Many people think that orthodontics are something that you have to do when you’re a teenager or young adult. While it’s true that there are some advantages to getting your teeth straightened when you’re younger, there’s no reason why you can’t get your teeth straightened as an adult.
In fact, as long as we take certain factors into account, there’s no reason why you can’t get your teeth straightened in your 60s, 70s, or later.
Orthodontic Benefits at Any Age
If you’re a senior, you might not think there’s much benefit to straightening your teeth now. But the truth is that you can still see benefits from getting your teeth straightened:
- Enjoying an attractive smile
- Make better impression when you meet people
- Do better at job interviews and closing professional deals
- Easier brushing and flossing for better oral health
- More efficient bite to make chewing easier and more effective
Your first temptation might be to think: at my age, I don’t need to worry about many of these things. People can deal with my smile the way it is. I don’t want to meet new people, and I’m never going to apply for another job–I’ll be retired.
But people are living longer–and healthier–than ever these days. Even when you retire, you may have what people used to consider an entire life ahead of you. And if you’re healthy, that life can be as full and rich as your life was when you were younger. Perhaps after a few years of retirement, you may decide you want to work again, maybe pursue that entrepreneurial career you kept putting on the back burner for your job. And no matter what your age, romance can help keep you young.
So if you’re thinking you want to keep living a full life as you get older, orthodontics can really help.
Healthy Bone to Hold Your Teeth
One important limitation you might face is that moving your teeth depends on your body’s ability to generate and maintain bone around your teeth. If you don’t have adequate bone or if your body’s ability to heal bone is impaired, then you might not be a good candidate for orthodontics.
But we can use what is sometimes called: instant orthodontics: reshaping your teeth with porcelain veneers or dental crowns so that the visible portion is straightened without moving the tooth roots.
Previous Dental Work
Some dental work may make you a poor candidate for orthodontics. Dental implants are a big limitation, since they can’t be moved like your natural teeth. But often we can work around them. For example, if you only have implants in the back, and you’re just looking to straighten the front teeth with Six Month Smiles, then we can just leave the implants alone while straightening other teeth.
Some tooth restorations can be problematic, too. Dental fillings, especially large metal fillings, can weaken a tooth so it might not stand up to the pressures required for orthodontic work. It can also be hard for the wire braces brackets to bond to dental crowns or veneers. Invisalign can sometimes get around this.
Oral Health and Hygiene
Gum disease risks increase with age, so we want to make sure your mouth is healthy before we begin orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics also makes cleaning your teeth harder, which can be a major factor for people with arthritis who are already finding it hard to keep teeth clean.
Schedule a Consultation
The only way we can really tell if orthodontics are right for you is with a consultation. We will evaluate your oral health and talk to you about some of the benefits and risks before making a comprehensive treatment plan.
If you want to talk to a Wilmington, NC cosmetic dentist about braces at any age, please call for an appointment at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.