number of adults seeking treatment continues to grow. As we mentioned above, almost 25% of current patients are over the age of 18. 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 resolve 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 teeth, the last thing you want is to draw more attention to them. You may think that’s exactly what happens when you get braces, but there are actually multiple options for treatment thanks to modern orthodontic technology. For a complete smile makeover, Dr. Lee 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, these 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.
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 keep up with 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. It 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 with nothing more than an ordinary pencil by using the eraser end 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, we’ll 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 also add 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 salt water 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. Lee about these first!)
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
While orthodontic treatment is certainly an investment, the benefits will last a lifetime! You won’t find any hidden costs or unwelcome surprises with Dr. Lee. 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!
Our fees reflect the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the top-notch service we provide. Dr. Lee has years of experience creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout Oxnard and Santa Paula, and he appreciates what a big investment treatment is for patients. He’ll work with your budget to help you achieve a confident smile you love, thanks to our convenient payment plans, and we also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans. We’ll even help you with your insurance claims and paperwork!
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by Dr. Jared Lee
Braces 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. Lee, you can trust that we will only recommend the best treatment 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.