Is It Too Late to Get Braces?

Most Common Reasons Adults Wear Braces

Have you caught your reflection in the mirror lately and thought about getting adult braces? Perhaps you never had the opportunity as a child to improve your smile, and now you wished your teeth were straighter. Dental clinics all over North America are seeing a dramatic increase in services for adults and braces.

There are many options for braces that may be available to correct your smile. And correcting misaligned teeth can do more for your health than just improve aesthetics. Read on to learn about all the benefits of getting braces later in life.

Getting Over the Stigma of Adult Braces

For many people, braces are an embarrassing stage of life that teenagers have to go through, but this isn’t the case. Braces are a medical treatment to correct tooth misalignment and are beneficial for anyone who has their full set of permanent teeth.

More people are taking their health and appearance seriously and choosing adult braces later in life. The old stigma of having “gear” in your mouth is long over! It is now considered trendy. Celebrities such as Faith Hill, Gwen Stefani, and Tom Cruise have all proudly worn their braces later in life for varied reasons.

Many people chose to get adult braces because their parents couldn’t afford to provide it for them in their childhood. Or, their misalignment wasn’t considered a priority when they were younger. Our teeth change and move as we age, creating crowding or spacing issues.

Improvements in dental technology mean treatments are less painful, take less time, and look more discrete than your old friend’s childhood braces. Wearing adult braces is a small investment to enjoy a perfect smile for the rest of your life!

What Types of Misalignments Require Braces?

Many different bite alignments may benefit from treatment.

Some people’s teeth crowd forward as they age. While other smiles may have extra space from a loss of a tooth due to an accident or tooth decay. Here are the most common reasons for adults and braces we see in our Ottawa dental clinic.

Crowding

Overcrowding happens when there is not enough space in the mouth for your teeth. Teeth press together, causing tension that can be painful and cause headaches. Sometimes teeth will sit above others, stick out, or sit far behind the bite line.

Crowding can happen due to genetics, a habit of mouth-breathing, or how the tongue sits in the mouth. Crowded teeth, if left untreated, can also cause the jaw to become misaligned.

Overbite

An overbite is when the top set of teeth sit far forward and in front of the bottom set. Overbite occurs when there the size of the jaw and the size of the teeth don’t accommodate each other. Overbites are common, but they can be responsible for sleep apnea and jaw pain.

Underbite

An underbite occurs when the bottom set of teeth sits more forward than the top set. This usually happens when the jaw is not aligned. Underbites can affect your speech and make damage on your top teeth more likely through wear and tear or chipping.

Open Bite

An open bite is when the top set of teeth and bottom set don’t make contact with each other in a closed mouth. Partial open bites occur when only the front of the teeth or the back of the teeth are affected. Open bites are caused by genetics, thumb sucking or lip sucking in childhood, or a mouth injury.

Crossbite

Crossbites are a very common form of misalignment. They occur when some teeth don’t fit over each other when the mouth is closed. Lower molar teeth may sit in front of the upper teeth, as an example.

Missing Teeth or Spacing

Losing a tooth due to an accident, trauma, or from getting it pulled will cause spacing issues in your mouth that didn’t exist before. Some people are also genetically predisposed to gaps in their smiles. Large gaps also encourage other dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and wear and tear on your bite.

Benefits of Getting Braces in Adulthood

It’s never too late to improve your looks and your health. Correcting misalignment in your teeth will boost your appearance and prevent problems such as headaches, jaw pain, and sleep apnea. Since everyone’s bite is different, your treatment may not require as much time as you think!

Beautifully Straight Smile

The number one benefit of getting adult braces is embracing a gorgeous smile. Smiles are shown to make us look younger, healthier, and likeable. Feeling confident and showing your smile off will benefit your whole life.

Boost Self-Confidence

People who don’t have confidence in their appearance tend to be shy. This can prevent them from public speaking, sharing a laugh, or even smiling without covering their mouth. Feeling good about your smile is essential for a happy and healthy life.

Pain Relief and Stress on the Jaw

Misalignment of the jaw or teeth can cause tension in the mouth. This tension can be responsible for painful headaches, pain when you bite down, or problems with the temporomandibular (TM) joint. If you are experiencing mouth pain, it is essential you contact your dental clinic for assessment.

Reduced Wear on Teeth and Tooth Decay

When teeth overcrowd each other or have too much space in between, they can attract plaque build-up. Teeth that don’t line up are harder to clean, allowing plaque build-up to decay tooth enamel. Misaligned teeth also allow for more wear and tear due to overcrowded teeth rubbing each other or exposed teeth getting chipped.

Types of Braces Available

Luckily, the technology for adults and braces has greatly improved since your childhood days. There are now many options available to treat a bad bite. Here are some of the most popular treatments.

Fixed Dental Braces

Fixed dental braces are the most common treatment for misaligned teeth. These are the traditional metal and ceramic braces. Each bracket attaches to an individual tooth, gently pulling or pushing the teeth into alignment.

Fixed braces are recommended for complicated alignment issues. They often initially cost more than removable treatment but work faster. Treatment time will also affect the overall cost.

Invisalign

A popular choice because they are removable, Invisalign works with moulded plastic trays that fit snug on the teeth. These clear aligners pull or push the teeth into the desired position. Very discrete, Invisalign is best for small alignment issues.

Retainers

For patients with very slight misalignment, a retainer may be an option for correcting their smile. The specialist will either place an invisible retainer behind the teeth or provide them with a removable retainer. Removable treatments only work if used for at least twenty hours of the day.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces work the same as fixed dental braces but rather than placing them on the front of the teeth, they get affixed to the back. Lingual braces are appealing to some patients because they are not as visible as front placed treatment.

These braces will affect your speech, though, as the tongue produces many sounds by hitting the back of the teeth.

It’s Not Too Late for Braces

There are many options available to correct your smile. The stigma of wearing adult braces doesn’t exist nowadays. It’s important to continue to be proactive in our dental health as we age, so ask your dentist about adult braces and if they could benefit you.

Everyone deserves beautiful and healthy teeth! Book an appointment with Blue Haven Dental today to discuss what’s best for your smile.