San Diego, California (NAPSI) - Here’s something to smile about: No one is “too old” for orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Here are a few facts that can help guide adults in a quest for a healthy, beautiful smile.

Understanding Orthodontists

A nice smile begins with properly aligned teeth and jaws, so a visit to the orthodontist may be in order. Orthodontists are specialists. “Specialist” has a dual meaning, referring to the individual’s education and scope of practice. Orthodontists first graduate from dental school, and then go on for an additional two to three years of education in the orthodontic specialty at an accredited orthodontic residency program. After graduation, orthodontists focus their practices exclusively on orthodontic care. Their additional education and clinical experience set orthodontists apart from general dental practitioners, who diagnose, treat and manage overall oral health care needs.

Much as you would trust your skin to a dermatologist, your heart to a cardiologist and your knees to an orthopedist, your smile is best treated by an orthodontist. There are an abundance of treatment options available and most orthodontists offer affordable payment plans.

Adults And Orthodontics

Orthodontic care is for patients of all ages these days; about 20 percent of patients are adults. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), from 2010 to 2012, the number of adult patients treated by AAO members in the U.S. and Canada increased 14 percent to a record high of 1,225,850 patients ages 18 and older, and, for many patients, treatment times have become shorter. Today, people in their 50s, 60s and beyond are orthodontic patients.

Finding Orthodontists

Only orthodontists are eligible for admission into the American Association of Orthodontists and it’s easy to find one through the AAO’s “Find an Orthodontist” service at