Pages Menu

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

How Old is Too Old for Orthodontics?

If you never had braces as a teenager, you may think it’s too late to get a straighter smile. But in fact, there is no age that is too old for orthodontics. At any age, straightening your teeth can give you more confidence and in some cases makes eating and brushing more comfortable.

Which Adults Can Get Orthodontics?

Although simply being older doesn’t make you unsuitable for orthodontic treatment, adults are more likely than teenagers to have oral or general health conditions that make orthodontics unsuitable. If any of the following considerations apply to you, you need to talk to your dentist to find out whether straightening your smile is an option for you.

  • Gum disease. More common in adults than kids and teens, gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw if it’s allowed to progress, which can result in you losing teeth. The pressure applied by orthodontic appliances can further irritate gum tissues, making gum disease worse. If you struggle with gum disease, you need to work with your dentist to bring the condition under control before you start orthodontic treatment.

  • Arthritis or osteoporosis. Some drugs used to treat these conditions can make teeth difficult to move.

  • Medications. Many medications cause dry mouth as a side effect. When your mouth is dry, it is easy for bacteria to grow and multiply, particularly when they can hide in and around braces. If you are on medications that cause dry mouth, you can still have orthodontic treatment, but you will need to be especially diligent about brushing, flossing and rinsing.

  • Alcohol. Like many medications, alcohol dries out your mouth. This can lead to bacterial growth and irritation from the braces. If you’re not willing to cut back on alcohol during your treatment, you could experience mouth ulcers.

Orthodontic Treatment Options For Older People

When you were a teenager, you might have been reluctant to get braces because the metal wires are very noticeable. Thankfully, orthodontic options have moved on a lot over the last few decades. You can now use clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible to straighten your teeth, so there is no need to worry about people noticing or commenting on your braces.

How Many Adults Have Orthodontic Treatment?

If you have lived with crooked teeth or a misaligned bite for too many years, you’re not alone. Some orthodontists say that roughly 30 percent of their patients are over 20 years old. If you’re unhappy with your smile, join this group of adults who are taking action to change their appearance.