You can have a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontic treatment today is a viable option for almost any adult. Like youngsters, adults can experience the self-assurance that comes with a confident smile, along with the benefits of improved oral health. Take this opportunity to explore answers to questions that others have asked about orthodontic treatment for adults.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist considers many variables when developing your customized treatment plan, but age is rarely a deciding factor.
Do other adults get orthodontic treatment?
Yes they do. As of 2016, there were 1,690,000 adults being treated by U.S. and Canadian members of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Can orthodontic treatment help me keep my teeth?
Teeth and jaws that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean through brushing and flossing. Correcting the bite (how the upper and lower teeth fit together) reduces improper forces placed on the teeth and improves your ability to bite and chew and improves the odds of keeping your teeth long-term.
What if I’m missing some teeth?
Depending on what is missing, your orthodontist may choose to move neighboring teeth together to close the space where the tooth is missing or hold open a space for a bridge or implant. Your orthodontist will work with your family dentist and/or other dental specialists.
I see ads for perfect teeth in only one or two visits to the dentist. Will that give me straight teeth?
The ads may have been for veneers, which are thin, tooth-colored shells that are glued to the fronts of teeth. But they do not alter an improper arrangement of teeth – they just cover up the problem. Veneers are easier to place and last longer when teeth are straight, and the bite has been corrected.
What about doing my own aligner treatment at home?
If moving teeth is done incorrectly, or if there’s a problem that you aren’t aware of, you may be putting your teeth, gums and the bone around the teeth at risk of potentially irreversible damage. Orthodontic treatment is a complex biological process. That’s why it takes so many years of education to become an orthodontist. Exercise due diligence. Review this page, and before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider having an in-person consultation with an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Use the Find an Orthodontist service to locate AAO members near you. Many times the consultation is at no charge.
Maybe I should just have all my teeth pulled and get dentures. Then I’ll have straight teeth!
Today’s 25-year-old has the potential of another 75 years of keeping and using their teeth. Orthodontic treatment is often part of a comprehensive dental healthcare plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime.