Older Adults and Braces: It Isn’t Too Late
You’re only as old as you feel, as the saying goes. And having a great smile can make you look and feel younger and more attractive. Studies suggest that as many as three-quarters of adults have some form of malocclusion (or “bad bite.) This may include crowding teeth or the drifting of teeth after an extraction. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re an adult who is thinking about braces, but wondering if you’ve missed the cutoff, think again. When it comes to getting braces, there’s no such thing as “too old.” In fact, healthy teeth can be straightened at any age.
What’s more, orthodontic treatment can have health benefits. Misaligned teeth can be harder to clean, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Straightened teeth can impede tooth decay and gum disease while also making chewing more comfortable.
The world of braces has evolved since you were a teenager. Now there are many more options to choose from. Traditional braces are still in widespread use, but they now come with more choices, such as cosmetically-friendly clear or colorless braces instead of metal, which can be much less noticeable. Aligners (which are nearly invisible) are also used with in many cases, with lasting results. You can expect to wear your braces an average of 12 to 20 months.
To determine if you are a good candidate for adult braces, your doctor will look at the state of your general health and what problem you’re looking to fix. Orthodontic treatment gently moves the teeth within the tooth-supporting bone, so if you have periodontal (gum) disease, orthodontic treatment may aggravate the problem and make it worse, so it would be essential for existing gum disease to be managed prior to treatment. Other medical conditions that may preclude orthodontic treatment are severe heart-valve disease, bleeding disorders, leukemia, and severe uncontrolled diabetes.
Nowadays, an increasing number of orthodontic patients are adults, and the response to orthodontic treatment has been very positive. So if you’re considering straightening your teeth, consult with your dentist or orthodontist to see which treatment option is right for you.
Want to improve the look of your smile? Contact the Montefiore Department of Dentistry.
For more information about dental implants, please contact Drs. Kraut, Rogoff, Newsome and Kakanantadilok. Our office is located in the Bronx, and can be reached at 888-700-6623. We look forward to meeting you.