The Buzz on Braces for Adults: 5 Things You Should Know
Wish you could go back in time to straighten your teeth? Good news: the ship hasn't sailed for that dream just yet! More and more adults are heading to the orthodontist's office to get the smile they've always wanted.
If news about the topic or a passerby with braces has left you wanting to know more, your curiosity is about to be satisfied. Below are key insights about adult orthodontic treatment that can help you decide whether braces are right for you.
1. Braces are possible at any age.
Tradition may hold braces as a rite of passage for pre-teens and teens, but the truth of the matter is that they are an effective solution to improve your smile no matter how old you are. Even senior citizens can (and increasingly do) get their smile straightened at the hands of an orthodontist.
2. Certain oral health conditions can exclude you from getting orthodontic care.
In some extreme cases, patients with receding gums may not be eligible for care. If your teeth have very shallow roots, this can also make orthodontic treatment unviable. Don't rule out braces, however, until you get the professional opinion of an orthodontist.
3. Treatment lasts longer, but you'll still get results.
The primary difference between getting braces as an adult versus a teenager is the length of time for treatment. Because adult jaws are less malleable, correcting misalignments and/or crowding may require teeth to be pulled if there is not enough space. This is different than treatment for young patients, since a growing jaw can be stretched and shaped to accommodate teeth. Healing time also tends to slow down with age, which means moving teeth can take a bit longer. Despite these adjustments, you'll still be able to achieve a straighter smile.
4. There are more options than ever.
Times have changed, and metal braces aren't the only choice. For those who are less than enthused about having a "metal mouth", or are anxious about their braces becoming a distraction, there are more discreet options to consider. While metal braces offer the speediest route to a straighter smile, ceramic and clear braces are much less noticeable. It's important to note that ceramic and clear braces can stain easily, but if you don't smoke and steer clear of dark beverages, either might be a great choice for you.
5. Braces make your smile better inside and out.
It can take more time to straighten your teeth, but the benefits are significant — and not just cosmetic! In addition to improving your appearance and self-esteem, straighter teeth can reduce unnecessary stress on your jaw, make chewing/eating more efficient, and help keep gingivitis and tooth decay at bay.
Schedule a Consultation
Get an orthodontist's perspective on which type of braces is best for you, and an estimate on the length of treatment you can expect. Don't be afraid to ask for referrals or reviews, and remember that a slow, gradual approach may be safer and more manageable in the long run.