Adults are often resistant to the idea of getting orthodontic treatment. Some patients claim that braces are tied to middle school and high school rites of passage and seem completely out of place in adult life. While this was true a generation ago, it is no longer true today. In fact, it is never too late to reclaim your confidence by creating that perfect smile. Additionally, there are often key advantages patients may experience by waiting until adulthood to straighten their teeth.
The 6 main benefits of adult orthodontic treatment
No one has to know
For extreme cases of overcrowding or crooked teeth, traditional braces may be the only solution. Even so, ceramic braces are a good alternative to metal and they provide some degree of discretion by using clear or teeth-colored wires and brackets. For less extreme cases of misalignment, more discrete options include lingual braces and Invisalign®.
Straight teeth are healthier
People often think of straightening the teeth as a cosmetic procedure. While this is true for many, straighter teeth are also healthier. How so? When there is overcrowding and misaligned bites, it is often more difficult for patients to keep the teeth clean. As a result, people with crowded teeth often suffer from gum disease and tooth loss.
Correct and prevent medical problems
There are other medical issues that may be corrected or prevented by straightening the teeth. One common and potentially fatal one is sleep apnea, where a person may stop breathing while sleeping. Misalignment may also cause speech impediments, such as a lisp. Finally, when overcrowding leads to gum inflammation and infection, some of the possible related side effects include heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even dementia.
Adult treatment can be more effective
The main benefit of straightening teeth in youngsters is that teeth are easier to manipulate at this time. Even so, especially when Invisalign is used, teens and preteens do not always follow the instructions provided. Adults tend to be more motivated and meticulous when it comes to following the rules, helping to make treatment even more effective in some cases.
Set an example
While braces are considered a rite of passage in the younger years, many teens are as resistant as adults may be to getting orthodontic treatment. If there are adults in the household who have crooked or overcrowded teeth that were not treated, teens may point to them as a reason for treatment being unnecessary. As a result, adults can help to pave the way for younger family members by taking the first step toward straighter teeth themselves.
Perhaps the main reason people pursue a straighter smile is to improve self-esteem. Crooked smiles can cause people not to smile very often and to feel conscious about their appearance. This is not without strong reason. Americans generally find straighter smiles more attractive, which can affect not just a person’s romantic life but also career opportunities.
The bottom line
Braces were once most commonly worn by pre-teen and teenage patients. However, many dentists now claim that half their teeth straightening patients are adults. No doubt improvements in discreet orthodontic treatment options helped to make this possible.
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