Today an increasing number of adults are choosing to receive orthodontic treatment. Whether this to improve their smile, boost self esteem or for health reasons, an increasing number of adults are opting to seek orthodontic help. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the number of adults in the US receiving treatment for their teeth was over 1 million in 2012, interestingly this is a 39% increase in adult orthodontic treatment from 1996.
Whilst there may be a few more complexities in receiving orthodontic treatment in adulthood which children and teenagers may avoid, it should never be too late to try and enhance your smile as well as your dental health. We have put together five motivations as to why you should consider orthodontic treatment as an adult.
1) The winning smile
Everyone deserves to be able to smile with confidence and feel proud of his or her appearance. We form impressions of people within the first five seconds of meeting them, therefore greeting people with that solid Cheshire cat smile not only displays confidence in yourself, but smiling has many positive benefits. For instance, smiling can have a positive impact on others and make them warm to you more quickly – a particularly useful tool for interviews! If you have ever felt self-conscious about showing your teeth off because you are not happy with them, then orthodontic treatment could be the way forward to help you achieve the winning smile and arm you with the ability to feel confident in social situations.
2) Braces can be discreet
One of the main issues putting individuals off getting braces in adulthood is due to the perception that they do not look particularly attractive and are associated more with youngsters. Names such as ‘metal mouth’, ‘brace face’, ‘train tracks’ are particularly negative and do not make the idea of getting braces very appealing. However braces have developed considerably over the past few years to accommodate for a more discreet and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Clear ceramic braces worn on the front of the teeth (which work in a similar way to the traditional steel brace) are less visible as they blend in to the colour of your teeth. Lingual braces are attached to the inside surfaces of the teeth are also another option which are more discreet. However, whilst more subtle looking treatments are available, the type of treatment you receive will depend on the work your teeth require; every pair of teeth present a different case therefore will require a form of treatment specific to you. There may be drawbacks to using some forms of treatment which may slow down the treatment process or affect the teeth differently. Therefore it is important that the correct form of treatment is followed to ensure the best possible outcome for your teeth, which you would discuss with your dentist or orthodontist.
3) You are not too old for braces
Another perception with getting braces in adulthood is that because adult mouths have finished growing which they haven’t in children, correcting the teeth may present more difficulties and may lengthen the treatment process. Claire Nightingale of Queens Gate Orthodontics in London believes that moving teeth at any age requires a similar process whether the individual is an adult or a child. He instead believes that the time taken to complete a patient’s treatment depends more upon “the severity of the problem, patient co-operation and the position of the jaws, than it does on age”. The American actress Faye Dunaway most recognized in the 1960’s for her role in films such as The Happening had braces fitted at the age of 61. This demonstrates that there is still plenty of time but also motivation for orthodontic care. Therefore do not let age limit your chances of orthodontic treatment, seek advice and explore what options would be most suitable for you.
4) Braces help to avoid teeth and mouth problems
Choosing orthodontic treatment will not only improve your facial appearance and achieve a good set of pearly whites for you to show off, but fundamentally it will also help to prevent any harm to your teeth and mouth. Individuals with malocclusion (the misalignment of the upper and low arch when the jaw is closed) may experience headaches, neck ache and shoulder pain. If problems such as overcrowding, crooked teeth, overbites and under-bites are ignored, this could potentially lead to further problems including tooth decay, gum diseases and headaches. Braces won’t just improve the appearance of teeth, but will also help to ensure your teeth and mouth remain healthy.
5) Our teeth are lasting for longer
Accessing dental care and support today is a lot easier than it used to be, and the research and education into how to keep our teeth clean, shiny and healthy are continuing to improve. As well as the opportunities to receive orthodontic care, it is also important to consider that people are living longer; opting for treatment in adulthood would be a worthy consideration as our teeth are lasting for longer and we have a much more comprehensive understanding about how to look after our teeth. Help is available to discuss the possibility of treatment so do not be afraid to discuss your options if orthodontic work interests you.