It’s easy to overlook the importance of oral hygiene when we’re younger. Many teens and young adults think a quick brush and occasional floss are enough to keep their smile in good shape, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Our oral health impacts more than just the appearance of our smile—it can affect our total body health, too! This is something we tend to understand better the older we get, and that knowledge often results in a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums. That may include exploring dental or orthodontic treatment to whip their smile into shape!
We see evidence of this here at Kottemann Orthodontics, where we’re treating more adult patients than ever before. Every day, we hear from people who have spent many years feeling unhappy with the way their smile looks and functions. Some of them are worried that it’s too late to straighten their teeth or correct a bad bite, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no such thing as “too old” when it comes to achieving a confident smile! Let’s take a look at what adult orthodontic treatment entails and how it can improve your oral health.
Why are orthodontic practices seeing an increase in adult patients?
Over 25% of current orthodontic patients are over the age of 18, making them the fastest-growing patient population we have. There are many factors behind this remarkable increase! For example, many of our adult patients received orthodontic treatment earlier in life, but it was never completed. Others may have finished their treatment but didn’t wear their retainers as directed afterward. In both scenarios, the teeth have shifted back towards their original positions over time. These patients may wish to complete the process or we might recommend that they redo it completely.
Other adults are simply interested in improving the cosmetic appearance of their smile. This is something we fully support! Orthodontic treatment as an adult can give patients a beautifully aligned smile that increases self-confidence. This will often have a positive effect on their personal, professional, and social life.
What treatment options are available for adult patients?
Whatever your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, Kottemann Orthodontics offers a variety of affordable options to achieve a total smile transformation.
Traditional metal braces
These are the most common type of braces, and probably the most easily recognizable orthodontic appliance. Typically made of high-grade stainless steel, braces use a combination of metal brackets, bands, and archwires to gradually move the teeth into more desirable positions. The metal braces we work with today are lighter, sleeker, and far more comfortable than ever before. They’re also more fun! You can add a pop of personality to your braces with a wide range of brightly colored elastics. For patients who prefer a more subtle approach, we also have clear or tooth-colored bands available.
Clear braces function in much the same way metal braces do but have the added benefit of clear brackets. When paired with clear, tooth-colored, or white elastics, you have an extremely discreet way to straighten the teeth! While clear brackets are less noticeable than traditional braces, they require a bit more care as the brackets are a little larger and slightly more brittle than their metal counterparts. For this reason, we tend to recommend them for older teen and adult patients who need the strength and functionality of metal braces but want a more subtle option.
Invisalign clear aligners
Instead of brackets, wires, and bands, the innovative Invisalign system uses a series of customized clear aligners to shift the teeth over time. The aligners are designed to be removed when a patient is eating, drinking anything other than water, and brushing their teeth. This gives them an extra measure of freedom that adult patients love!
Patient compliance is an essential part of treatment with Invisalign. The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours per day throughout the orthodontic process to successfully straighten smiles. Patients are also responsible for switching each aligner out with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows them to keep up with the movements their teeth are making. When worn as directed, Invisalign can be just as efficient as braces at treating many of the most common orthodontic issues.
Your complimentary consultation with us
Your first appointment with us is one of the most important ones you’ll have. This is our chance to get to know a bit about each other and discuss the concerns you have about your oral health. We pack a lot into this visit, including:
- a review of your dental and medical history forms
- a thorough oral examination
- a conversation about the results of this exam
- a customized treatment plan
Once you’ve decided on a treatment plan with your doctor, we’ll walk you through everything included in the orthodontic process. We’ll also discuss the investment needed for your new smile and outline any payment options available to you. We’ll ensure you understand exactly what your customized plan includes before you begin, so you’ll never have to worry about hidden fees with our practice!
Find your best smile with Kottemann Orthodontics
Like many things in life, every treatment option will have its own list of pros and cons. Not every treatment will be suitable for all patients! But working with an experienced team of orthodontists means you’ll receive only the most appropriate treatment for your unique needs.
If you’ve been waiting your whole life to improve your smile, the last thing you want is a cookie-cutter approach to treatment. That’s why every patient we see receives a customized treatment plan built around their specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. We have four wonderful orthodontists with decades of experience between them and a highly skilled staff committed to providing you with a rewarding experience from start to finish.
Are you ready to take the first step towards the confident smile you’ve always wanted? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with us! With offices in Maple Grove, Orono, Plymouth, Watertown, and Chaska, you’re almost guaranteed to find a location that’s convenient to you. We look forward to seeing your smile!