Orthodontics for Adults-Why You Should Go for It

Orthodontics for Adults

Laurel Bush Family Dentistry provides quality orthodontic care for adults, children, and teens in Harford County, and surrounding areas. 

Orthodontics for Adults

Did you think that orthodontic treatments were only for tweens and teens?  Think again.   Today, an increasing number of adults are opting for orthodontics—a branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of abnormalities or irregularities in teeth and jaws. 

Contrary to popular belief, adults in the U.S are just as self-conscious about their teeth as the teens in the country. A recent survey by the American Dental Association (ADA) reveals that 1 in 4 adults avoid smiling due to the condition of their mouth and teeth.  Additionally, according to the ADA 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are over the age of 21.  Many of these adults felt embarrassment while others experienced anxiety because they lacked that perfect smile!

Many adults would like to have teeth that line up as perfectly or neatly as keys on a piano. However, many adults have teeth that are poorly aligned, crowded, or crooked. There are several reasons an adult would want to get an orthodontic treatment including:

•    The desire for a healthier mouth and more confident smile
•    Abnormal pain or pressure in the jaw due to crooked teeth
•    Spaced apart or crowded teeth that can potentially cause gum disease or tooth decay
•    Malocclusion or bad bite that causes incorrect positioning of teeth

Why Adults Need Orthodontic Treatments and Who Can Provide It?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that addresses abnormalities or irregularities in teeth and jaws. It helps children, teens, and adults in getting their teeth aligned correctly and restores their smile. There are several reasons orthodontic treatment makes sense for adults, including:

•    Suffering from gum problems which have caused the teeth to move and become loose
•    Creating space for a dental implant
•    Wanting to improve their smile

Looking at these reasons, you may think that orthodontic treatment is all about appearance, but that is not true. Orthodontic treatments are equally—if not more important—for improving the function of your teeth and mouth including improving how you bite and chew. If left unattended, crooked teeth and a bad bite can lead to the following issues:

•    Tooth decay
•    Jaw joint pain and headaches
•    Gum and bone loss
•    Abnormal wear of teeth, enamel, and surfaces

Several things can cause crooked teeth or a bad bite in adults including genetics which is one of the leading causes of common orthodontic problems like underbites and overbites. Other reasons for orthodontic problems include prolonged habits in childhood such as sucking your thumb or biting your lips which can cause misalignment of front teeth. Another reason—and a more natural occurrence—is that our teeth shift position as we age or develop gum problems. 

Regardless of the cause, crooked teeth and a bad bite are problems you’d want to avoid or get corrected. An orthodontic dentist can help you with this. Orthodontic dentists will have at least three years of training in orthodontics. Often referred to as a consultant orthodontist, an orthodontic dentist has the advanced training needed for diagnosing complex cases and dealing with unexpected development that can occur during treatment.

Treatment Options for Adults

Many adults with crooked teeth and bad bite have concerns about orthodontic treatment. The good news for these adults is that orthodontic treatment options today offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, good to look at, and tailored to your needs. These treatment options include:


  • Invisalign - transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth
  • Clear Ceramic Braces - Made of transparent or tooth-colored materials, clear ceramic braces blend in with your natural tooth color
  • Self-Litigating Braces - Braces that use a permanently installed, moveable component to entrap the archwire, i.e. the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and helps guide the teeth into position
  • Traditional Metal Braces -  Made of high-quality stainless steel or titanium, metal braces are comprised of three main parts which are brackets, archwire, and ligature elastic. 

Some considerations:

•    Some structural issues may necessitate surgery since the bones of adults have stopped growing.
•    Compared to a child or teenager, the entire orthodontic treatment process may take longer for you as an adult. The treatment, on average, can last about two years.
•    To avoid complications in treatment that arise from bone loss caused by gum disease, you may have to see a periodontist as well as a general dentist while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

There are many benefits of orthodontic treatment for adults including:


  • Healthier Teeth—Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean with brushing and flossing, helping you prevent many oral health problems
  • Increased Confidence—Research proves that the better your smile, the more confident you are. Orthodontic treatment can give that perfect smile, boosting your confidence and ensuring a better quality of life.
  • Avoid Long-Term Health Issues—Leaving crooked teeth or a bad bite untreated can make them worse, leading to long-term health issues which may cost you dearly in the end.

When considering and orthodontist for adults in Bel Air, Maryland,  call the professional orthodontic team at Laurel Bush Family Dentistry.   We have a qualified and experience orthodontic team that will provide the quality care you and your teeth deserve.