Perhaps you never had braces when you were a child or maybe you did, and you forgot to wear your retainer, so your teeth have since moved. There can be a number of reasons why you might be considering getting braces as an adult and you’re not alone! With modern advancements in orthodontic technology, more and more adults are getting braces every day. In fact, 75% of orthodontists have reported an increase in adult private patients – as a result, we are now more familiar with teeth straightening concerns and the specific needs of our adult patients.
‘Am I too old?’ is a question our orthodontists hear frequently. And the answer is, absolutely not! Having issues with the alignment of your teeth can have a big impact on how you see yourself and your self-esteem. However, these problems can also raise more than cosmetic concerns. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean, making tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Teeth that don’t come together properly when you close your jaws—a problem called malocclusion, or “bad bite”—can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Poor tooth alignment can also make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds and can put excessive stress on the chewing muscles, causing facial pain. Whatever your concern is- we at Maida Smiles believe that it is never too late to get your dream smile whilst keeping your oral health in check.
Despite of the increasing number of grown-ups in the orthodontist’s chair, there are still plenty of myths about getting braces as an adult. Here is the rundown of the 5 most common myths and the facts.
Braces are uncomfortable
Braces from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s likely conjure up images of big, painful, and ugly metal braces. If you think you might need braces in today’s world – your experience will be totally different. Today’s braces are more comfortable and less obtrusive than those of the past. They’re smaller and use fewer brackets. The wires are less noticeable and more effective than those used previously. Because they are effective and economical, stainless steel brackets are still commonly used. Gold or clear brackets and wires are also available. Our orthodontist will make sure to help you pick the option that compliments your lifestyle best.
I’m too old for braces and the treatment will be ineffective
There genuinely is no upper age limit on wearing braces and having straighter teeth. We see patients well into their 40s, 50s and 60s who are tired of smiling through closed lips or hiding their teeth behind their hands. The fact of the matter is that the forces from braces or Invisalign guide the teeth into place in the same way, whether you’re 16 or 60. When a tooth is subjected to pressure from one side, its root presses against the underlying alveolar bone. Eventually, this force causes a portion of the bone next to the root to dissolve, allowing the tooth to move in the direction it is being pushed. As the tooth migrates, new bone builds up in the space vacated on the other side of the root. Of course, there are advantages to undergoing treatment while the jaw is still growing and developing, but even in the case of a skeletal issue, there are many ways to correct the problem in older patients.
Straightening my teeth as an adult will take years
Orthodontics is continuously advancing as a field. Here at Maida Smiles Dental Clinic we use the latest systems, appliances and techniques to straighten teeth in less time than ever before. Due to engineering and material upgrades, your treatment is likely to take less time than you might have expected. This is because instead of using a strong force in a short period of time like orthodontists in the past used to, nowadays the force is significantly less and spread out through longer periods. Contrary to popular belief, this has actually been shown to shift the teeth into place faster and with considerably less discomfort. Thanks to innovations like digital x-rays and 3D treatment planning, orthodontists now have much more visual information and are able to plan your treatment from every angle. The precision is unparalleled, and your treatment is more efficient, meaning you spend less time with braces.
I’ll have to wear metal braces
One of our main priorities here at Maida Smiles Clinic is to be able to offer our patients all latest treatment options. This is why a considerable proportion of our adult patients tend to opt for clear braces. Clear braces work the same way as traditional braces except they’re made from a composite material that blends in with your smile, so they are less noticeable. In the past, you had to worry about staining and breakage, but the type of clear braces we use reduces staining and is extremely durable. Another alternative are lingual braces. Lingual braces are similar to conventional braces and are applied using metal brackets – but on the backs of your teeth instead of the front. Yet, even if you do decide you want standard metal braces, they’re so much smaller and more streamlined than they used to be.
There are no other benefits of getting braces, other than for cosmetic reasons.
Yes, getting braces as an adult will transform your smile. Yet, there are a host of other benefits of braces for adults that go way beyond the cosmetic perks. Straight teeth are easier to clean, which boosts your oral hygiene and reduces your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Since gum disease is tied to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as premature labour in women, there is a definite oral health and overall health connection. Additionally, by improving the function of your teeth and jaws, orthodontic treatment can also:
• Help you breathe, speak and chew properly
• Reduce abnormal wear of teeth
• Make protruding teeth less susceptible to injury
• Balance bite forces to alleviate headaches and pain in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ
• Create space for dental implants in cases of missing teeth
• Enhance your self-esteem and confidence!