Debunking myths about adult braces

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, most people usually picture teenagers, but in reality, orthodontics can have a multitude of benefits for patients of all ages – including adults! In fact, about 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. Still, some people have misconceptions about orthodontic treatment. If this sounds like you, the team here at McGrory Orthodontics is debunking myths about adult braces! 

Dr. Kathleen McGrory and Dr. Marion McCarty offer a variety of innovative and effective treatment options to correct orthodontic issues, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners. While modern braces are more lightweight and comfortable than ever before, some patients are unsure about using them to achieve a straighter smile. Keep reading below to learn how braces can be a great treatment option for patients of all ages!

Myth #1: Braces are just for kids

While it’s true that many orthodontic patients are children and teenagers, the number of adults seeking treatment is growing rapidly. As we mentioned before, almost 25% of current patients are over the age of 18. At McGrory Orthodontics, we believe you’re never too old to take advantage of the many benefits of orthodontic treatment!

Oftentimes as we get older, we begin to learn and understand more about the ways our oral health is related to our overall health. This can result in a commitment to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking out dental or orthodontic treatment. Some adults have crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, or other issues they want to correct, while others simply desire to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. Whatever your reason for seeking treatment as an adult, braces can help you achieve a straighter, healthier, more confident smile.

Myth #2: Braces will be too noticeable 

If you’re already feeling self-conscious about the way your teeth look, the last thing you want is to bring more attention to them. You may think that’s exactly what happens when you get braces, but thanks to modern technology, there are multiple options for a complete smile transformation. Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty proudly offer the following treatments:

Traditional metal braces

Metal braces continue to be one of our most popular and efficient treatments. Generally made of high-quality stainless steel, modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be. They’re also customizable, with a variety of fun colored bands to choose from if you want to show off a little personality with your smile! Metal braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.

Clear braces

Also known as ceramic or tooth-colored braces, clear braces function the same way as metal braces. However, they provide patients with the additional benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. Both of these options blend in well with your natural smile. The brackets are about the same size and shape as metal braces, but much less noticeable. When we pair them with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an especially subtle way to straighten your smile. This makes them an attractive choice for our adult patients. 

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

The Invisalign system consists of a series of clear, removable plastic trays called aligners that fit over the teeth and gently move them into the desired positions over time. These customized aligners are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the movement of your teeth. The Invisalign system offers patients more freedom and flexibility than is available with fixed braces since the aligners can be removed when eating or drinking. It also makes maintaining an oral hygiene routine much simpler since patients brush and floss as they normally would.  

Myth #3: Braces are painful 

Technology has come a long way since the early days of metal braces! Today’s orthodontic treatment moves your teeth gently and effectively, and braces, in general, are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. While you may experience some occasional discomfort as outlined below, these minor issues are easy to fix with a little preparation and know-how!

General mouth irritation

Non-specific irritation in your cheeks, lips, or gums isn’t uncommon over the course of your treatment. Orthodontic wax is a great way to get some relief! Make sure the bracket or wire is completely dry, then pinch off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball. Flatten this ball and then gently but firmly place it over the source of irritation.

Protruding wires

Sometimes a wire may come loose and irritate the inside of your mouth. This can be fixed with nothing more than an ordinary pencil by using the eraser end to nudge it back against the teeth until it flattens out. You can also place a piece of orthodontic wax over the wire to reduce irritation and provide some extra stability.

Loose bracket

Loose brackets are a problem you should let us know about as soon as possible. Once you let us know what’s going on, we’ll discuss what your next step should be. In the meantime, however, you may try sliding the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth. Orthodontic wax placed over the bracket can also add stability until you can come into the office. 

Tenderness in your mouth or gums

You may have some slight tenderness immediately after your braces are put on, or following adjustment appointments. A saltwater rinse is an excellent home remedy that can be beneficial for braces patients in these scenarios. To relieve soreness, just mix one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. 

A warm washcloth or a warm heating pad placed on the outside of your jaw can also offer you some relief, along with over-the-counter pain relievers (just to be sure to ask Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty about these first!)

Myth #4: Braces are too expensive 

While orthodontic treatment is certainly an investment, the benefits will last a lifetime! You’ll never find any hidden costs or unwelcome fees at McGrory Orthodontics. At your initial consultation, we’ll go over the full financial investment required for your new smile. Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty will outline everything included in your individualized treatment plan, including:

  • All appointments, including emergency visits
  • Braces or aligners
  • Retainers
  • Post-treatment follow-up visits
  • An oral hygiene starter pack

Our fees reflect the skill and experience of our team, the quality of the products we use, and the top-notch service we provide. Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty have years of experience creating healthy, beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Pearland, Bellaire, and the surrounding communities, and she appreciates what a big investment treatment is for patients. She’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your budget and gives you a smile you love! To ensure your treatment is affordable, we offer a discount when you choose to pay in full, as well as in-office payment plans with 0% financing. We also accept most major insurance plans, and our team will gladly help you with filing your claims to give you a stress-free experience from start to finish.

Get the smile you’ve always wanted with braces by McGrory Orthodontics

Braces can be a wonderful option to straighten your teeth and improve your oral health, no matter your age! By choosing experienced orthodontists like Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty, you can feel confident that you’re receiving the best treatment for your unique smile. We strive to give every patient a high-quality orthodontic experience and long-lasting results!

If you’re ready to start your journey towards the smile you’ve always dreamed of, contact our office today and we’ll be happy to schedule your FREE consultation!