adult orthodontics


August 26th, 2019

Millions of people in the United States are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment.  One in four patients is an adult.

Orthodontic treatment moves teeth in the same way for a 75-year old as it does for a 13-year old.  Dr. Patricia Bendick and Dr. Melissa Landin want you to know that healthy teeth can be moved at any age!

“No one is ‘too old’ for orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Landin.  “If an adult is self-conscious about their smile, orthodontic treatment can provide them with the same benefits younger patients enjoy – teeth that function well, and that look nice, too.”

If treatment is recommended, there are a number of options available today that make it much less noticeable than it was in the past.

“Thanks to today’s technology, many of today’s appliances are nearly invisible,” notes Dr. Bendick. These appliances include clear aligner trays (i.e. Invisalign) and clear ceramic braces, but even brackets used in more traditional stainless steel braces are small and sleek.

It’s important for anyone interested in orthodontic treatment to discuss it with an orthodontist – someone who first graduated from dental school, and then completed an additional two to three years of education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program.  Orthodontists limit their work to orthodontic care – they are dentistry’s experts in moving teeth and aligning jaws. Orthodontists have access to the full range of orthodontic appliances, and can work with patients to help them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile using the most appropriate method.

Orthodontic treatment not only gives patients straight teeth but aligns the bite so that teeth meet properly.  A good bite makes it easier to chew and speak.  It can also enhance your appearance and contribute to your overall health because a good bite makes it possible to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods.  Straighter teeth are also easier to brush and floss making you less prone to cavities.

In addition to the oral health benefits, patients appreciate the improvement in the look of their teeth and their smile brought about by orthodontic treatment.  We often notice the improvement in our patient’s self-esteem as they go through orthodontic treatment.  Our patients smile more brightly with each visit!

Wondering why it’s necessary to see a trained orthodontist over these Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or Direct-To-Consumer companies to straighten your teeth?

November 15th, 2018

A video speaks a thousand words, so if you do not have time to read this whole blog post, click on the link to check out this video from an orthodontist who saw a patient who tried to treat himself first:

As humans, we are all different and have different biological limitations when it comes to moving our teeth. Just like someone might have a different pant size, we all have different size jaw bones, teeth and sometimes even number of teeth!  These DIY or Direct-To-Consumer companies prescribe generic treatment that is not custom to your mouth.

An orthodontist will take an x-ray of your teeth as part of their orthodontic records.  This x-ray allows us to look at the jaw bones and parts of the teeth that you cannot see just by looking in your mouth.  These DIY companies are not requiring an x-ray for treatment and thus can miss issues in your mouth that should be addressed before or during treatment.

It is important to make sure your teeth are healthy before you try to straighten them.  Moving unhealthy teeth through unhealthy bone can make any problems present (cavities, bone loss, gum disease, etc.) become worse and can cause even more expensive issues in your mouth!

As orthodontists, we look at your whole mouth instead of just the front teeth.  We make sure you have a proper bite in the back so you do not wear away your teeth incorrectly or leave your teeth in a position that is difficult to clean and prone to decay.

Hopefully we have given you a sense of how important it is to see a trained orthodontist when you want to straighten your teeth.  Remember, a clear aligner is just a tool to move teeth –who is using the tool matters.  Is there another medical procedure you would consider bypassing your doctor for?  When you consider the potential to lose teeth and add more expensive treatment costs, we certainly think seeing a trained orthodontist is worth the investment!

If you would like to read what the American Association of Orthodontics has to say about this issue, you can read it here:

How long do I have to wear my retainers?

November 13th, 2012

We hear this question daily at our office. The real answer is however long you want your teeth to remain straight!We consider retainers to be lifetime appliances. You should see the look of disbelief on patients faces when we say that. While it may sound discouraging, there are reasons for wearing the retainers for the long haul.

Teeth are not static. They are always moving, and they will continue to move and shift even though you've had braces. They will try to move forward, up and outwards. As we age, our teeth move toward the front of the mouth and will get more crowded over time.

So if you are a patient, and just had your teeth moved into their optimal position via braces, those teeth have a strong tendency to relapse into their original position. Teeth actualy have a "memory" of the position they were in before braces. There are ligaments that connect the teeth to the bone and these ligaments stretch as the teeth are moved to their new position.

This is where your retainers come into play! They hold the teeth into place and, over time, the memory of these ligaments will fade. However, teeth are continually moving and shifting - not always to our advantage - and it is wise, once you've attained a functional and aesthetic position and bite with braces or Invisalign , to maintain this position for as long as you can. In fact, Invisalign was first introduced as a product designed to correct adult relapse (for adults who didn't wear their retainers, or didn't wear them for long).

Even years after orthodontic treatment, patients should ideally still be wearing their retainers at night. The retainers not only hold your teeth in place, but protect your teeth from wear and tear by maintining the correct bite relationship of the top and bottom arches. They are lifelong tools for youto use to maintain your beautiful smile!

Back to Top