Everyone hopes for naturally straight teeth, but most people aren’t that lucky. Some parents opt to treat misaligned teeth during their child’s adolescence; however, that is quickly changing. In 2010, the number of adults in braces was up 23% from 1989, when the American Association of Orthodontists started tracking patients by age.
If you’re an adult considering braces to straighten your teeth, read this list of commonly asked questions and answers to help you better prepare.
Is there a certain age limit for braces?
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, you will want to consult with your dentist before moving forward. The pressure braces put on your gums might make your issues worse. Keep in mind this varies from case to case, and your dentist can help you make the final decision.
What causes the need for braces?
Some orthodontic problems are genetic. Others develop over time because of 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 which caused their teeth to shift.
Will braces be tight and painful?
Having braces is like breaking in a new pair of shoes. After a short period of adjustment, braces are usually quite comfortable. Chewing gum tends to reduce soreness when it occurs.
How long will I have braces?
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 visit, your orthodontist will be able to give you a more accurate time frame.
Braces are a great way to gain confidence and get your smile looking its best. If you think you might benefit from braces, schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.