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Adult Orthodontics

April 27th, 2011

Adult Orthodontics
We have become used to seeing children with braces to straighten their teeth and give them a lifetime of great looking smiles.  But the sight of adults wearing braces has also become more common.
While it is usually easier and quicker to move the teeth of younger patients, it is possible to move the teeth of any age patient.  Teeth are easier to keep clean when overlapping or rotating is minimized.  Brushing and flossing become more effective with straight teeth.
It is important to note that adult orthodontic results take longer to complete and not all techniques that work with younger patients can be used with adults.  Nevertheless, the results can be striking, leading to a new smile with renewed self image and self confidence.  If you missed the opportunity to have braces as a child, it isn’t too late to take advantage of today’s treatment for adults.
As an adult orthodontic patient, it is critical that you meet additional criteria that are not of concern when treating children.  You will be checked for any periodontal disease before treatment.  Any areas of gum inflammation or bone loss can be detrimental to the successful outcome of the case and so must be treated first.  Medical conditions will also be considered as they may increase risks of additional periodontal disease or dental decay.
Adult need to approach orthodontics with one more thing in mind.  With the time and effort being spent, it is critical that, once treatment is complete, you must continue to wear retainers indefinitely.  Teeth moved in adulthood tend to relapse and crowd.  Additionally, it is critical through treatment to see your general dentist and to maintain optimal oral health.

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