When you think of braces, you may think of a squirrely middle-schooler going through an already awkward phase, only to get the news that they’ll have to wear braces for the next couple of years! As adults, we may have skipped that awkward stage but are now left with a crooked smile in our later years — which begs to ask — are braces ever not awkward?
We all want the aesthetics of a perfectly aligned smile, yet the majority of us aren’t fortunate enough to have been graced with such luck and impeccable genetics, which results in orthodontics and braces at some point in our lives whether early on or later. At Love to Smile, we help craft straight, healthy smiles for those just starting middle school and for those who are approaching middle age! We provide orthodontic services for individuals young and old here in the Overland Park area. Follow along in today’s post as we explore the topic of braces in older adults.
Orthodontics Knows No Age
Orthodontics, and braces in particular, are for everyone regardless of age. Optimally, we all want our teeth to align flawlessly with no gaps or overbites and underbites, but reality is, this rarely happens and we all must face crowded smiles and crooked teeth. There is a caveat with an imperfect smile that goes beyond aesthetics — many times, crooked teeth can negatively impact your overall oral health.
When teeth are crowded and overlapping, it makes it easy for tartar, plaque, and bacteria to camp out and cause cavities more rapidly. Combined with poor oral health habits, and this is a recipe for spoiled, rotten teeth!
Not only do dental health issues exist, when your bite is off and you can’t properly close your jaw to chew and swallow, this becomes a health risk and choking hazard.
Poor tooth placement can also cause speech impediments that place a strain on the mouth and teeth, tiring the muscles and causing pain for the person.
All of these issues start at a young age, which is why it’s important to address it early on while the teeth are easier to manipulate, but anyone can correct these issues no matter their age — no one is too old for braces!
Why Get Braces in Adulthood?
Many people wonder about those who opt for braces later in life, but the reality of the matter is, people who choose braces in later adulthood aren’t necessarily doing it for cosmetic reasons, but often times for medical issues. Perhaps they have unexplained ear aches or headaches, facial pain, or TMJ/TMD and braces are an option to help give them a better quality of life.
Adults with braces are not so uncommon.
Adults now make up over 50 percent of orthodontic patients because of the innovations in orthodontics such as Invisalign and other low-profile appliances that make the day-to-day wear more easy and accessible for older patients.
Orthodontics, as we’ve uncovered, is more than just an aesthetic as many adults have medical issues that result from crooked teeth and crowded smiles. There is much more information to cover on adults seeking orthodontic treatment, so stay tuned for part two of our series!