Many people had orthodontic concerns as a child, but did not have the opportunity for braces or did not want them as a child. With adult braces becoming more popular, many adults are hoping to have another chance at fixing their smile. Before you decide to get braces, there are several factors that might influence your decision.
Level Of Commitment
Having braces and the aftercare associated with them, such as wearing dental appliances to keep your teeth from moving back to their original location, can be a deciding factor. Even as an adult, the thought of wearing braces, especially if they are traditional metal braces, can invoke feelings of insecurity. You might need to wear your braces longer than you would as a child because the bone is harder, making it more difficult to move teeth.
Additionally, once your braces are removed, you will likely need to wear a retainer or other dental appliance longer or indefinitely because there is a higher risk of your teeth not settling into their new location. If you are generally not good at following medical advice or keeping up with medication or treatment regimens, you might not be a good candidate for braces. Another concern can be living a busy lifestyle, especially if you travel. You might need many dental treatments to have braces and rescheduling appointment often could cause problems in the final results.
Overall Oral Health
Adults generally have more dental concerns than children, which can make braces more complicated. An orthodontist might recommend certain dental issues be fixed before even considering braces. Some issues, such as cavities, extractions, and any signs of periodontal disease will be the most important to fix first. Your orthodontist will likely want to determine if there are any issues with the underlying bone that either helps or hurts your chances of wearing braces successfully. For example, previous dental concerns or extractions might lead to weakening of the bone in certain areas. In this case, your orthodontist might recommend adding prosthetic bone to the area so it can be suitable for braces.
Your Ultimate Goals
The older you are, the less likely you are to have a dramatic transformation in your smile with braces. If this is your ultimate goal for your teeth, you might be better off with other cosmetic procedures that can change your smile more. Adults also have a harder time closing gaps between their teeth, either natural gaps or ones caused after an extraction. Depending on the size of the gap, a dental implant might be a better option. If your orthodontist believes you are a suitable candidate for braces, you might have to be happy with subtle changes on your smile, such as dramatically crooked teeth becoming less noticeably crooked or having a little more space between crowded teeth.
Depending on your age, having braces as an adult can pose challenges, but it is not an impossible option for most adults. Having a thorough evaluation by an orthodontist at offices like Donald E. Snyder Orthodontics can help you develop realistic expectations for braces.