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Am I too old for braces?

The U.S. News & World Report tells us that there are around 1.5 million adult orthodontic patients in the United States and Canada. This statistic would seem to suggest that you are never too old to have a white, healthy, smile, free from crooked teeth. This article looks more closely at the things to consider if you are an adult seeking to straighten teeth or correct your bite.

Comfortable Braces – Not an Oxymoron

The art and science behind orthodontics have come a long way in the last decade. Orthodontics can do more than straightening teeth; these talented dentists can also replace missing teeth, correct a painful bite, or stop you from grinding your teeth at night – to name a few areas of expertise.

While in many cases childhood is the best time to correct the positioning of teeth, with the invention of Invisalign clear braces, more adults are making the decision to correct problems that they’ve struggled with their whole lives. Invisalign are clear plastic removable trays that fit over the teeth to gradually push them back into alignment.

Poor tooth alignment can affect us in many negative ways. In addition to making your smile less attractive, it can cause malocclusion – or a misalignment of how you chew and bite. This, in turn, can cause headaches and jaw aches, gum disease, and even change how you pronounce words. So, making the decision to finally correct these problems could have a positive impact on more than just your smile.

Special considerations – Braces for Adults

We highly recommend a private consultation with Truman Orthodontics to see if braces are an option for you. Orthodontics for adults is different than children; because your bone structure has stopped growing, surgery may be required in addition to braces.

Too, the process of correcting these issues could take longer than for an adolescent or child. The average treatment takes around two years for adults and it may also require that you see a specialist if you have complicating factors such as gum disease.

What’s Changed in the World of Braces?

You will probably be surprised by the innovations in orthodontic technology. The old metal “brace face” days are over; today’s braces are lighter and easier to adjust to than ever before. Brackets can be placed behind the teeth in some cases, and the big bulky headgear of the 1970s is pretty much over.

Braces still work the same way; they apply steady pressure to teeth to move and straighten them. With the exception of Invisalign trays, braces still consist of brackets on each tooth, a bonding agent to affix them to teeth, and an archwire to connect everything together.

Generally, whether you select Invisalign or traditional braces, they are both less obtrusive and more comfortable than the days of old. You can select tooth-colored ceramic brackets, or plastic brackets, and more. What you select is dependent upon your goals, budget, and what your orthodontist recommends.

So, you may be pleasantly surprised by today’s orthodontia, which leads us back to our original question: Are you too old for braces? The answer is up to you and your dentist.

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