Adult Orthodontic Treatment

If you’re an adult who would like to improve your smile, we at Heller Orthodontics have just the treatment for you! While many people may think that orthodontic treatment is only for the younger patients, we’re here to disprove that belief! In fact, about one-fourth of all orthodontic patients are adults. Adults are now realizing that they too can benefit from all the advantages that our Laurel and Bethesda orthodontic offices offer. Not only will your teeth look great but they will be much easier to maintain. We hope you take advantage of it as well!

The Differences Between Adult Treatment and Adolescent Treatment

Even though healthy teeth can be moved at any age, there are still a few differences between orthodontic treatment for adults and those who are adolescents. The first difference is that the growth and development of an adult’s jaw has been completed. This means that changes in the jaw structure can’t be accomplished using orthodontic appliances in the same way that they are used in children.

Another major difference is that adults are much more likely to have pre-existing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease that damages the gum tissues and supporting bones. Therefore, it is necessary for any gum disease to be professionally (properly)  treated before your Laurel and Bethesda orthodontist can begin treatment.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

All orthodontic appliances work essentially the same way: by employing light, constant force to move teeth into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary, as numerous innovations have become available in recent years. Some of the newer, less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult's personal and professional lifestyle. Types of orthodontic appliances include:

Traditional Metal Braces.Traditional Metal Braces — This is probably what you think of when you picture someone wearing braces: small metal brackets bonded to the front of the teeth. A thin wire runs through the brackets and is attached on either end to metal bands that go around a back molar.


Clear Braces.Clear Braces — Instead of highly noticeable metal brackets, you can have clear ones made of ceramic, plastic or a combination of both. They are hardly visible, except for the thin wire running through, but they are more susceptible to breakage than metal braces.


Clear Orthodontic Aligners.Clear Aligners — As an alternative to the fixed type of orthodontic appliances mentioned above, clear aligners are removable. They are actually a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth exactly. Each tray is part of a series of trays that move your teeth a little bit at a time until they are in the proper position. Your trays are designed with the help of specialized computer software that generates a virtual model of your bite.


Lingual Braces.Lingual Braces — These metal braces are bonded to the back of your teeth (tongue side) so that no one can see them. That is the plus side. On the minus side, they can be more difficult to get used to wearing, and are more expensive than traditional braces.


The Retention Phase

No matter which orthodontic treatment type you choose to undergo, you’ll have to wear a retainer afterward. This retention phase is necessary for holding your teeth in their new positions long enough for new supporting bone to develop around them. Without the support of a retainer, your teeth could potentially drift back into their previous misalignment, wasting all the time and effort you put into developing a new and beautiful smile.At Heller Orthodontics we recommend that our patients wear their retainers at least on a part-time basis for many years after active treatment has been completed.

Visit Your Bethesda and Laurel Orthodontist!

If you’re interested in either braces or Invisalign, visit our  Bethesda or Laurel orthodontic offices, Feel free to schedule an appointment with us by filling out our appointment request form or by giving us a call at one of our convenient office locations. Our Bethesda office phone number is (301) 654-5433, and our Laurel office phone number is (301) 490-2882. We hope to see you soon!

Heller Orthodontics

  • Bethesda Office - 4350 East West Hwy. Suite 120, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 654-5433 Fax: (301) 657-8403
  • Laurel Office - 9811 Mallard Drive Suite 201, Laurel, MD 20708 Phone: (301) 490-2882 Fax: (301) 490-2882

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