If you feel self-conscious about your misaligned teeth, you aren’t alone. Malocclusion -- the technical term for crooked teeth -- affects about three-quarters of the adult population in the United States. In many cases, patients who suffer from crooked or gapped teeth have wanted to fix their smiles for years, even decades, but were unable to due to their circumstances.
Why adults are excellent candidates for teeth straightening
The good news is that you’re never too old to straighten your teeth with orthodontic treatment. At Dental Art of South Bay, Dr. Dana Samet often works with patients between the ages of 18 and 55.
In fact, as long as your gums and teeth are relatively healthy, you’re most likely a candidate for adult braces or InvisalignⓇ. In fact, adults tend to be better orthodontic patients than teenagers.
- Compared to most teens, adults are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and follow their dentist’s advice. Orthodontic patients are typically advised to stay away from harmful foods and beverages such as sweets, sodas, popcorn, gum, and crunchy or sticky candies.
- Adults tend to be more responsible in their oral hygiene and retainer care. Retainers are worn after braces are removed in order to keep the teeth from reverting back to their previous state. Young patients are more likely to lose their retainers, break them, or not wear them as directed.
- It’s difficult to properly brush and floss when your teeth are crooked. This causes a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Adults are more likely to appreciate the medical and cosmetic perks of straightening their teeth. They’re also more likely to care for their teeth and gums properly.
Common reasons for adult braces
The most common reasons our adult patients come to us include:
- Gaps between teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Crooked or misaligned teeth
- Headaches and jaw pain from misaligned teeth
What to expect with orthodontic treatment
As an adult, you may spend a bit more time wearing your orthodontics than a teen might. The average treatment time for adults is roughly 22 months. During this time, we work together to create a treatment plan that includes checkups about every 4-6 weeks depending on your specific needs.
Restrictions for foods and beverages vary depending on what type of treatment you get. If you have traditional metal braces, you’ll be restricted from foods and beverages that are sugary, crunchy (such as ice cubes and popcorn), or overly chewy (such as caramels and gum).
The Invisalign treatment doesn’t have food restriction, and with the clear aligners, no one will even know you’re having orthodontic treatment. As for your part in the process, you do need to make sure you wear your aligners the recommended amount of time each day and keep your teeth clean between meals.
The benefits of adult orthodontics
Straighter teeth are easier to keep clean with brushing and flossing. And having well-maintained teeth lowers your risk of dental complications, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
You may also notice a reduction in seemingly unrelated issues such as headaches and migraines, which can both be affected by the alignment and health of your teeth. Finally, you’re almost certain to see your self-confidence increase when you have straighter, properly-aligned teeth.
So if you’ve always wanted to straighten your teeth, it’s not too late. To discuss adult braces or Invisalign with Dr. Samet, call our office in Torrance, California, or contact us online to schedule your consultation.