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Are Orthodontists Helpful for Adults?

When you think of orthodontics, you probably think about getting braces as a teenager. Although Dr. Celenza has extensive experience working with young patients, orthodontic care is also important for adults. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists reports that one out of every three orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. At Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale, our dental team offers expert orthodontic care to adults of all ages.

Why Do Adults Need Orthodontic Care?

Many people are familiar with the cosmetic benefits of orthodontic treatment. Braces straighten the teeth and address a variety of spacing issues, giving you a more attractive smile. A good smile makes you feel more confident and can help you make a good impression when you meet new people. What many people don’t know is that braces do a lot more than just improve your appearance.

Improved Chewing Ability

Orthodontic treatment addresses several types of bite problems, including open bite, underbite and overbite. Not only do these bite issues change the appearance of your smile, but they also make it difficult to chew properly. If you can’t chew your food thoroughly, you may experience digestive problems caused by large pieces of food entering the stomach. Chewing difficulties may also make it difficult to absorb nutrients, leading to vitamin or mineral deficiencies in adults. Braces and other orthodontic treatments make it easier to chew your food thoroughly, which may help prevent these complications.

Reduced Damage to the Teeth and Cheeks

If you have an overbite or an underbite, you may accidentally bite the inside of your cheeks when you talk or chew food, causing sores to form. These sores are painful, and they can also get infected, increasing the risk of other oral health problems. Cheek biting may also cause hyperkeratosis, a thickening of the damaged tissue.

Bite issues also increase the risk of gum disease and tooth damage. For example, an overbite may cause the upper teeth to come into contact with gum tissue surrounding the lower teeth. In some people, repeated contact causes the gums to recede, increasing the risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Orthodontic treatment addresses bite issues, reducing the risk of damage to the cheeks, teeth and gums.

Better Oral Hygiene

Some orthodontic problems make it more difficult to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly. For example, crooked teeth often grow in behind other teeth, making it difficult to reach them with a toothbrush. Dental crowding is also an issue, as you may have trouble getting floss in between teeth that are extremely close together. Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems, making orthodontic treatment essential for maintaining a healthy mouth.

Reasons to Consider Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult

If you had braces as a teenager, that doesn’t mean you’ll never need orthodontic treatment again. It’s common for the teeth to shift over time, especially if you grind your teeth or have bite issues. As your teeth move, you may start biting the inside of your cheek more often or experiencing discomfort caused by the misalignment of your upper and lower jaws. These are good reasons to seek orthodontic treatment as an adult.

Advances in dentistry have also made it much easier for adults to get orthodontic treatment. Dr. Celenza offers traditional metal braces, but if you’re concerned about your appearance, you can request invisible brackets or tooth-colored brackets. These options make it possible to correct overcrowding, crooked teeth and other dental issues without having to worry about how you’ll be perceived in the workplace or in social situations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontic Care

Will braces change the shape of my face?

If you had braces as a child, you may have noticed that the shape and structure of your face changed during your treatment. This is because the jaws and face continue growing long after you’re born. In most people, this growth doesn’t stop until between the ages of 15 and 18. When you’re an adult, orthodontic treatment affects the shape of your face much less than it would if you got braces as a child or teenager.

Will I need a retainer?

Most people need to wear retainers after completing orthodontic treatment. A retainer prevents the teeth from shifting, ensuring you can enjoy the benefits of orthodontic care long after you have your braces removed. Depending on your needs, Dr. Celenza may recommend a permanent retainer to keep your teeth in their new position.

Are you ever too old for orthodontic treatment?

No. Braces and other orthodontic treatments correct bite problems and overcrowding, making it easier to chew properly and keep your teeth and gums clean. That means you can benefit from orthodontic care at any age.

What’s the difference between pediatric orthodontic care and adult orthodontic care?

Many of the treatment options are the same, but adults may have jaw or gum issues requiring a different approach to their care. For example, if you have gingivitis—the mildest form of gum disease—you may need to take care of your gums before you can get braces or other orthodontic treatments. At your initial consultation, Dr. Celenza will examine your teeth and gums and put together a custom treatment plan designed to produce the best possible results.

Schedule an Orthodontic Consultation

Dr. Celenza is one of the few dentists in the Scarsdale area who has cross-training in both periodontic and orthodontic care. Periodontics deals with the prevention and treatment of gum disease, a condition that can lead to tooth decay or even tooth loss if it isn’t treated. If you’re experiencing gum issues and also need orthodontic care, you can save time by seeing Dr. Celenza and the Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale team instead of going to a separate periodontal office. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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