Do You Need Braces as an Adult?

Don’t Let Age Hold You Back

If you’re an adult with crooked or misaligned teeth and you have been thinking about getting braces, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In 2008, Gordie Organ, the president of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists, told the CBC that, “at least 35 per cent” of his orthodontics patients were adults in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

This has stayed true today as according to the Canadian Dental Association, more than one quarter of Canadians seeking orthodontic treatment are over the age of 21.

Cosmetic braces improve appearance and functionality of the mouth. They have become much cheaper, available and effective over the last decade. The stigma against wearing braces has become a thing of the past as more and more adults have been using braces to fix their crooked teeth once and for all.

Take Alex Schmidt, a writer for the Cosmopolitan. Like many others before her she had braces as a teenager, and once they came off, she thought that was the last of her mouth problems.

Unfortunately, Alex never wore her retainer, and surely soon enough, after few years Alex noticed that her teeth were starting to shift back into their crooked places, which they soon did.

When Alex was 26, her dentist would tell her she needed braces again. Alex’s underbite and crooked teeth where ‘wearing themselves down’ and if nothing was done, she would need major tooth reconstruction by her mid 30’s due to the continued damage.

Despite her initial hesitation to return to braces, Alex was less keen on using more time and money to fix this problem years later which would require her to replace all her teeth. Despite the inconveniences Alex experienced, like chewing food and communicating in person, Alex said wearing braces was one of the more empowering things she has done in her adulthood.

Alex saw her ordeal as trading the short-term inconveniences of braces for the long-term benefits.  Having braces has made her more confident then in the past, owing to her improved appearance and stronger self-esteem.

In Alex’s article about her braces she said that living with braces, while embarrassing at first, helped her gain confidence and feel less self-conscious in social interactions.

“I found myself better able to relate and connect to the people around me, both strangers and friends. By looking my weirdest and owning it, I felt some form of my best.”

While many people may decide to straighten their teeth to improve their smile, appearance is the least important thing to consider when deciding to straighten your teeth. Crooked teeth can impact your health more then significantly then appearance.

 

How Crooked Teeth Impact Your Health

Crooked teeth make your brushing and flossing harder to do, increasing the chance of plaque build-up, bad breath and cavities. Gum sensitivity and swelling are common in people with severely misaligned teeth, as are lip and tongue injury’s sustained while eating.

Crooked teeth don’t evenly distribute the pressure of your bite during eating, in addition to chewing difficulty, this increases the wear and tear of enamel on the straight teeth, making them more likely to break or chip. Damaged teeth are also very susceptible to bacteria even with constant cleaning.

In certain cases, misaligned teeth can affect how you pronounce words, and create speech difficulty.

Today dentist’s have more types of braces available then ever before. This enables patients to decide the most effective and comfortable solution for their health and budget.

 

The Different Types of Braces:

  1. Traditional metal

The dentist will apply metal brackets to your teeth and thread a flexible wire through them. As the wire is tightened, your teeth will gradually shift into their proper place. The braces may not need to cover all your teeth depending on the degree of realignment needed. Today, metal braces are much smaller, customizable and more comfortable now than they were in the past.

 

  1. Ceramic

As the name suggests, these braces and wiring are made of a tooth-coloured ceramic material that’s the same colour as your teeth. This makes them significantly less-noticeable compared to traditional metal braces however often more expensive.

 

  1. Invisalign

A virtually invisible version of braces. They consist of a set of custom-fit, clear molds that fit over your teeth. These are known as “aligners” and as you wear them your teeth will gradually shift into position.

You can also remove them for short periods of time, making brushing and flossing much easier then with other braces. However, they take longer to work for extreme realignment and are more expensive then ceramic and traditional braces.

Don’t let age hold you back. If you are living with crooked teeth talk to your dentist about your situation, if there is misalignment in your mouth then your crooked teeth may be harming your health.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about this please contact the Dental Health Clinic by email: admin@dentalhealthclinic.ca, or phone: +1 (416) 742-2300.