Healthy Teeth Can Be Moved at Any Age
Some Patients Seek Treatment In Their 30s, 50s – Or 90s!
Many people still think braces are for teens. Well, Maria Castro puts that misconception right out the window. She would be 19 and still a teenager – but only if you could reverse the digits in her age.
What do we mean by that. Well, Maria Castro is 91 (“and a half,” she add) and just recently finished treatment with braces. Castro says her smile was a source of pride until three or four years ago, when one of her teeth began to slip behind its neighbors. Her family dentist told her that her teeth and gums and supporting bone were in good shape.
“Essentially, she wanted to look better,” says Dr. John Busciglio, her orthodontist in Brandon, Fla., near Tampa.
Teeth That Look Better Generally Function Better
Chicago resident Sally Borla, retired and in her 50s, didn’t dream she’d ever wear braces. Now she can’t imagine why she didn’t start earlier. “I’d always related braces to young people, but I guess I’m living proof that it doesn’t matter how old a person is,” Borla says. “When I look in the mirror, I can hardly believe that the smile looking back at me is mine.”
After Borla underwent treatment for several gum and tooth problems, her dentist recommended that an orthodontist evaluate her problem – or her teeth, she recalls, would soon be “lost to her.”
“The need to preserve my teeth has convinced me that treatment was one of the wisest choices I’ve ever made,” Borla says. “After all, good dental health is every bit as important as my overall physical health.” As is the case with most patients who’ve spent some time in braces, Borla continues to wear a retainer to maintain the success of treatment.
Patients have also found that it’s easier to keep teeth clean because orthodontics closes up spaces between teeth, eliminating crowding. Michael Smith of Lancaster, Pa., says he has fewer problems with tartar buildup since braces realigned his teeth and jaws when he was in his late 20s. “I do believe my teeth will last a lot longer,” says Smith, now in his early 30s.
More Than Ever-Othodontics Is Right For Adults
Whether in early adulthood or later in life, adults are pleasantly surprised by how orthodontics has changed their lives. Space-age technology has streamlined braces, so they’re more comfortable and less noticeable. What’s more, treatment is easier on the budget than prospective patients might imagine – many dental insurance plans provide orthodontic benefits, and AAO members are happy to work with a patient’s family to arrive at an affordable monthly payment plan. In some cases, patients can even begin treatment without a down payment.