Braces might conjure up thoughts of metal-filled teenage mouths, but the truth is that orthodontics has come a long way in the last several years, and they’re not just for kids anymore. Adult braces are becoming increasingly popular, and even celebrities are getting in on it, with stars like Gwen Stefani and Faith Hill rocking theirs proudly. If you’re considering getting braces later in life, here’s what you need to know.
Why Would an Adult Want Braces?
Having braces isn’t just about straightening a crooked smile as adult teeth emerge. There are actually a variety of reasons why adult braces can be beneficial. Here are just a few:
- Teeth Move
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the average adult under age 64 has three or more missing or decayed teeth. Gaps in your mouth can lead to teeth shifting, changing how you speak and chew.
- To Avoid Serious Health Issues
As the ADA states, severe gum disease affects nearly 50 percent of adults over 30 in the United States. Over time, it can lead to bone and tissue loss. While there are several factors that can lead to gum disease, according to a study published in the Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics, overcrowding and misaligned teeth can be contributors.
- To Avoid Pain and Discomfort
According to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, an incorrect bite can lead to problems with jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches and earaches.
- You’ll Likely Rely On Your Teeth for Longer
Straightening teeth that might soon be replaced by implants or dentures may seem like a waste of money but as the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has shown, tooth loss due to age has been on the decline since the 1970s. With more seniors living longer and fewer losing their teeth, keeping those chompers in proper alignment can actually be a good investment for your long-term dental health.
- To Increase Self-Confidence
Repairing crooked teeth isn’t just about vanity. A smile is one of the simplest ways to greet others and make a lasting first impression. As Inc. notes, nearly half the country feels that, when meeting someone new, their smile ends up being the most memorable feature. Having a smile you can feel confident about can go a long way toward helping you succeed in both personal and professional relationships.
It’s Not As Bad As You Think
Once upon a time, braces were considered a major monetary investment, but with recent advances in orthodontics, you no longer have to worry about taking out a second mortgage just to have a nice smile. Depending on your plan, your dental benefits may help cover the cost, making them even more affordable.
Besides being less costly, braces are much less intrusive than they used to be. With options like ceramic braces and clear plastic aligners that are actually removable, you can correct your bite without feeling like you need to hide your mouth for a year.