Orthodontics for Adults

Crooked teeth, malocclusion (bite problems), and misaligned jawbones are common problems. These issues are often addressed and corrected during childhood. However, some adults still suffer from the side effects of orthodontic issues. A misaligned jaw bone or bite can be painful, and crooked teeth can result in excessive wear, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. 

At Glen Ellyn Dentistry, we are pleased to offer our adult patients treatment for these issues with a variety of orthodontics. 

Common Problems Treated With Orthodontics

  • Overcrowding
  • Crooked teeth
  • Malocclusion (overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite)
  • Protruding teeth
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Jaw pain
  • Excessive tooth wear
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Orthodontia-related tooth decay
  • Orthodontia-related gum disease

Types of Braces for Adults

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces use metal brackets and elastic bands to gradually shift a person’s teeth into proper alignment. In some cases that require more significant adjustment and movement, traditional braces are the most effective treatment option. 

Modern versions of traditional braces can be manufactured with clear ceramics instead of metal. While still visible, they blend in better with the natural teeth and are less noticeable overall.

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

If you are concerned about the look of traditional braces, orthodontic treatment with clear aligner trays is effective for most patients with minor to moderate orthodontic issues. This treatment uses a graduated system of aligners that are each worn for about two weeks to slowly move the teeth into the proper positions. 

Clear aligners are more comfortable than traditional braces since they are soft on the mouth’s soft tissues. They are also much more discreet than other types of braces, and they can be removed for short periods so that you can eat comfortably and continue enjoying all of your favorite foods. 

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces, but they are placed on the back side (i.e., tongue side) of the teeth instead of the front side. Lingual braces do not use elastics and can require a longer treatment time than traditional braces.

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces also do not use elastics. Instead, a single wire runs through the brackets that are placed on the front side of the teeth. This wire is used to pull the teeth into the desired positions. 

Other Common Types of Orthodontics for Adults

Palate Expanders

Also known as upper or lower jaw expanders, palate expanders help to widen either of your jaws by placing constant, gentle, outward-directed pressure on the jawbone. Palate expanders can address problems like crowded teeth and malocclusion. Palate expanders can also help to improve problems with obstructive sleep apnea.


A retainer is a discreet dental appliance worn to help maintain the results of orthodontic treatments. For example, a retainer can help prevent a person’s teeth from shifting back into their original locations after treatment with braces.

Aren’t Orthodontics Just for Children?

It is easier to treat orthodontic issues in children because they are still growing and changing. However, getting braces as an adult (or another form of orthodontics) is still possible and highly recommended because these forms of treatment can greatly improve your oral health and quality of life. 

The primary difference between orthodontic treatments in adults and children is that treatment for adults typically requires a slightly longer treatment time. Since an adult’s bones are no longer actively developing, treatments that require shifting the teeth or expanding the jawbones typically progress more slowly than they would in a growing child. 

Another difference, though, is that adults are more likely to stick with their treatments, carefully follow their dentist’s or orthodontist’s treatment instructions, and adhere to ongoing recommendations (such as wearing a retainer). As a result, orthodontic treatment in adults can actually be more effective and longer lasting in adults. 

Orthodontic Consultations for Adults in Glen Ellyn

If your teeth are crooked or crowded, your bite is not properly aligned, you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder and jaw pain, you could probably benefit from orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth and correct your bite and jaw alignment. 

During a consultation, our dentists can thoroughly evaluate your teeth, occlusion, and jaw alignment to help you determine whether or not orthodontic treatment is right for you. We can discuss your treatment options to help you determine the best choice. To learn more about orthodontics for adults or to request an appointment, we welcome you to contact Glen Ellyn Dentistry at 630-942-0727 today.

Get Started Today!

We look forward to welcoming new patients into our office and seeing our existing patients again. To request an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office at 630-942-0727 or complete the appointment request form on our website.

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