The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive orthodontic treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance.
Bracing Yourself for Treatment
Braces can straighten teeth, line up your jaws to give you a better bite, space out crowded teeth, and close gaps in your smile. But before you commit to tooth correction, it's good to know exactly what you're getting into.
When you have them, you'll need to:
- Make time for checkups. - every 4 to 6 weeks
- Watch what you eat. - avoid hard or sticky foods so you don't break off the brackets
- Brush and floss longer than before. - hygiene is going to be more difficult with the appliances on the teeth
Adults tend to be highly motivated patients and our experience is that they are very compliant in wearing and caring for their appliances. Adults can see the same results as children and teens in terms of achieving a beautiful, straight smile.
Benefits of getting braces for adults?
You deserve the confidence and pride that come with having straight teeth and a great smile!
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
How long do adults wear braces to straighten teeth?
Depending on your situation, you might wear your braces for anywhere from 18 months to three years. Regardless of age, you'll wear a retainer after treatment to keep your teeth from moving back.
Can older adults wear braces?
Many people assume that dental braces are only for children and teenagers. Not true! People of any age can turn to orthodontic treatment, even those who are over the age of 50. It is crucial to fix the wrong bite and other dental imperfections before they get more serious as one gets older.
When to Straighten and When to Wait?
Poor gum health can put the brakes on braces. If you have active gum disease, now isn't the time to tackle orthodontics. It doesn't mean you can never have braces, but you need to treat the gum disease first.
As far as age goes, however, it's never too late to create a perfect smile.
As long as your bones and gums are healthy enough to withstand the forces, you should be OK to get them.
Types of braces for adults
While traditional metal braces are sometimes used for adults, our patients typically choose a more discreet, convenient orthodontic method. Options include clear or tooth-colored ceramic braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, or lingual braces, which are fixed to the inside of teeth and therefore invisible when you smile.
Today’s adults' orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and clear invisible trays that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs.
Adult braces styles include:
The Difference Between Adult Orthodontics and Orthodontics for Children and Teens:
The jawbones of younger patients are still developing and can be redirected with some dentofacial orthopedic devices while the same bones in adults have stopped growing, which to align the jawbones may require orthognathic surgery to get the same result.
Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist
Here are few things to find out at your first visit:
Schedule No-Obligation Consultation
Orthodontist Dr. Hessamfar will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate orthodontic treatment for adults and that your needs are met with understanding and utmost respect from us. He can also guide you through the decision-making process and will help you to choose the best type of braces for your exact needs.
American braces & Smile Center offers free complimentary orthodontic consultations.