March 12, 2020
If you’re like most people, when you think of orthodontics, you probably imagine teenagers wearing braces. While many of our patients are children and teens, braces can be beneficial to people of all ages! More adults than ever are utilizing orthodontics to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health. In fact, about 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18, and that number is growing each day. Keep reading as we’re debunking common myths about braces for adults (and giving you a look at why they’re the most popular orthodontic treatment, year after year!)
If you’ve spent years of your adult life feeling unhappy with the way your teeth look or function, this is the perfect time to take a look at how Central Virginia Orthodontics can help! We offer a variety of innovative treatment options to correct mild and severe orthodontic issues, including traditional braces and Invisalign. Although today’s braces are more comfortable and efficient than those of the past, some patients are still on the fence about them. If you find yourself reluctant to consider braces to achieve a healthier smile, it’s probably because of what you think you know about them.
Myth #1: Braces are just for children and teens
One of the most common myths about braces for adults is that braces are designed only for children and teens. While a large number of our patients are kids and teens, people of all ages can benefit from all 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 desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking dental care or orthodontic treatment.
Some adults have crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues that they’ve waited years to correct. 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 make you stand out
This is another common myth that keeps many adults from getting braces. You don’t want to draw attention to your teeth if you’re feeling self-conscious about them in the first place. Some believe that’s exactly what will happen if you get braces, but thanks to modern orthodontic technology, there are plenty of discreet treatments available to adult patients! The doctors at Central Virginia Orthodontics offer the following options for a complete smile makeover:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatments. They’re made out of high-quality stainless steel. Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, making them perfect for patients of all ages. They’re also customizable, with lots 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, you get the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets, which 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 or clear aligners
Clear aligner therapy consists of a series of removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gently move them where they need to go 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. These systems offer patients a bit of freedom and flexibility that fixed braces just can’t beat since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. It also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since you can brush and floss normally.
Myth #3: Braces are painful
Modern orthodontic treatment is much more gentle and effective than in the past. This means braces, in general, are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. While you may occasionally experience a little discomfort as outlined below, these minor issues are usually easy to take care of with a little knowledge and preparedness!
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! Be sure to completely dry the bracket or wire, 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 a pencil by using the eraser end to gently press 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, you may try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also make it more stable.
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. Over-the-counter pain relievers are another useful remedy, just be sure to check in with our doctors first!
Myth #4: Braces are too expensive
Orthodontic treatment of any kind is certainly an investment of your time and finances. However, the benefits will last a lifetime! There are no hidden costs or unwelcome surprises here at Central Virginia Orthodontics. During your free consultation, we’ll outline everything included in your treatment plan. These individualized plans contain everything needed for beautiful, long-lasting results, such as:
- all appointments, including emergency visits
- braces or aligners
- post-treatment follow-up visits
- and an oral hygiene starter pack, too!
Our treatment fees are based on the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the world-class service we provide. Our doctors have many years of experience creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout the Lynchburg community. We appreciate what a big investment treatment is for patients, and our office will work with your budget to make sure you get a confident smile that will last a lifetime! We offer convenient payment plans, and we also accept most major credit cards and insurance plans. We’ll even file your insurance claims for you!
Get a beautiful smile with braces by Central Virginia Orthodontics
Braces can be a wonderful option to straighten your teeth and improve your oral health, whether you’re 14 or 40. Choosing experienced orthodontists like those at Central Virginia Orthodontics will guarantee you get personalized treatment for your unique smile. Our expert team provides patients with an orthodontic experience that’s rewarding and stress-free from your first appointment to your last!
Don’t let any common myths about braces hold you back from a beautiful, healthy smile. 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!