When it comes to orthodontic treatment, many people tend to think of teenagers, but in reality, orthodontics has 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 feeling unsatisfied with how your teeth look or function, but haven’t taken steps to correct the issues, you’re not alone! There are many misconceptions that keep adults from seeking out orthodontic treatment. Because of this, our team is debunking myths about braces for adults!
Dr. Chris Petrunic offers patients of all ages a variety of effective and affordable treatment options to correct orthodontic issues, including traditional braces. Thanks to today’s technology, modern braces are more comfortable, lightweight, and efficient than they’ve ever been. However, even with these advancements, some patients are hesitant to use braces to straighten their smiles. For many, this is because of what they’ve previously heard about braces. If this sounds like you, keep reading below as we explore braces treatment and how it can benefit patients of all ages!
Myth #1: Braces are just for kids
What it’s true that many orthodontic patients are children and teens, the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment continues to grow. As we mentioned before, almost 25% of current patients are over the age of 18. You’re never too old to take advantage of the many benefits of orthodontics!
Oftentimes, as we age, we begin to learn more about the many ways our oral health is connected to our total body health. This can lead many to commit to taking better care of their teeth and gums, which can include dental or orthodontic treatment. Some adults have crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues that they want to correct, while others are looking for more cosmetic improvement to their smile. No matter what your reason is for seeing treatment as an adult, braces can give you a straighter, healthier, more confident smile.
Myth #2: Braces will be too noticeable
If you’ve already been feeling self-conscious about the way your teeth look or function, the last thing you want is to make them the center of attention. You may think this is exactly what will happen once you start your braces treatment. Today there are more options available than ever when it comes to achieving a healthy smile, and some are almost completely invisible! For a complete smile transformation, Dr. Petrunic offers the following:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatment options. 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 clear braces an especially attractive choice for our patients who are more image-conscious.
Clear aligner therapy
The Clarity aligner system consists of a series of clear, removable acrylic 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. Clarity aligners offer patients more freedom and flexibility than 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 come a long way since the early days of braces! The braces we know today are able to move teeth more gently and effectively and are generally more comfortable than they’ve ever been. You may experience some minor discomfort or irritation 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 braces 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 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 saltwater 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. Petrunic about these first!)
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
There’s no denying that orthodontic treatment is an investment of your time and finances, but the benefits will last a lifetime! You’ll never find any hidden costs or surprise fees at Petrunic Orthodontics. At your FREE consultation with Dr. Petrunic, we’ll outline everything included in your treatment plan before we ever begin the active phase of your treatment. Your individualized treatment plan will consist of everything you need for your new smile, including:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment retainers
- post-treatment follow-up visits
- and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!
Our treatment fees reflect the skill and expertise of our team, the high-quality products we use, and the world-class services we provide. Dr. Petrunic has years of experience creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Prattville and the surrounding communities, and he appreciates the commitment it takes for patients who are working towards a better smile. At Petrunic Orthodontics, we’ll always work with your budget to ensure your treatment is affordable. We accept most major credit cards and offer convenient payment plans, as well as most major insurance plans. Our team will also help you file your insurance claims and any related paperwork to help you get the most coverage!
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by Dr. Petrunic
Braces can be an excellent and affordable option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health, no matter your age! By choosing an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Petrunic, you can feel confident that you’re receiving the best possible treatment for your unique smile. It’s our goal to provide our patients with a positive, stress-free orthodontic experience 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.