Adult Braces: Achieving a Straighter Smile at Any Age

June 21, 2024

Braces are often associated with teenagers, the truth is, more and more adults are opting for
straighter smiles. And the reasons go beyond just aesthetics. Did you know that misaligned
teeth can actually impact your oral health and even contribute to jaw pain?

The Benefits of Adult Braces

The decision to get braces as an adult goes beyond the desire for a picture-perfect smile. It's a
commitment to improving your overall well-being, both physically and emotionally. Here's a
deeper dive into the reasons why adults are increasingly opting for braces:

  • Confidence Catalyst:

A straight, healthy smile can be transformative. It boosts self-esteem and empowers you
to embrace social and professional interactions with confidence. Think about attending
meetings, networking events, or even casual gatherings without feeling self-conscious

about your smile. Adult braces can help you achieve that level of comfort and
confidence, allowing you to freely express yourself through a radiant smile.

  • Oral Health Optimization:

Misaligned teeth create hidden nooks and crannies that become breeding grounds for
bacteria. Brushing and flossing become a challenge, increasing the risk of plaque
buildup, gum disease, and even tooth decay. Adult braces work their magic by
strategically moving teeth into their ideal positions. This makes maintaining good oral
hygiene significantly easier. You'll experience a noticeable decrease in plaque buildup
and a healthier gum line, ultimately promoting long-term oral health.

  • Enhanced Speech and Chewing:

Improper bite caused by misaligned teeth can have a surprising impact on your speech
and chewing functions. It can affect your speech clarity, making it difficult to enunciate
words properly. Additionally, improper bite can hinder your ability to chew food
efficiently, potentially leading to digestive issues. Adult braces address these concerns
by correcting your bite and aligning your teeth. This translates to clearer speech and
more efficient chewing, allowing you to enjoy both the taste and functionality of food.

  • Addressing Bite Issues and TMJ Pain:

Bite problems such as overbites and underbites are more than just cosmetic concerns.
They can put undue pressure on your jaw joint, leading to chronic pain and discomfort
known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Adult braces can effectively correct
these bite issues, alleviating TMJ pain and improving your overall jaw health. This not
only reduces pain but also improves your quality of life by allowing you to function
comfortably throughout the day.

  • A Long-Term Investment in Your Smile:

Adult braces are an investment in your long-term oral health and overall well-being. By
correcting underlying bite issues and improving your ability to maintain good hygiene,
you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, the
confidence boost that comes with a straight smile can have a positive impact on various
aspects of your life.

Braces for Grown-Ups: Choosing the Perfect Fit


Gone are the days of clunky, one-size-fits-all braces! Dr. Morgan Zwickel offers a sophisticated
array of options designed to fit your individual needs, lifestyle, and budget. Let's discuss the
world of adult braces and explore the most popular choices:

1. LightForce Braces
LightForce braces represent a modern advancement in orthodontic treatment, leveraging
cutting-edge 3D printing technology to customize each bracket specifically for the patient. As the
only practice in the Fort Walton Beach area to provide LightForce as an option, come
experience the latest in orthodontic technology with Dr. Morgan Zwickel.

  • Pros: LightForce braces offer significant advantages due to their customization through
    3D printing technology. Each bracket is individually tailored to fit the unique contours of a
    patient's teeth, enhancing comfort and potentially reducing treatment time. The precise
    fit also contributes to more efficient tooth movement and may lead to better treatment
    outcomes - treatment times can potentially be decreased by up to 6 months!
    Additionally, these braces are designed to be less noticeable, appealing to those
    concerned about aesthetic appearance.
  • Cons: The drawbacks of LightForce, while limited, are a very effective modern
    orthodontic treatment option. As with all braces types, a possibility of brackets breaking
    or coming loose could require repairs during treatment.

2. Traditional Metal Braces:

Traditional metal braces work by applying continuous, gentle pressure on your teeth. As the
the archwire is tightened during adjustments, your teeth respond by slowly shifting in the jawbone.
Over time, this controlled movement helps achieve proper alignment.

Treatment Time:
Treatment time with traditional metal braces can vary depending on the complexity of the case.
Generally, it ranges from 12 to 36 months, with regular adjustments (every 4-8 weeks) being
crucial for maintaining progress.

  • Pros: Metal braces are a budget-friendly choice for orthodontic treatment. They are the
    most affordable option compared to other braces and are highly effective in correcting a
    wide range of teeth misalignment issues. Metal braces are known for their durability and
    can withstand the pressure required to move teeth into their proper positions.
  • Cons: Metal braces are also the most noticeable type of braces. The brackets and wires
    are clearly visible, which may be a concern for some people who prefer a more discreet

3. Clear Ceramic Braces:
Clear ceramic braces are a type of orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth, similar to
traditional metal braces. However, instead of using metal brackets, they utilize clear or tooth--
colored ceramic brackets, making them a more discreet option for adults and teenagers who
may be self-conscious about having braces.

  • Pros: If you're looking for a less noticeable option for straightening your teeth, clear
    ceramic braces might be a good choice. The brackets are made of a tooth-colored
    ceramic material that blends in with your natural teeth, making them far less visible than
    traditional metal braces. This can be a major benefit for adults or teenagers who are self-
    conscious about having braces. Additionally, clear ceramic braces are just as effective
    as metal braces at correcting a variety of orthodontic problems, so you can achieve a
    straighter, healthier smile without sacrificing results.
  • Cons: There are some drawbacks to consider with clear ceramic braces. They tend to
    be more expensive than metal braces because of the specialized materials used. Also,
    the clear brackets can stain over time if you consume certain foods and drinks, requiring
    more diligent cleaning to maintain their aesthetics. Finally, while generally durable, clear
    ceramic brackets may be slightly more prone to chipping or breaking compared to metal

4. Self-Ligating Braces:
Self-ligating braces are a type of orthodontic treatment designed to straighten teeth using a
unique bracket system that eliminates the need for elastic ties (also known as rubber bands).
Traditional braces rely on these elastics to secure the archwire (the thin metal wire that runs
along the brackets and creates the straightening force) to the brackets bonded to each tooth.

  • Pros: Self-ligating braces offer several advantages in terms of comfort and efficiency.
    The unique design eliminates the need for elastic ties, which can rub against gums and
    cause irritation. This can make them a more comfortable option compared to traditional
    braces. Additionally, the self-ligating mechanism may allow for faster adjustments and
    potentially shorter overall treatment times. This translates to fewer orthodontist visits for
    adjustments and potentially reaching your smile goals quicker.
  • Cons: There are a couple of things to consider with self-ligating braces. The advanced
    technology involved can make them slightly more expensive than traditional metal
    braces. Additionally, while effective for many cases, they might not be suitable for all
    types of complex orthodontic corrections. It's important to discuss your specific needs
    with your orthodontist to see if self-ligating braces are the right choice for you.

5. Invisalign:

Invisalign is a brand of clear aligners used for orthodontic treatment, as an alternative to
traditional braces.

  • Pros: In terms of aesthetics and comfort, Invisalign offers clear advantages. The aligner
    trays are nearly invisible when worn, making them a great choice for adults who want to
    straighten their teeth without the look of traditional metal braces. Unlike braces,
    Invisalign is removable for eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. This allows for a
    more normal eating experience and easier maintenance of your oral hygiene. Plus, the
    smooth plastic aligners are generally comfortable to wear, with minimal irritation
    compared to brackets and wires.
  • Cons: Invisalign requires a high level of commitment. To achieve the desired results,
    you'll need to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. This can be challenging for
    some people who might forget to put them back in after eating or drinking. Additionally,
    Invisalign may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with complex orthodontic
    issues. Consulting with an orthodontist is crucial to determine if Invisalign is the right
    option for your specific needs. You should also be aware that Invisalign treatment can be
    more expensive than traditional braces.

What to Expect with Adult Braces:

Here's what you can expect with adult braces:

  • The Consultation: Your first step is a consultation with an orthodontist. They'll examine
    your teeth, discuss your goals and concerns, and recommend the most suitable type of
    braces. X-rays and digital scans might be taken to create a personalized treatment plan.
  • Treatment Appointments: Once you've chosen your braces, get ready for regular
    appointments (usually every 6-10 weeks). These visits involve adjustments like
    tightening wires or replacing aligners (for Invisalign). Your orthodontist will also monitor
    your progress and address any concerns you may have.
  • Brushing and Flossing with Braces: Proper oral hygiene is essential during treatment.
    You'll need to brush more frequently (after every meal) and master flossing techniques
    with brackets and wires. Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions and tools to
    help you keep your teeth and braces sparkling clean.
  • Diet Adjustments: Certain foods like sticky candy, hard nuts, and popcorn can damage
    your braces. You might need to temporarily adjust your diet to avoid these and opt for
    softer options.
Factors Affecting Adult Braces Price:

The cost of adult braces can vary depending on several factors. Here's a breakdown to

  • Type of Braces: Traditional metal braces are generally the most affordable option, while
    clear ceramic braces and Invisalign tend to be more expensive. Self-ligating braces may
    fall somewhere in between.
  • Treatment Complexity: The complexity of your orthodontic case significantly impacts
    cost. Simple adjustments require less time and materials compared to correcting major
  • Treatment Duration: The length of your treatment directly affects the total cost.
    Complex cases requiring longer treatment periods will naturally be more expensive.

Start Smiling with Confidence:

Don't let misaligned teeth hold you back. A consultation with Dr. Morgan Zwickel can open the
door to a world of possibilities with adult braces. Invest in yourself and take the first step
towards a smile you'll love to show off!

Ready to take the first step towards a straighter, healthier smile? Schedule a consultation with
Dr. Morgan Zwickel today! Our experienced orthodontist will discuss your options and create a
personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the smile you've always desired.

Get in Touch!

(850) 244-3880

Fort Walton Beach, FL
824 Eglin Parkway NE

(850) 244-3880

DeFuniak Springs, FL
746 Baldwin Ave.

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