Ideally, teeth would line up perfectly like the keys of a piano.

Unfortunately, the reality is less than ideal. Up to 65% of adults inherit crooked teeth, misaligned bites, or a crowded smile, which is why there’s such a need for child and adult orthodontics.

adult orthodonticsThese are problems that get more serious down the line and go beyond mere cosmetic concerns. Crowded teeth can make it difficult to clean between teeth and maintain proper gum health. Bad bites can cause problems chewing and swallowing, and puts pressure on surrounding muscles, which may result in facial muscle pain.

Since childhood is the ideal time to get orthodontics, the question often comes up: “When is it too late to get adult orthodontics?” We think that if you’re asking that question, you’re probably in a situation in which adult orthodontics can help. According to the American Association of Adult Orthodontists, nearly 1 in 5 orthodontics patients are over age 18.

The next question is often: “What’s the best type of orthodontics for me?” We’re glad you asked. Below, you’ll learn about three major types of orthodontics(from most to least well-known), each with their pros and cons. All are offered here at Yardley Ortho, and we accept most adult orthodontics insurances.

The 3 Most Common Orthodontic Treatments

1. Traditional Metal Braces

Braces are the most commonly-used orthodontic appliance. They are very versatile and can move your teeth in a variety of directions. Metal braces progressed since the early days and now are lighter in weight than they once were. Made of a high-grade stainless steel, they use metal brackets attached to each tooth. A thin archwire links these brackets, moving them slowly into the correct position. The archwire, in turn, is connected to the brackets with tiny elastics, which the orthodontist replaces each time braces are tightened.

Pros: Tried and true, least-expensive option, and available in a variety of colors, which is fun for teenagers.

Cons: Food restrictions required, and they are the most noticeable of all options.  

2. Invisalign

Invisalign is a set of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit your teeth. Your dentist will take x-rays and a dental impression of your teeth to create the aligners. Once made, your clear aligners can be removed at any time, but they should remain in your mouth for up to 22 hours daily for treatment purposes.

Pros: No food restrictions (remove aligners when you eat), comfortable, short treatment timeline (6-24 months), custom-made, and almost completely transparent, so most people won’t notice that you’re undergoing treatment.

Cons: Requires more personal discipline.If the rules for leaving aligners in (22-24 hours daily) aren’t followed, results may not turn out as desired. Also, aligners must be removed anytime you eat, and your teeth should be cleaned after every eating session. Some patients have found this radically improves their oral hygiene, converting this into a benefit in some cases. Invisalign can be more expensive than metal braces.

3. Lingual Braces

Lingual braces use the same technologies as traditional metal braces, but the placement is different. The appliance is located on the inside of your teeth, making them impossible to see by anyone but your dentist. With 100% customization to your teeth, they represent the next generation of orthodontics technology. Lingual braces are developed using computer-aided design and manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and robotics. Because they’re custom-designed for you, lingual braces do not require periodic adjustment the way metal braces do.

Pros: Totally invisible, making this the most aesthetically-pleasing option. “Inside” placement protects your tongue and mouth if you play sports or an instrument. Custom design guarantees great results every time.

Cons: It may take time for your tongue to get used to the new brackets. You might hear a lisp at first when you speak, but practice can help you get over this. Lingual braces are also the most expensive option of the three.

No treatment model is perfect, but new technologies have helped us make adult orthodontics as low-impact as possible in your daily life. To get adult orthodontics near me near Yardley, PA, contact us at Yardley Ortho by calling 215-968-5471.