If you’re an adult who is not happy with your smile, there is good news: Braces are just as effective for older people as they are for the young.
Years ago, adults were discouraged from having their teeth straightened. Back then, it was assumed braces worked best for children whose mouths were still growing.
Today, we know otherwise. Braces can create beautiful, lasting smiles for adults, too – even into their 80s. Delta Dental and the American Association of Orthodontists report more than 1 million Americans over the age of 18 are wearing braces.
It’s not too late to get that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!
On the other hand, you may wonder if correcting your smile now is worth the time, energy, and investment. After all, you’ve lived with your crooked teeth this long. The answer is, resoundingly, yes. Bad alignment and related orthodontic issues can lead to health problems as you age. Correcting your smile is about much more than simply enhancing your appearance.
Here are some of the reasons to consider braces despite your age:
You will have healthier teeth and gums. Straight teeth are certainly easier to clean. Plaque contributes to tooth decay and gum disease and it is much more difficult for your toothbrush to reach when your teeth are crowded. Gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause tooth and bone loss and a host of broader health issues. Many adults are surprised in their later years to lose sound teeth because of unhealthy gums and bones.
Your jaw will be healthier, too. An uneven bite can lead to bone loss in your jaw and may be the cause of jaw joint issues, such as temporomandibular joint disease, or TMJ. A bad bite also can contribute to headaches. Orthodontics usually can improve these conditions.
Snoring or sleep apnea may be reduced. Excessive overjet, where your top teeth protrude – the traditional “buck teeth” – can be associated with your airway being blocked while you sleep. A partially blocked airway can lead to snoring. If it’s totally blocked, you could experience sleep apnea, which continually disrupts your rest. Sleep apnea is associated with several health issues, including heart problems.
Your self-esteem and confidence will get a boost. You may think you’re okay with crooked teeth, but if you purse your lips in photographs or cover your mouth when you laugh, you are more self-conscious than you realize. A confident smile has been shown to increase self-esteem, which in turn can open up career and social opportunities. In a recent Invisalign study, job applicants with straight teeth were 45% more likely to be hired over people with similar qualifications, but unattractive teeth. In the same study, 38% said they would not accept a second date with someone who has misaligned teeth.
Your happiness level may increase. Simply smiling makes you happier. When you know your teeth are beautiful, you’ll smile more often and more radiantly.
Just remember, when it comes to adult orthodontics, you have options – and none of them are the clunky metal ones you knew as a child.
Clear or ceramic braces. These braces function much like traditional metal braces except the brackets are clear ceramic rather than metal. Adults LOVE these types of braces because you can barely tell they are there. Plus, you can still choose to wear colors on them if you so desire.
Invisalign. These are clear plastic trays, called aligners, that can barely be seen when you wear them. These aligners are computer-generated at the start of your treatment, and you wear each one in progression for about one-two weeks. Besides their clear appearance, they are welcomed by many adults because they can be removed for up to two hours each day for cleaning and eating. You won’t need to buy special brushes or eliminate foods from your diet.
Modern metal braces. These aren’t the metal braces of your childhood. They are lighter and thinner – and just like the clear braces, you can choose colors that allow you to express your personality or mood. They still straighten your teeth with wires, metal brackets and rubber bands
If you have any additional questions about Mack and Hansen Orthodontics or want to discover how Dr. Spencer Mack and Dr. Andrew Hansen can help you gain straighter teeth and a healthier smile with braces or Invisalign please contact us today! You can also visit www.etxortho.com to learn more about our orthodontists and request a complimentary consult, or you can call us at 903-212-7737. We’re conveniently located in Longview, TX and are just a quick drive from Marshall, Carthage, Henderson, Kilgore, and Gilmer.