Although many people think of braces as being a child’s orthodontic procedure, the truth is that almost one-fourth of orthodontic patients are over the age of 18. For those who are facing the need for braces, it is also important to know that there are many options available that are less disruptive than the treatments available in the past. Here is a guide to the benefits offered by braces along with other orthodontic treatment options that are designed specifically for older teens and adults.
Benefits of Braces
Misaligned teeth pose not only a problem for one’s appearance, but they can also contribute to other oral health problems if they are left untreated. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, untreated misalignment can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Often, patients with orthodontic problems are unable to brush and floss properly. Damage from night grinding and clenching is also often found when a person goes too long without having their teeth aligned correctly.
Lifestyle Factors to Consider
One of the biggest concerns among adults who need braces is the fear that orthodontic procedures will disrupt their lifestyle. However, today’s new appliances are less intrusive and require only minimal visits to the orthodontist. During treatment, a person will be able to continue eating, talking and enjoying their favorite activities such as playing an instrument or sports activity. Although some discomfort may occur in the initial stages, most patients find that it is short-lived and does not interfere with their regular activities.
Traditional braces are still commonly used for children; however, there are new treatment options available for adults that can reduce the appearance issues associated with orthodontic treatment. Clear braces are available that are virtually unnoticeable when a person smiles. Invisalign is another option that is less intrusive than other types of appliances used in the past and can allow a person to improve their smile without changing their appearance.
When misaligned teeth are contributing to other dental problems or a lack of self-confidence, then it is time to take action. A consultation with an orthodontist can alleviate any concerns adults have while helping them to understand their treatment options. By taking action now, a person can be on their way to a beautiful smile while taking advantage of a treatment option that fits easily into their lifestyle.