A lot of people associate braces with kids in middle school, but getting braces as an adult has become far more common than many would assume. Nearly 20 percent of people wearing braces today are adults. Clear braces like Invisalign and ceramic braces that blend in with the natural color of teeth have been two of the main reasons why more adults are deciding to get the smile they have always wanted.
Why Adults Get Braces
As we age, our teeth can begin to shift due to a variety or reasons, including injury, tongue thrusting or just from natural growth. Suddenly, some adults find that their once straight teeth have become overcrowded or crooked. They begin to experience jaw pain, trouble adequately cleaning their teeth, or simply find their smile no longer as attractive as before.
Other adults may have always dealt with a crooked smile, but their family couldn’t afford orthodontic treatment when younger. Now able to afford the treatment of their own, they take the initiative to finally correct their smile.
No matter the reason, most of the adults who elect to get braces find it a worthwhile investment for a few potentially awkward years in exchange for a lifetime of straight teeth.
Wearing Braces for a Second Time
Occasionally, even adults who wore braces as kids need to relive the experience again later in life. Teeth shift as we get older, and some individual’s teeth shift more than others. Kids who didn’t follow their dentist’s advice and wear their retainer as often as recommended or individuals who are unlucky in how their jaws continued to grow as they aged into adulthood could experience their teeth shifting back to the original position.
Orthodontist have also discovered recently that patients should wear their retainers for much longer than what had been recommended in previous decades – occasionally indefinitely – in order to prevent teeth from shifting. Unfortunately, this means that even adults who were excellent patients when wearing braces as kids may need to wear braces again.
Bracing for Braces
Since an adult’s teeth have quit growing, it can take longer for adults to complete orthodontic treatment than younger patients. While the amount of time an adult will need to wear braces depends on a case-by-case basis, most patients can expect treatment lasting between 12 and 24 months.
Patients will also need to schedule more frequent appointments with the staff at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists for routine checkups and repairs of their braces. It’s important that every patient practice quality oral hygiene during and after treatment. Because of the brackets and guards used during orthodontic treatments, bacteria and lingering food particles can stick in the mouth, increasing the risk for tooth decay.