Mention the word “braces” and most of us immediately think of tweens and young teenagers. But in fact adult braces are surprisingly common – around 15% of our orthodontic patients are adults. Some have wanted to get their teeth straightened their whole lives but are only now in the right circumstances to take that step; others have found that their teeth moved as they grew older and want to correct their alignment. Most of our adult braces patients tell us they wish they had started treatment sooner!
You are never too old to get orthodontic treatment. Not only for aesthetic reasons but also because misaligned teeth are much more prone to tooth decay and therefore can lead to bigger oral health issues.
Orthodontics have an amazing power to transform a smile and play a big role in self-esteem and self-confidence regardless of your age. There are several great options to choose from to suit your circumstances and lifestyle:
- Traditional metal braces, which are much smaller and comfortable than they used to be.
- Coloured braces in almost any shade you can imagine! They are created using coloured bands around the brackets and can be changed depending on how much of a fashion statement you want to make.
- Ceramic brackets which are natural tooth-coloured and therefore more discreet than metal brackets. You can still see ceramic brackets up close but from a distance they are hardly noticeable.
- Invisalign is the advanced technology of clear aligners which move teeth incrementally. The aligners are virtually invisible and are easily removed for eating and drinking. It is also easier to maintain good oral health with Invisalign as you take the aligners out to brush and floss your teeth normally, while traditional braces require extra oral hygiene steps to keep teeth clean around the brackets and wires.
Once you get used to braces and the new routines you’ll be surprised at how easily they fit in with your lifestyle. Regardless of the type of braces you choose, you will still be able to socialise, eat out, give presentations and generally do everything you would normally do.
Lisa’s Story: Getting Braces As An Adult
Lisa celebrated her 40th birthday this year and has recently had braces fitted.
Q. Why did you wait until now to get braces?
A. It’s a combination of aesthetic reasons and oral health reasons. My bottom teeth have always been crooked and I’ve always wanted to get them straightened. Earlier this year I started getting some pain that I assumed was toothache but turned out to be nerve pain caused by a misaligned tooth. So that and the fact that I have food traps in my back teeth from misalignment just helped me to decide that the health of my teeth was only going to get worse. Plus this year has been pretty stressful so I wanted to do something positive for myself.
Q. What type of braces did you choose?
A. I chose ceramics because the natural tooth colour of them makes them more subtle. From a distance it’s hard to tell I’m even wearing braces.
Q. Have they been uncomfortable and hard to get used to wearing?
A. To start with my teeth ached quite a bit and I struggled to eat and talk. The brackets rubbed and made sore patches in my mouth. I kept up regular paracetamol and used wax until my mouth got used to them. It didn’t take too long. I still use wax from time to time when I get a sore patch.
Q. How did your family, friends and colleagues react?
A. Everyone has been really interested and positive. They want to know how they feel and how much they cost. Some friends and work mates have said they are jealous because they’ve always wanted to get their teeth straightened.
Q. Have you learned anything about orthodontics that surprised you?
A. I found out that a tooth removed years ago still has ramifications years later. And that a tooth can be pushed back in!
If you have always wanted to get your teeth straightened don’t let your age put you off. Book a consultation today to find out what your orthodontic options are and start your journey to the smile you have always wanted.