Adult Braces: Am I too Old?
Did you miss out on braces as a kid? Or did you get braces as a teen and now your teeth have shifted? You are not alone!
Statistics show that 1 in 4 patients receiving orthodontic care is over the age of 18 years old. Here at Reagin Orthodontics, adult orthodontics is one of our primary services.
While traditionally braces have been seen as an orthodontic treatment for kids and teens, they are not exclusive to any age. In fact, the more technology has changed the more adults have been getting braces.
Today, there are many choices for adult braces. Moreover, while adults desire braces for aesthetics there are many other reasons why braces for adults are important.
Why You May Need Adult Braces
You wonder if it is even worth it now. You may even feel like it is selfish to get braces. Maybe you think you don’t REALLY need a smile with straight teeth.
What you may not realize is that braces are not just about misaligned teeth. Braces are more than an aesthetic treatment. They are an important part of oral health for many people. For people of all ages!
Oral health doesn’t just stop at a certain age. In fact, you may have noticed more dental problems the older you have gotten. Some of these problems can be caused by misaligned teeth or jaws.
A misaligned tooth or jaw does not only contribute to unesthetic teeth but other dental issues as well. It can also be a result of other oral health concerns:
- Teeth Grinding
- Excessive tooth wear
- Recession of the gums
- Difficulty cleaning the teeth
Misaligned teeth and bite can lead to other health issues as well. They can eventually lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
Beyond oral health, a misaligned jaw can lead to chronic headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain.
All of these are reasons that you may benefit from braces as an adult!
Pros and Cons of Adult Braces
In addition to supporting good oral health, there are other benefits of getting braces as an adult. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of adult braces. We will also address some potential negatives of adult braces.
We think it is important for anyone interested in orthodontic care to have all the information. Then you can make an informed decision that is best for you.
Adult Braces Can Lead to Improved Self-Confidence
Let’s look at that aesthetic side of getting braces. While braces fix deeper underlying health issues, the main thing they are known for is fixing crooked teeth.
Guess what? That is a pretty important benefit of braces! We don’t think wanting to improve your smile is a negative thing – at any age.
Your smile is often the first thing that other people notice. Therefore, having a smile that you feel proud of is important. If you are confident in your smile, it transfers to overall confidence.
Confidence isn’t something to be taken for granted. Improved self-confidence can lead to improvements in many areas of life.
- Better personal relationships
- More opportunities in the workplace
- Improved communication skills
- Confidence to pursue new goals
- Healthier attitude in meeting new people
The desire to have more confidence is not selfish. It is also not something that goes away with age. Whatever age you are, it is not too late to improve your confidence by improving your smile.
Adult Braces Can Prevent Future Oral Health Problems
While we think everyone has the right to a beautiful smile, we know sometimes that may not be enough for an adult to get braces. The truth is, braces as an adult can be overwhelming. There are a lot of adjustments that come with getting braces at any age.
However, while a gorgeous smile is an outcome you can see after braces – there are many other results. Results that as an adult can be even more appealing than the aesthetics. Long-term health!
As mentioned earlier, misaligned teeth may be reflective of a bigger health concern. What we didn’t mention are the potential health risks if not treated.
A bad bite can lead to heavy wear and tear on your teeth and gums. Whether it comes from grinding your teeth too much or not being able to properly chew, years of misalignment eventually take their toll.
The result of so much pressure on your mouth can lead to several serious dental problems. Problems that require expensive treatment!
- Gum Surgery
- Root Canals
- Bone Grafts
- Dental implants
Most of these procedures are not elective. They are a requirement for healthy teeth. Unfortunately, most of these treatments are also not cheap. A root canal can cost over $1,000 for one tooth!
In the long run, getting braces as an adult can prevent many potential oral health problems. Adult orthodontic treatment is preventative care that can save you money and a lot of painful procedures.
The Potential Downside of Adult Braces
As with any type of procedure, there are often two sides to consider. While we think the benefits outweigh the negatives, let’s address some of the potential drawbacks to getting braces as an adult.
One concern adults have when getting braces is the time commitment. Braces do take time to work. The average treatment for braces is 12 to 18 months.
Moreover, there is the time required for the consultation and regular check-ups. After the initial consultation, most adults need to see their orthodontist every 8-12 weeks. However, this can vary depending on the type of braces and individual treatment plan.
Most orthodontists recognize that this time commitment can deter adults. Therefore, most make an effort to make treatment as convenient as possible. We know it is one of our priorities here at Reagin Orthodontics!
From work to family and other commitments, time is precious. We want to respect your time, while also giving you the best treatment! That’s why we offer convenient options for treatment.
Starting with the initial consultation, we encourage you to bring your family! This saves you time and money on finding babysitters. Moreover, it helps your family to understand the importance of your treatment plan and support you in it.
Depending on what type of braces you choose, we also offer virtual appointments! Therefore, you may not have to come into the office as much as you thought.
Teeth Don’t Move as Quickly
One other drawback of getting braces as an adult is that your teeth may not move as quickly. When kids get braces their adult teeth have just come in. Therefore, they are not fully set and often are easier to move.
As an adult, your teeth are fully set in place and the bone housing the teeth is more dense. The result is that sometimes the ligaments and bone around the teeth may need more time to move and adjust. This simply means that your treatment may be longer than a teen’s.
However, most adult patients still complete treatment in less than two years. Then, they get to enjoy their smile for all the many years to follow.
May Negatively Affect Your Appearance
Initially, the idea of wearing braces may put you off of the idea. There are a lot of adults who are worried about the appearance of metal braces. They often associate the visual of traditional braces with something only kids wear.
As we have discussed, braces are not just for kids. Metal braces work the same way on adult teeth as on kid teeth. We get it! Most adults do not want to have a metal bracket attached to each tooth. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to wear metal braces.
With the invention of clear aligners in the early 2000s, you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing it. Brands like Invisalign are a great treatment choice for many adults.
The align technology of clear aligners provides the same results as traditional braces. Without the negative appearance of metal brackets. If you are not familiar with Invisalign and clear aligners, we have a Complete Guide to Clear Aligners where you can learn more.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation for Adult Braces
In the end, every adult patient is going to have their own individual experience with braces. Some will benefit from getting traditional braces because of the ease of maintaining them. Like busy moms!
Other patients will love the secrecy of clear aligners. Slowly moving towards the perfect smile with no one knowing.
With many different types of braces and treatment plans, it is best to find what orthodontic treatment is best for you. The best way to do that is to meet with an orthodontist for a consultation.
If you are in the Charleston area, we would love to have you visit us! You can schedule a complimentary consultation on our website. When you come in, Dr. Reagin and the team will sit down with you to decide what adult braces are right for you.