Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

Here at Laidlaw Orthodontics, we often hear from adults who wonder if they’re too old to straighten their smile with braces or aligners. Fortunately, you’re never too old to take advantage of everything orthodontics has to offer! If you’ve spent a lifetime worrying about the way your mouth looks or feels, you’re not alone. Some studies have estimated that up to 50% of Americans could benefit from orthodontic treatment in one way or another. That’s reflected in the growing number of patients we see who are over the age of 18—which is up to 1 in every 3 current orthodontic patients at the moment!

Whether you’re 7 or 75, the process to move teeth is mostly the same. As long as you have healthy teeth, gums, and jawbones, orthodontic treatment can work for you. However, there are some differences in adult treatment versus treatment administered at an earlier age when the mouth is still growing and developing. Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about adult orthodontic treatment and how it can help you achieve a healthier smile! Keep reading below to learn more. 

The first steps toward a smile you can be proud of

Generally speaking, children and teens only need to have a complete set of permanent teeth before being fitted for braces or aligners. There are a few more requirements that adults need to meet so that they can have the same success! Adult patients should also talk with their orthodontist about realistic expectations and goals for the treatment process.  

Healthy teeth and jaws are important

The overall health of your teeth, jaws, and gums will be inspected during your initial evaluation with Dr. Laidlaw. She’ll use this visit to perform a thorough oral examination which will look at the alignment and position of your teeth, along with an analysis of your bite. Any structural issues, tooth decay, or gum disease will need to be addressed and corrected before moving forward with the active phase of orthodontic treatment. 

Correcting adult misalignments may be more complicated

As we mentioned briefly above, adult jaws have reached a point where they have stopped growing. That can make it more difficult to correct more severe misalignments. Some structural changes can’t be accomplished with orthodontic appliances alone, and an adult patient’s treatment plan may require additional procedures to achieve the desired results. 

This varies from case to case, of course! Most adults will be able to straighten their smiles using just braces or aligners. If surgery or extractions are required, we use computerized treatment planning to minimizes treatment times, your recovery period, and the overall efficiency of the procedure. Dr. Laidlaw is warm, caring, and experienced, and will always make you feel at ease wherever you are in your orthodontic journey. 

Treatment may be coordinated with your dentist

Related to the previous topic, some adults may have dental issues that need to be corrected before orthodontic treatment can proceed. This is why most orthodontists will work in conjunction with a patient’s dentist! You may need fillings, a root canal, or other dental treatments in preparation for your braces or aligners. Some patients with gum disease may be referred to a periodontist first. 

Once these requirements are met, correcting adult teeth with orthodontic treatment is often just as successful as correcting a younger patient’s teeth! Part of this can be attributed to the fact that in general, adults tend to be more compliant with recommendations and guidelines than younger patients may be. Adults are also more likely to have an established oral hygiene routine to keep their teeth, gums, and appliance clean! 

Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

Treatment options for adult orthodontic patients

Even with all the advances metal braces have seen in recent years, many adults are still uncomfortable about the idea of using them to straighten their teeth. Fortunately, there are other options available as well! At Laidlaw Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a variety of affordable treatment options for every lifestyle. 

Invalisign clear aligner system

Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear removable aligners to gradually move the teeth into alignment. Invisalign aligners are custom-made trays that fit snugly but comfortably over the patient’s teeth. The thermoplastic material they’re made of is smooth so it doesn’t tend to irritate the gums or cheeks the way braces sometimes can. 

Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours each day throughout the treatment process to be effective. Each aligner is switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks, depending on the patient’s treatment plan. This keeps up with the movements the teeth are making. When treating many of the most common orthodontic issues, Invisalign is just as effective as braces but offers patients a nearly invisible way to straighten their smile. 

The smile you’ve always wanted is waiting for you at Laidlaw Orthodontics

There’s no reason to hide your smile when treatment with Laidlaw Orthodontics can straighten your teeth, improve your oral health, and increase your self-esteem! Working with a skilled and experienced orthodontist like Dr. Laidlaw guarantees you’ll receive the most appropriate treatment to give you beautiful results in the least amount of time possible.  

If you’ve been waiting a lifetime for a smile you can be proud of, you’ve come to the right place! At Laidlaw Orthodontics, your treatment plan will be customized based on your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals. Our team is committed to providing you with a rewarding and stress-free experience from start to finish! 

If you’re in the Hillsboro area and want to learn more about transforming your smile with orthodontics, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Laidlaw. 

Clarity Advanced clear braces

Clear braces are sometimes referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. When it comes to straightening teeth, they function the same way traditional metal braces do but come with the added benefit of clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with your natural smile. 

These braces aren’t completely invisible, but they are much less noticeable than metal braces, even though the brackets are about the same size and shape. When we pair clear brackets with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, it results in an incredibly subtle way to straighten your smile!  

For patients who aren’t suited to removable appliances like Invisalign aligners, clear braces can be the next best thing. This option is very popular with our teen and adult patients. 

Traditional braces

Traditional braces are one of the most popular and efficient treatments available for patients of all ages. 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.

If you’ve been waiting a lifetime for a smile you can be proud of, you’ve come to the right place! At Laidlaw Orthodontics, your treatment plan will be customized based on your unique smile, lifestyle, and goals. Our team is committed to providing you with a rewarding and stress-free experience from start to finish! 

If you’re in the Hillsboro area and want to learn more about transforming your smile with orthodontics, get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Laidlaw.