Orthodontics: It’s never too late

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female patient with clear aligners after being treated by dentists at Smilefocus dental

Orthodontists are dental specialists, the experts when it comes to moving teeth, and are trained to see patients of all ages – children and adults. While it is recommended that a child’s first orthodontist check-up occur no later than age 7, there is no age limit for when adults can seek treatment. So, it’s never too late for orthodontic treatment! 

Misaligned teeth may lead to other dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, difficulty chewing, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces. Orthodontic treatment protects your teeth by ensuring improved function (the ability to chew and speak) and alignment, decreasing the risk of future dental problems regardless of age.

Why Seek Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?

How do you know if you need orthodontic treatment? If the thought has crossed your mind, there is a good chance you would benefit from it. Consulting an orthodontist is the best way to determine if you require treatment. 

Some of the most common reasons for seeking orthodontic care are the following: 

• Crooked teeth
• Crowded or over-lapped teeth
• Spaces between teeth
• Missing or extra teeth
• Underbite
• Overbite/protruding teeth
• Difficulty chewing or biting
• Clenching or grinding
• Inability to comfortably close lips
• Speech difficulty
• Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all

The number of adults undergoing orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high. Some adults pursue orthodontic care because they never had the opportunity to get braces as a child, while others because they had orthodontic treatment at a younger age, but their teeth have shifted or relapsed. 

Yet, for some adults, orthodontic treatment is required in coordination with the dentist for restorative reasons, for example, to align teeth in preparation for crowns, implants, bridges, or veneers. Whether you are considering changing your smile for aesthetic reasons or to fix long-standing issues with your bite, specialized orthodontic care can give you a healthy and beautiful smile and the self-confidence that goes along with it. 

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Differ for Adults?

The biological process of orthodontics and moving teeth is the same at any age. Teeth move in response to gentle forces being placed upon them over time. Therefore, many orthodontic issues can be corrected comparably for both adults and children.

The main difference in orthodontics for adults versus children is that adults are no longer growing. As a result, treatment may take longer for adults than children with similar dental problems due to the maturity and density of adult bone. In addition, some medications and habits (such as smoking, clenching or grinding, and tongue thrust) can also impact the treatment process. Therefore, it is very common for orthodontists to work with your dentist and sometimes other dental specialists to coordinate care. 

What Are the Treatment Options?

Advances in orthodontics have made treatment more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before. As a result, many of today’s treatment options are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance and better fit any lifestyle.

Traditionally, metal braces were the most common way of straightening teeth. However, there are now other options, including ceramic (or “clear” braces) and clear aligners (such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect), all of which are offered at Smilefocus. 

Clear aligners are custom-made, removable, plastic trays that apply gentle pressure to safely move teeth into a more aesthetic and functional position. Aligners have become increasingly popular in orthodontics because they move teeth efficiently and predictably and have numerous patient benefits. First, they are clear, which means they are aesthetic, discreet, and nearly invisible. Second, they are more comfortable than traditional braces. Third, oral hygiene is easier to maintain because the aligners are removed when brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking (except for water). Fourth, there are no food restrictions. Finally, compared with traditional braces, aligner treatment saves time, requires fewer and shorter office visits, and eliminates emergency appointments – no pokey wires!

Oral care is essential to your overall health; accordingly, orthodontic treatment is an investment for your long-term well-being. Please call our Smilefocus team if you have questions regarding your teeth and orthodontic options and how we can help you achieve your smile goals. 

Dr. Tasneem Rangwala is an American board-certified Orthodontist

Dr. Tasneem Rangwala is an American board-certified Orthodontist
with over 10 years of clinical experience. She graduated at the top
of her class from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine,
where she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery.

To book a consultation with Dr Tasneem Rangwala call our friendly reception staff on 6733 9882 or send your enquiry to enquiry@smilefocus.com.sg