You're Never Too Old for Braces

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, a lot of people tend to associate it with teens and preteens. But in recent years, more and more adults have been turning to orthodontics as well. That might be because they missed out on having braces as a kid, or it might be because as adults they can really appreciate the benefits that go hand-in-hand with braces, like a more attractive smile, greater self-confidence, or better long-term oral health.

Whatever the reason, the big question for most adults is, am I too old for braces? At Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, board-certified orthodontist Brendan D. Smith, DDS, MS, and his team help patients of all ages get the custom care solutions they need to enjoy a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles. Here’s how to tell if you’re a good candidate for adult orthodontics — and if there’s an age where braces might not be a good choice.

Benefits of adult braces

Perfect smiles almost never happen naturally. Most of us can use some professional help. While it’s true that a lot of orthodontic treatments are performed on preteens and teens, it’s also true that lots of adults — including older adults — opt for orthodontics to help them enjoy the benefits of straight teeth. 

More attractive smiles

Having a beautiful smile is just as important to adults as it is to younger people. In fact, a survey by the American Dental Association found many adults are affected negatively when their smiles aren’t ideal. Of the 15,000 adults surveyed:

With orthodontic treatment, you can finally feel confident about the impression you’re making on others at work, in social situations, and anywhere else you go. Straighter teeth are more attractive, sure, but they can also help you appear more “pulled together” and confident — impressions that can leave a lasting mark in both your professional and social life.

Better oral health

As important as it is to have a great-looking smile, it’s just one of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Straightening your teeth can have some important benefits for your oral health too:

Fewer cavities and less gum disease

Straight, evenly-spaced teeth are easier to brush and floss. Crooked or oddly-spaced teeth tend to form gaps and crevices that are hard to clean, which means they’re ideal hiding spots for bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Straightening your teeth eliminates those odd spaces, so it’s easier to clean with regular brushing and flossing.

Reduced risk of bite-related problems

Teeth are designed to line up and work in pairs, creating an optimal bite balance that evens out the stresses on your jaw joints. When your teeth are crooked, they don’t line up properly, and that means the strain on your jaw is uneven. Over time, an unbalanced bite can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, along with symptoms like chronic jaw pain, headaches, and “sticking” sensations when you open your mouth wide or when you chew. Orthodontic treatment rebalances your bite, so the force on your jaws is evened out. 

Am I too old?

Now, for the real question: When it comes to orthodontic treatment, how old is too old? The answer: You’re never too old for orthodontic treatment. As long as your jaws can support the tooth movements that need to occur during your treatment, you can have braces or aligners and enjoy all the benefits they have to offer.

Orthodontics involves a lot of bone remodeling in your jaw: As your teeth shift into new positions, new bone forms around the tooth roots. That’s what holds them in their new positions after treatment is complete. Generally speaking, as long as your jaw bone is healthy enough to support this remodeling process, you’re good to go.

So, how can you tell if your jaws are ready for orthodontic treatment? By having your bite and jaws evaluated. Dr. Smith and his team are skilled in ensuring each patient gets the best care for their needs. If you’re wondering if orthodontic treatment can help you achieve your goals, now is a great time to find out. Call our office or use our online form to schedule your appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Brush Your Teeth When You Have Braces

Braces offer lots of benefits, like a more beautiful smile and better oral health. But brushing and flossing can take a little getting used to. The good news: With a little practice, you’ll become an expert in no time. Use these tips to get started.

The Advantages of Digital Impressions

If you’re getting braces, that means you’ll also be getting impressions — models of your teeth that help guide treatment. At Freedom Orthodontics, we use digital impressions. Here are four ways we think they’re better than traditional putty molds.

Orthodontics and COVID-19

Delaying orthodontic care can add months or even years to your treatment time, plus it can leave you open to other dental problems too. Here’s how we’re keeping our patients safe so they can continue to get the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6 Reasons to Consider Braces

Braces aren’t just about beautiful smiles (although that’s certainly important). They offer plenty of other benefits too — for patients of all ages. Here are six reasons braces could be a good choice for your health and lifestyle.

What to Do When Your Brackets Break

Brackets play an important role in your orthodontic treatment, so when one breaks, it might seem like a major problem. The good news? Broken brackets can be easily fixed. Here’s what to do if you break a bracket.

Why You Shouldn't Brush Off Wearing Your Retainer

Your braces or aligners have done their job. Now it’s time to forget about orthodontics and just enjoy that beautiful smile, right? Not so fast. Wearing a retainer is part of your treatment — and if you skip it, you’ll almost certainly regret it.