When you hear the term orthodontics, what’s the first thing you tend to think of? If you’re anything like most people, you probably conjure up an image of a teenager in braces! While this is a very persistent stereotype, the truth is that orthodontic treatment can benefit patients of all ages—including adults! More adults than ever are exploring orthodontics as a way 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 continues to grow each day. If you’re an adult who has spent years feeling unhappy with the way your teeth look or function, we’re debunking myths about braces for adults!
At Zeifman Orthodontics, we offer a variety of innovative treatment options to correct orthodontic issues from mild to severe, including traditional braces. Although today’s braces are comfortable and efficient, 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.
Keep reading below as we debunk some of the most common myths about braces (and give you a look at why they’re the most popular orthodontic treatment, year after year!)
Myth #1: Braces are just for children and teens
While a large number of our patients are kids and teens, you’re never too old to take advantage of all the benefits orthodontics has to offer! We often begin to understand the many ways our oral health is related to our total body health as we get older. This can result in a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking dental care or orthodontic treatment.
Many 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
When you’re already feeling a bit self-conscious about your teeth, the last thing you want is to draw more attention to them. Many people believe that’s exactly what will happen if you get braces, but thanks to modern orthodontic technology, there are multiple treatments available to adult patients! Dr. Danielle Zeifman offers the following options for a complete smile makeover:
Traditional metal braces
Metal braces are one of our most popular and efficient treatments. Generally made of high-quality stainless steel, 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.
Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, these function the same way metal braces do. However, they provide patients with the additional benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Both options 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.
Inbrace lingual braces
These are a great cosmetic alternative to traditional braces since they’re placed on the back of your teeth, rather than the front. Your braces will be completely customized to your unique smile, making them more effective and more comfortable.
Clear aligner therapy consists of a series of removable plastic trays that fit over the teeth and gently move them into the desired positions over time. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every one to two weeks to keep up with the movement of your teeth. These systems offer patients a bit of freedom and flexibility not available with fixed braces since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. It also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since patients brush and floss as they normally would.
Myth #3: Braces are painful
Modern orthodontic treatment moves your teeth far more gently and effectively than it has in the past, and 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 patience and knowledge!
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! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, 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 nothing more than an ordinary pencil by using the eraser end to nudge 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, try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also add stability.
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 Zeifman Orthodontics. During your 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 reflect the skill of our expert team, the quality of the products we use, and the world-class service we provide. Dr. Zeifman is passionate about creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages throughout Florham and the surrounding communities. We appreciate what a big investment treatment is for patients, and our office will work with your budget to help you achieve a confident smile you love! 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 Zeifman Orthodontics
Braces can be a fantastic option for straightening your teeth and improving your oral health, whether you’re 14 or 40. Choosing experienced orthodontists like Dr. Zeifman will guarantee you only get the best 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!
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.