Are You Too Old for Braces?

adult woman smiling with braces

Orthodontic treatments like braces are designed to correct teeth that are out of place. This may be an issue like a “bad bite,” known more formally as malocclusion, resulting in problems from gum disease to headaches to sleep disorders. Or, it may simply be an aesthetic issue. Culturally, we tend to find straight teeth more attractive, so many people seek straighter teeth as a cosmetic fix.

Regardless of the purpose, we tend to think of orthodontics as a treatment for children. Braces are common in grade school, and even pop culture reinforces the idea that braces are for geeky teens, like the metal-mouthed kids in movies like “The Breakfast Club” and “Never Been Kissed.”

But despite this conditioning, a Tulsa cosmetic dentist can tell you braces have no age limit — and better yet, modern orthodontics are subtle enough that the people around you probably won’t even know you have them.

Straighter Teeth Are Within Reach

Do you look in the mirror and pass judgment on the flaws in your smile? Are you hesitant to smile in photos, knowing what your teeth look like? If so, you’re not alone. Many people in Tulsa wish they had straighter smiles. The good news is that a straighter smile is possible, no matter your age!

It’s true: Tulsa cosmetic dentists usually recommend orthodontics for children and teens. It’s easier to move teeth when the jawbones are growing. However, there is no reason why adults can’t get orthodontics if they are good candidates.

To be a good candidate for adult orthodontics, you must:

  • Have good oral health
  • Have good bone health
  • Be committed to oral hygiene
  • Not be taking certain medications

Good oral health is a must for anyone getting orthodontic treatment, no matter their age. However, maintaining oral health does get harder as we get older. Our teeth are more likely to have fillings, and we are at a higher risk for gum disease.

Bone health is also important. People with low bone density or challenges with bone growth might not be good candidates for orthodontics.

Whether we’re talking Invisalign or traditional braces, all orthodontics approaches require additional attention to hygiene. Since adults are at higher risk for oral health problems, they need to be vigilant about oral hygiene.

Adults are more likely to be taking medications that can interfere with orthodontic treatment. Osteoporosis medications, hormones, and pain relievers can impact your braces or Invisalign results. Tell your Tulsa cosmetic dentist about all medications you are taking.

Benefits of Invisalign

The traditional braces process can be long and highly visible. First, a Tulsa cosmetic dentist affixes metal brackets to each tooth that will be moved. The dentist then attaches a wire to the brackets. This wire needs to be replaced in regular appointments at a Tulsa dental office over the months or years it takes to straighten teeth. Thankfully, alternatives to traditional orthodontics make teeth straightening a practically invisible process.

Invisalign has become the new standard for effective, subtle orthodontics. Invisalign offers benefits for adults, including:

  • Nearly invisible
  • Easier oral hygiene
  • No diet restrictions
  • Removability
  • Greater comfort
  • Fast treatment
  • Easier on fillings, crowns, etc.

Invisalign’s clear aligners are practically invisible. No metal brackets or wires means they’re nearly undetectable while you’re wearing them.

Cleaning around braces can be hard, especially for adults losing manual dexterity to arthritis. Invisalign lets you brush and floss normally, although you must clean your teeth more frequently with Invisalign than without.

Traditional braces come with diet restrictions. Some foods can damage braces or be nearly impossible to cleanout. With Invisalign, you take out your aligner and can eat normally–there are no diet restrictions.

Removability also means you can take them out for a special event, like a date or a big meeting. Just wear them for 20-22 hours every day to stay on track.

Invisalign’s smooth plastic aligners offer greater comfort over braces’ metal brackets or wires that poke and irritate your cheeks.

Recent innovations mean that Invisalign treatment can be completed in half the time for many patients. Since adults often take longer to get orthodontic results, speed matters.

Braces can damage restorations like fillings, crowns, and veneers. Invisalign protects restorations by pushing the whole tooth. This makes Invisalign better for adults who have more restorations.

Invisalign Is Perfect for Professionals in Tulsa

For the busy professional in Tulsa, it’s  more important than ever to have a compelling smile. But it could be a dealbreaker if getting that perfect smile means wearing an embarrassing set of metal braces to work for a few years. Not only can traditional braces be distracting, but they can also give the impression of incompetence thanks to their cultural association with youth. Plus, food stuck in braces isn’t a good look for delivering a presentation.

Invisalign solves this problem — and potentially in a fraction of the time of traditional braces! Some people only need to wear their Invisalign aligners for six weeks to reach the straight smile they’ve dreamed of!

Call Tulsa cosmetic dentist Meghan Hodges at (918) 528-3330 or contact us online to make an appointment at élan and learn if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign.

Best Cosmetic Dentist Tulsa Dr Meghan Hodges

élan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry

10031 S Yale Ave #104
Tulsa, OK 74137

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