Adult Orthodontics Gilroy, CA

Orthodontics is not just for adolescents. Adults are now showing up in the orthodontist’s chair to not only get a straighter smile but also address several other oral health issues. If you are hesitant because you had braces in the past, do not worry. Today’s orthodontic options are more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before.

From clear aligners for adults to ceramic braces, you can find an appliance to fit your lifestyle. Adult orthodontics are available at Richard R. Gallagher DDS MSD MSE PhD Inc. in Gilroy and the surrounding area. Call us at (408) 500-0810 if you are interested in discussing your orthodontic options.

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    The Health Benefits of Orthodontics

    One of the obvious benefits of adult orthodontics is a straighter smile. However, they can also fix many oral health issues. Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and leave several places for bacteria to hide. This can lead to bad breath and, even worse, tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is linked to serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

    When your bite is off, other oral health problems often follow. The simple act of chewing can be more difficult and even painful. Orthodontics can correct your bite and make chewing easier, which may improve your digestion. Additionally, properly aligning the teeth can alleviate symptoms of a condition called TMJ, decrease headaches, and eliminate clicking or popping sounds stemming from the jaw.

    “Crowded and crooked teeth are harder to clean and leave several places for bacteria to hide.”

    Overcoming Concerns About Adult Orthodontics

    Many adults are afraid to pursue orthodontics because of perceived social implications. Maybe you had an awful experience with braces as a teen. Whatever reason is holding you back, it is important to know you will not be the only adult with braces or another appliance. These days, one in four orthodontics patients is an adult.

    If you are worried about looks, the good news is that some orthodontic options are practically invisible. If you think you are too old, think again. Orthodontics can be successful at any age, and the treatment plan can be tailored to fit a busy lifestyle. We will help the patient learn methods and techniques to continue keeping their teeth healthy too.

    “How can I overcome concerns about adult orthodontics?”

    Pros and Cons of Adult Braces

    When exploring your treatment options, you will want to consider adult braces. Today, traditional metal braces are smaller, more comfortable, and look nicer than what you remember. While they are a more cost-effective option, they are the most noticeable of all the types of braces.

    Ceramic braces are also popular. They are made of a translucent material, which is considerably less noticeable. Some even come with tooth-colored wires. This type is less visible than metal braces and moves teeth faster than clear aligners. However, they are not as durable as their metal counterparts.

    Lingual braces look like traditional metal braces, but the wires and brackets are applied to the back of the teeth. This makes them invisible from the front. However, they are difficult to maintain, are not a good choice for serious cases, and are difficult to adjust to over time.

    Adult braces do require some dedication to oral hygiene. You will need to follow any flossing and brushing instructions in order to prevent food and plaque from getting stuck between your gums and teeth. You will also need to adjust your diet and limit the amount of hard, sticky, and sugary foods you eat.

    “When exploring your treatment options, you will want to consider braces.”

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    Pros and Cons of Clear Aligners for Adults

    Clear aligners for adults are another popular option for orthodontic treatment. However, they are not recommended for severe cases such as a misaligned jaw. With this treatment option, a series of clear plastic trays are created and switched out every 1-2 weeks to gently move the teeth into position.

    They are comfortable to wear, virtually invisible, and easy to remove to eat, to drink, and for special occasions. Since you can take them out, there are no dietary restrictions. Typically there are fewer office visits as well.

    However, clear aligners have some downsides. Clear aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day to be effective. Since they are removable, it is tempting to leave them out for a few hours here and there. In the end, you will only be extending the overall treatment time. Once they are out, clear aligners are also easier to lose and damage.

    Your oral hygiene routine will also get more frequent. Patients with clear aligners must brush their teeth after eating and drinking before putting the aligners back in. Failing to do this can trap food and plaque in the grooves of the teeth, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

    “Clear aligners for adults are another popular option for orthodontic treatment.”

    Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist

    Unlike adolescents, an adult will arrive at the orthodontist office with a significant dental health history. This can include fillings, missing teeth, or gum disease. You will want to ask certain questions regarding oral health when meeting with an orthodontist.

    If you are being treated for gum disease, you will want to ask if you can even start orthodontic treatment. If the supporting structures of your teeth are unstable, braces and clear aligners can actually cause more damage. The orthodontist will determine if your gums are healthy enough for orthodontics.

    Since adults have typically suffered some type of bone loss, you will want to ask the orthodontist if there are any age-related considerations to take into account when deciding on the right treatment. You will also want to ask if you are at higher risk for root resorption, which is the gradual loss of tooth structure. Orthodontic treatment can increase the risk of this dental condition.

    “Unlike adolescents, an adult will arrive at the orthodontist with a significant dental health history.”

    Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontics

    Q. Am I too old for orthodontics?

    A. You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Adult treatment may take a little longer, but your age does not prevent your teeth from moving. Thanks to advancements in treatment options, there are plenty of orthodontic devices available to fit your lifestyle needs.

    Q. What questions should I ask my orthodontist?

    A. Compared to their teenage counterparts, adults will arrive at the orthodontist with a longer dental health history that will have to be taken into consideration. You will want to ask about gum disease and bone loss and whether or not you are at higher risk for root resorption.

    Q. What are the pros and cons of braces?

    A. Traditional metal braces have improved through the years. While they are smaller, more comfortable, and cost-effective, they are still the most noticeable option. Ceramic braces are one option for adults who want something more natural-looking. The downside to braces is that they do require more brushing and flossing, as well as diet changes.

    Q. What are the pros and cons of clear aligners?

    A. Clear aligners are growing in popularity due to the fact they are virtually invisible and can be removed to eat and drink, so there are no food restrictions. The downside is you must wear them for at least 22 hours a day. They are also more likely to be lost or damaged.

    Quality Orthodontic Services Can Transform Smiles

    By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need.

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    Definition of Orthodontic Terminology

    Anything that attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
    The arch-shaped metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically during treatment to move the teeth to their new positions.
    A metal ring that is cemented to a back tooth.
    The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your back teeth (if needed).
    The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
    A small metal or ceramic attachment that is cemented or bonded to the tooth. It serves as the attachment point to fasten the archwire to the tooth.
    Cephalometric Imaging
    A method of measuring the bones, skin and teeth of the head using a special x-ray image. This allows the orthodontist to determine the cause of the orthodontic problem, as well as measure the degree of the problem. Cephalometrics are used for diagnosis, treatment planning, and measuring treatment effects. Our office is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital imaging system that uses virtually no radiation for patient safety.
    Coil Spring
    A spring that fits between the brackets and over the archwire and which can be used to open space between your teeth.
    The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands and brackets from your teeth.
    Elastic Band
    A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your braces to provide force to slide your teeth along the wire to their new positions.
    Elastic Tie (O-Tie)
    The tiny, colored rubber band that fits around your bracket which is used to hold the archwire in place.
    A device that slowly widens your upper jawbone.
    A welded or removable arm to which rubber bands are attached.
    Impressions (Study Models/Molds)
    A mold of your teeth using soft putty material, which is later used to create a replica (model) of your teeth.
    A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
    Panoramic Imaging
    A special x-ray image that shows all of the teeth, bone, and surrounding areas on one picture. Our office is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital imaging system that uses virtually no radiation for patient safety.
    An appliance that is worn after braces to maintain teeth alignment.
    Separator (or Spacer)
    A small rubber ring that is placed between select back teeth to make room for placing a band.
    Wax (if needed) is used to cover your braces to prevent irritation of your lips and cheeks caused by the lips/cheek rubbing against the brackets.

    Learn More About Adult Orthodontics

    If you are suffering from crooked teeth or jaw pain, it is time to explore adult orthodontics. Do not let your concerns hold you back from achieving a healthy, pain-free smile. To learn more about adult orthodontics, call us at 408-500-0810 to speak to our staff.

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    About our business, license, and website security

    • Richard R. Gallagher DDS MSD MSE PhD Inc. was established in 2000.
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    • We serve patients from the following counties: Santa Clara County and San Benito County
    • We serve patients from the following cities: Gilroy, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Morgan Hill, Hollister, Paicines, Los Banos, San Jose, and Watsonville
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