We all think of braces as a rite of passage for middle school kids, maybe high school students, but it’s not something we commonly associate with adults. Many more adults, however, are turning to braces to correct problems that have bothered them for years, possibly since childhood. Adults who grew up being teased or embarrassed by their smiles can turn into adults who have difficulties getting close to people, something that can affect them personally and professionally. Fortunately, braces can help.
Braces can correct a host of oral issues, from simply poor aesthetics due to crooked teeth or an acutely bad bite (known as malocclusion). Adults who didn’t have the ability to change their teeth as children now turn to braces to make positive changes to their smiles and achieve their long-awaited dreams.
Adults and children respond differently to braces. Because a young person’s mouth is still growing and changing as part of aging, braces work more quickly on younger patients. Adults can achieve the same kind of smile successes as children can with braces, but it will just take a little more time due to their bones being already fully formed.
Adults typically care for their braces more than young people. A higher appreciation of the dangers of neglect and improper care can lead an adult to take far better care of his or her oral hygiene than a younger patient with braces.
Some types of braces are available that are less obvious than external brackets, such as ceramic brackets or lingual braces (worn on the inside of the arch of your teeth) or Invisalign aligners. Ask your orthodontist what braces options are available to you as an adult, and what positive changes they can make to your smile.
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