Not Too Late for Braces: Teeth Straighening Options for Adults

Orthodontic procedures for adults have come a long way in the last few years

Credit: Flickr/LaFemmeEnNoir

More and more adults are choosing to get braces to straighten their teeth

Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your teeth? You can do something about it – even if you hate the look of braces

You may have noticed more adults are wearing braces. Adults now comprise 30 percent of the clientele at an average orthodontic practice – double the number from 20 years ago.

Less obvious tooth alignment innovations, like porcelain or tongue-side brackets and removable aligners, have made wearing braces much more acceptable to grown-ups.

While most patients don braces primarily to improve their smiles, there are other important reasons to straighten poorly aligned teeth. An aligned bite improves digestion by helping you chew food better, and straighter teeth are also easier to keep clean, reducing the risk of gum disease.

Teeth Straightening Procedure

The process for correcting misaligned teeth is the same regardless of a patient’s age. The big difference lies in the amount of time required to achieve alignment.

A treatment that might last 18 months for a teen could take two or more years for an adult, largely because the bones of the jaw are harder and denser. Adults are also more likely to have implants, gum recession or heavily restored teeth, requiring orthodontic work to be coordinated with the work of other dental specialists.

Conditions such as diabetes and medications for osteoporosis or other adult illnesses can also lengthen or complicate treatment. These factors, along with the desire for less visible appliances, increase the cost for adults, which can range from $6,000 to $9,000.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.