Childhood is frequently viewed as the prime time to get braces. However, more adults of all ages are choosing orthodontic treatment to fix many of their oral health problems and opting for braces. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, one in five people who seek the treatment of braces is over age 18.
While the appearance of a beautiful, straight smile is a common motive for adults to get braces, there are many other reasons why someone might be interested in their later years of life. Whether it is the natural effects of aging, misalignment, or underlying health conditions, it is never too late to seek orthodontic care. In fact, proper teeth alignment becomes even more crucial as people grow older.
Braces are more than just creating attractive smiles.
Braces help correct improperly positioned teeth, which will also prevent common oral health issues. Crowding pressure, tooth decay, and the deterioration of enamel can cause a substantial amount of pain and discomfort without the proper treatment. Getting braces to fix the positioning of your teeth can end up saving a lot of distress and money in the long run, no matter the age.
Aging can cause the teeth to shift. As we age, it is not uncommon for our teeth to start moving. As the jawbone changes, the midline shifts from it’s ideal positioning. This can happen even if our teeth have been straight throughout our whole life. The continuous, yet slow shift of the midline can ultimately result in crowding and overlapping of the teeth. Braces can undoubtedly straighten age-related crooked teeth at any age.
Some health conditions contribute to misalignment. While aging is a large factor, sometimes health conditions and injuries can influence our teeth to move in an undesirable way. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by bacteria living under gum tissue, can also lead to the spreading of teeth. Stress is another common factor when it comes to teeth shifting and misalignment. Grinding, clenching, nail biting and tongue thrusting are all examples of unconscious habits that cause wear and tare on your teeth. If an adult is noticing that their teeth are changing their shape and size, they might seek the advice of an Orthodontist to see if braces are right for them.
Problems that were left untreated as a child can get worse with time. Common oral issues, such as a misaligned jaw or bite, can lead to further health complications that might urge a person to be interested in braces. Headaches, TMJ, and gum disease name a few conditions that a person might run into when misalignment is left untreated. As an adult, the getting braces can help correct these issues and improve your overall health and wellness.
Neglecting the use of retainers. Sometimes, adults who have had braces when they were younger may need to go through a second or third course of treatment. This is usually due to not wearing retainers as instructed by their orthodontist. The proper use of retainers long after wearing braces can prevent the teeth from shifting back to its original state. When a previous orthodontic patient neglects that responsibility, the chances are high that their teeth might become crooked again. It is not uncommon to see an adult get braces multiple times throughout their life.
Modern braces make a difference. Sometimes, children and adolescents choose not to wear braces for aesthetic reasons. Now, with more reliable options such as clear brackets and Invisalign, braces are more socially acceptable, even for adults. That is not to mention that braces today are more affordable than they have been in the past. Adults might decide on orthodontic treatment later in life due to financial reasons. Today, most orthodontic offices accept dental insurance and create reasonable payment plans for all patients.
With the right treatment, braces can be beneficial at any age. Braces used to be a type of dental care that was more commonly seen on children and teenagers. Now, statistics show that more than 20% of orthodontic patients are adults, including those in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It’s never too late to make improvements to our health and wellbeing, which is why more adults are getting braces to straighten their smiles.