Adults with crooked teeth often feel self-conscious about their smile, which can lead them to act less confidently in their personal and professional lives. To compound the struggle with their smile, many adults also feel that braces are only for children and not an option for people past their teens. However, the perception over braces has changed dramatically in recent years, as now adults make up nearly 20 percent of all people wearing braces, according to American Association of Orthodontists.
Most adults considering braces simply want to correct their smile so they can look and feel their best. While this might rank as the most common reason, getting braces as an adult can have many other potentially helpful benefits.
A Straighter Smile
It’s completely understandable for adults to want to improve their smiles, as many people associate a winning smile with a straight smile. While it might be unfair to judge someone simply by how straight their teeth, studies have shown that the straighter a person’s teeth, the more charismatic that person becomes. One such study compared the reactions of individuals to photos digitally manipulated to show images of someone with both straight and crooked teeth. The photos of people with straighter teeth were rated higher for leadership, popularity, and athletic ability than the photos of those same people with crooked teeth. However, before you start thinking too poorly of the study’s participants, they did not rate person’s intelligence lower when showed a crooked teeth photo.
Having braces as a kid doesn’t necessarily mean you know longer need to worry about crook teeth. As people grow older, it’s not uncommon for their teeth to begin to shift back to their original, pre-braces position. While this shift may not affect all of your teeth, it only takes one or two prominent ones to shift to cause the entire complexion of your smile to change.
Better Oral Health
It’s far easier to brush and floss your teeth when they do not overlap or extend at hard to reach angles. Being better able to clean your teeth means reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. A cleaner mouth also means fresher breath, and fewer overall concerns about your oral health.
Braces can also help patients manage more serious oral health problems, such as jaw pain caused by a misaligned bite and they can change the position of teeth to make room for a new bridge, crown, or implant.
The length of adult braces treatment can vary from 12 to 44 months, depending on what you need corrected. In some cases, adult teeth take longer to correct than a child’s because adult teeth have stopped growing. However, there is usually very little actual difference in time.
Types of Braces
As the field of orthodontics continues to advance, so do the treatment options for adults needing braces. Ceramic braces made from clear materials blend in with your teeth’s natural color, making them harder to spot than traditional metal braces. Orthodontists can also now fasten brackets to the back of your teeth, which makes wearing braces less obvious, and custom made plastic aligners fit over your teeth like mouth guards, gently guiding your teeth into position without ever needing to be fitted for braces. Contact your Beaverton, Oregon dentist at Murray Scholls Family Dental for any other questions.