There are some things in life that seem to be better appreciated by older generations, like fine wines, luxury cars and gourmet food. But one thing we don’t necessarily think of getting better with time is orthodontic treatment. In fact, when many people think of getting orthodontic work done as an adult, they write it off completely. But dentists and orthodontists think that could be a big mistake.
So, why is getting orthodontics as an adult better than getting them as a child or young adult?
“It’s not necessarily better,” says Dr. Alexandra George, a cosmetic dentist in Wexford, Pennsylvania, “but it’s never too late to get orthodontic work done.”
According to George, orthodontic treatment can be shorter and more efficient on younger patients but can still have myriad benefits for adult patients, too.
“There are many reasons we get orthodontic treatment as an adult, such as for cosmetic reasons, to improve a bad bite, and to correct conditions like temporomandibular joint dysfunction,” she says.
George says one of the major benefits to getting braces or other orthodontics as an adults is that adults are more likely to take the process seriously.
“When it’s something you elect to have, you are more likely to follow doctor’s orders and take good care of your braces,” George says. “That means caring for your teeth, gums and the braces themselves, making it to your adjustment appointments, and following the rules for care like not chewing gum or eating crunchy foods.”
Another benefit to adult braces is the improvement in the patient’s self-esteem when the braces come off.
“Braces can be done as part of a smile makeover or a full-mouth reconstruction,” says George. “Whereas a 10-year-old may not care if her smile is a little crooked, a 40- or 50-year-old might be insecure about it, so treating it will almost be more meaningful as an adult.”
George says patients shouldn’t worry too much about wire braces these days, as there are many options such as clear aligners that are either invisible or less visible than others.
“Gone are the days when you look like you’re wearing braces,” she says.
Best of all, George says orthodontic work can be combined with other procedures for a total smile makeover.
“We can combine treatments with veneers, bridges, crowns, dental implants or whatever else will improve your smile,” she says.