When you think of braces, you probably think of teenagers with their metallic smiles. But braces aren’t just for children and teenagers. Many adults choose to undergo orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles and correct bite problems.
But how old is too old for braces? Is there an age when orthodontic treatment might not be recommended?
Age is Not a Factor
Generally speaking, age should not be a determining factor for whether or not a patient is an ideal candidate for braces. More adults are getting braces now than ever before. The stigma associated with braces is gone as adults are proudly posting pictures of themselves in braces on their social media platforms.
Challenges for Adults Seeking Braces
Braces are just as beneficial for adults as they are for children and teens. However, there are some particular challenges adults face when pursuing braces, such as:
- Gum disease. Your chances of developing gum disease only increase as you age. Gum disease, an infection of the gums, must be treated before braces can be put on. It doesn’t mean you can’t get braces, it only delays the start slightly.
- Bone loss. Another effect of aging is bone loss in the jaw. If the jaw is weak and the teeth are not secure in the jaw, braces can cause teeth to become loose as they are shifted into position.
- Existing dental work. Adults often have fillings, crowns, bridges, or other dental work in place that can affect the application of braces. Again, having some existing dental work does not disqualify you from getting braces, it may simply change the course of treatment.
Reasons Patients Pursue Orthodontic Treatment as Adults
Why would an adult decide to get braces? What changes between their teenage years and now would bring about such a decision?
- They can afford it. As an established adult with a steady income, many patients are able to afford braces now when perhaps their parents could not when they were teens or they could not in their younger years. Insurance doesn’t always cover braces, and when it does it is usually just a portion of the total cost.
- They can appreciate the benefits. A teenager is not always mature enough to understand the benefits of getting braces and potential negative consequences of forgoing treatment. As an adult, a patient can see why orthodontic treatment is not only helpful, but sometimes even necessary.
- They have noticeable wear and damage. When the teeth or bite are misaligned, it can wear down teeth rather quickly. Some adults notice the damage being done to their teeth as a result of their orthodontic issues and wish to have corrections made to stop the wearing down process.
- They have jaw pain or headaches. Incorrect bite patterns can cause pain in the jaw because of the way the teeth meet together or fail to meet together. Jaw pain can also turn into a severe headache, especially after a night of teeth grinding or a jaw clenching.
- They had braces in their youth but the results didn’t last. Wearing retainers after braces is part of the orthodontic treatment, but not all patients do. This can result in a relapse where the teeth shift back out of alignment. Some adults choose to get braces again to correct recurring issues.
Invisalign for Adults
Many adult patients choose Invisalign for a variety of reasons. Invisalign consists of a series of clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth for a certain period of time. Once the aligner has shifted the teeth to the desired position, the patient switches to the next aligner for further movement of the teeth. Once the patient moves through all of the aligners, treatment is complete.
Adults like the fact that Invisalign is virtually invisible for the sake of their appearance. The aligners are comfortable and can be removed while you eat and care for your teeth.
Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics
There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. If you want to improve your smile as well as your oral health, you can get braces regardless of your age. Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics is happy to perform an evaluation of your teeth to determine if you are an ideal candidate.