Adult Treatment


Adult Orthodontic Treatment

The smile that you have is not the smile that you’re stuck with forever. At Grand Ridge Orthodontics, creating new, beautiful smiles is what we do best. Proudly serving Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, come to us for the professional orthodontic care that will transform your smile into something that you’re proud to show off every chance you get.

For adults, advances in orthodontics have made getting that perfect smile more approachable than ever, with more treatment options to choose from that cater to a wide range of needs and preferences.  Also, many adults are realizing that investing in their smile can have significant benefits, from a more radiant appearance to the huge boost in confidence. It’s never too late to get the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of, so contact Grand Ridge Orthodontics today for an appointment. To learn more about our adult orthodontic treatment options, check out the information below.

How Is Adult Orthodontics Different?

For kids, their jaws and teeth are still developing, so they are very easy to guide into their ideal positioning for that perfect smile. Adults on the other hand, have completely developed jaws that have stopped growing. This means that changes in actual jaw structure can't be accomplished with orthodontic appliances in the way they can with a growing child.

Secondly, periodontal (gum) disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. Having healthy gums is a very important element of undergoing orthodontic treatment, since gum disease can weaken your jaw bone and cause bone loss. This can put the long term health of your teeth at risk, which is why any gum disease must be brought under control before treatment begins.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

When creating your new smile, we use the most advanced orthodontic treatment methods available to ensure you get the most effective and comfortable treatment. All of the orthodontic appliances that we use work in the same way: by applying small amounts of targeted force to gradually move teeth into proper alignment. Where things get different is how this force can be applied, but regardless, the end result is a new, beautiful smile. The types of orthodontic appliances that we offer for adult treatment include:

Modern Metal Braces

These braces are the classic option for those who want that perfect smile. Despite their reputation for a shiny appearance, advances in orthodontic technology have made metal braces more effective and comfortable than ever. They have also gotten much smaller, making them less noticeable. They’re affordable, effective, and will have flashing that new smile in no time.

Clear Braces

Similar to metal braces since they use the same wire and bracket system to move your teeth, these braces add a bit more aesthetic appeal by replacing the metal brackets with a clear ceramic, plastic, or a combination of both. While the wire is still visible, the brackets blend perfectly with the natural color of your teeth to make them difficult to notice.  The only downside is that the ceramic or plastic composite is a bit more fragile than the stainless steel used for metal braces, so they may be more susceptible to damage.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment, ditching the wire and bracket system for customized plastic trays that are practically invisible and removable. The trays are designed to fit over your teeth comfortably, and apply gentle pressure to move your teeth just like braces do. You will receive a series of trays for your treatment, with each one moving your teeth gradually until you have that perfect smile. The amount of trays that you will need varies, which will also alter the total treatment time. Not all patients are eligible for Invisalign, so schedule your appointment with us to see if it’s right for you.

Lingual Braces

While normal metal braces are placed on the front of your teeth, lingual braces literally flip things around by being bonded to the back of your teeth. This placement makes the brackets impossible to see, with only your natural teeth showing when you smile. The downside is that this treatment is a little bit on the costly side, and can take some time to adjust to. To see if lingual braces are right for you, meet with us to discuss your treatment plan!


After Treatment

Once you finally get those braces off or finish with your Invisalign, and your new smile is ready to be shown off, we’ll give you a retainer so you can make sure that your smile will last for years to come.  A retainer is designed to hold your teeth in their new positioning, since you supporting jaw bone still needs to adjust.  If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth will start to move back to where they were before you started treatment, which is the last thing you want.  We will make sure to instruct you on how to retain your new, more beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.


It’s Never Too Late To Get Your Perfect Smile!

If you look at your smile in your mirror and think it’s time for a change, contact us at Grand Ridge Orthodontics and schedule an appointment to discuss our adult orthodontic treatment options. We love making our community of Grand Rapid brighter by creating new, radiant smiles. We like to think of our patients as a family, which is why we wouldn’t offer anything less than the best orthodontic care. We look forward to helping you transform your smile!

We're seeing more and more adult orthodontic patients these days, and it's not hard to figure out why. Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to orthodontic treatment. And many adults realize that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process.

Adult orthodontic treatment.Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as being too old for braces. However, orthodontic treatment for adults is different in two important respects: For one thing, the growth and development of the jaws is complete in adults, so changes in actual jaw structure can't be accomplished with orthodontic appliances in the way they can with a growing child.

Secondly, periodontal (gum) disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. While you are wearing the orthodontic appliances, gentle forces will be applied to your teeth so they can move through their surrounding bone. Periodontal health plays a key role in all of this; if the gum tissues are not healthy during orthodontics, bone loss can result and weaken the long-term prognosis of your teeth. So any gum disease must be brought under control before orthodontic treatment begins. And to maintain your periodontal health, you will need to make sure to have regular professional cleanings during the orthodontics while maintaining good oral hygiene at home.

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.


After Treatment

Wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment is crucial, no matter which type of appliance you choose and what age you happen to be. Teeth that are not held in place by a retainer long enough for new supporting bone to develop around them can drift back to their original positions, and that's certainly not something we — or you — want to see happen. We will make sure to instruct you on how to retain your new, more beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.

Related Articles

Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine

The Magic of Orthodontics Proper alignment of the teeth is basic to “Smile Design.” Their position dictates how they work together and affects the way you look and smile. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the right position. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. Learn the basics of smile analysis and design and whether the magic of orthodontics will work for you... Read Article

Adult Orthodontics - Dear Doctor Magazine

Orthodontics for the Older Adult Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment... Read Article

Invisalign - Dear Doctor Magazine

Clear Orthodontic Aligners Orthodontic treatment using clear aligners consists of a series of aligners that you change about every two weeks over a course of treatment lasting six to eighteen months depending on how much movement is needed... Read Article