Many people associate braces and other orthodontic treatments with teenagers. But when you reach adulthood, you can still amend bite problems and straighten your smile through orthodontic treatment.
Dental experts recommend that young patients visit an orthodontist, but it’s not too late for adult patients to see this specialist and achieve their oral health goals as well. However, several factors can influence orthodontic treatment between younger and older patients. Read on to see the differences in approaches when it comes to orthodontics for children and for adults.
Developing Teeth and Jaws in Pediatric Patients
One reason that orthodontists suggest early intervention when it comes to dental alignment concerns is that children still have developing smiles. This means that their teeth are not completely fused into place within their jaws. This allows for an easier time when moving teeth into a straighter position or widening palates with oral appliances.
Adults’ teeth and jawbones will have fused and completely grown into place. This makes it more difficult for teeth to shift with orthodontic tools but not impossible.
However, you can expect orthodontic treatment to take more time in adult patients for this reason. Visit an orthodontist to learn the best way to achieve your aesthetic and restorative dentistry goals.
Existing Dental Work in Adults
Orthodontists recommend amending bite problems early in a patient’s life, preferably in childhood, because adults will have more fixtures and dental work in their mouths that could interfere with orthodontics. Dental fillings to treat cavities are often small and unobtrusive. But dental implant tooth replacements will not move with your natural teeth and could impede your treatment.
Your dentist can work around these dental fixtures though if needed. So adult patients can still get the results they desire with orthodontics.
But adults might also suffer more damage from untreated bite problems than a pediatric patient would. Misaligned teeth and jaws could wear down teeth, causing structural dental damage that might need attention before an orthodontist can start straightening the teeth. Learn more about how your unique smile will affect your orthodontic treatment plan by scheduling a consultation today.
Comparing Compliance in Orthodontic Treatment
Another difference you might see when comparing adult and pediatric orthodontics is the degree of compliance from patients. Kids can grow frustrated with wearing oral appliances and might not use them as directed. This could delay treatment and affect the final results.
A child might also disregard warnings from their orthodontist and consume foods that may harm fixed devices like braces. This will mean they need to attend emergency appointments for repairs and replacements.
Adults will be less likely to make these kinds of errors that might interrupt their treatment. They will adhere to their orthodontist’s guidelines and see their treatment through to the end. And they can see a reduction in their risk of orthodontic relapse after their treatment.
If you do notice any issues with your orthodontia, call your dentist as soon as you can. This will help to avoid any missteps that will impact your desired results and oral health goals.