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Braces for Adults
Many people believe braces are for teenagers. Getting braces as an adult is becoming a standard of care in dentistry. An estimated 20% of braces are diagnosed for adults. More adults are happy to wear braces because of the more cosmetically appealing options such as less visible options like ceramic braces and Invisalign.
Why do adults need to get braces?
Teeth can shift with age. Many dental conditions such as forces to teeth, a tongue thrust, or natural growth can cause teeth to shift. Previously straight teeth become crooked and overcrowded. As an adult you may start experiencing jaw pain, having difficulty properly cleaning your teeth, or simply facing a smile that is unattractive. If you have had braces as a child and you were required to wear a retainer this can sometimes prevent the shifting. But in some case this can also not be enough to prevent the gradual shifting of teeth.
Some people never had the option to get braces as a teenager and remain with crooked teeth until they are an adult. In this case, getting braces as an adult can improve your personal, social, and professional life. You will finally be happier to smile, improving you quality of life.
Overall, many adults see braces as a worthwhile investment of a few awkward years in exchange for decades of straight teeth.
I had braces as a child. Why do I need them again?
Teeth continue to shift throughout your life due to the natural forces of your bite. Sometimes this can happen for more than others. If your orthodontist recommended you wear a retainer, and this was not followed your teeth will shift. Some are simply unlucky with your jaw's natural growth, your teeth can return to their original position. Orthodontists have also recently realized that retainers should be worn much longer than they recommended in previous decades, and sometimes indefinitely, to prevent tooth movement. Unfortunately, this means that even adults who were model patients as kids may find themselves needing braces again.