If you aren’t one of the lucky ones whose teeth came in perfectly straight, chances are that you have considered getting braces. Some parents choose to get their child braces in their adolescence, and more adults are getting them too.
In 2010, the number of adults in braces was up 23 percent from 1989, when the American Association of Orthodontists started tracking patients by age.
If you are an adult who is considering braces to straighten your teeth, read this list of commonly asked questions and answers to help you better prepare for braces.
Q: Is there a certain age limit for braces?
A: There is no age limit for braces. As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, you can benefit from braces. If you have problems with your gums, braces might not be the best idea because the pressure the braces put on your gums can cause further problems. Keep in mind that this varies case-by-case, so talk to your dentist to get the best recommendation.
Q: What causes the need for braces?
A: Some orthodontic problems are genetic, while others develop over time due to thumb- or finger-sucking, mouth breathing, dental disease, accidents or poor nutrition. Some adults who wear braces may have had them in the past and never wore their retainer, allowing their teeth to shift.
Q: Will braces be tight and painful?
A: Having braces is like breaking in a new pair of shoes. After a short period of adjustment, braces are usually fairly comfortable. Chewing (sugarless) gum can sometimes reduce soreness too.
Q: How long will I have braces?
A: The time of treatment depends on the severity of the issue. Over and under-bites generally take longer to correct than simply straightening teeth. At your first orthodontic visit, your orthodontist will be able to give you a more accurate time estimate.
Braces are a great way to gain confidence and get your smile looking its healthiest. If you think you might benefit from braces, schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss options!
Have advice for adults researching braces? Leave your words of wisdom in the comment section below!