Many adults choose to get braces to straighten their teeth or correct their bite, and the decision to do so is often based on personal preference and goals for oral health. However, getting braces in the teenage years is different from getting them in adulthood. The OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Kishkindha, BDS, based in Ludhiana, Punjab, to learn more about it.
Importance of Braces
Along with improving the appearance of your teeth, braces can also help with functional issues such as bite problems and difficulty chewing. They can even help prevent future dental problems by ensuring that your teeth are properly aligned.
While people may take some time to get used to braces and may require some lifestyle adjustments, many adults find the benefits of having straight teeth and a corrected bite well worth the investment. Braces can boost self-esteem and confidence, and they can also improve overall oral health.
What Are The Complications & Risks Involved?
Dr Kishkindha said, "There is no particular age to get braces. But it is better to get braces in your teenage years. This is because bone growth is involved when a person gets braces, so the treatment should be done as early as possible. Bone growth is good in children and young people, while it slows in older adults. Thus, the recovery period also increases in adults."
More Attention & Care Needed
It's important to note that adult braces may require more time and attention than braces for children or teenagers. This is because adult teeth are more mature and set in their ways, so they may require more time and effort to move into their proper positions. In some cases, adults may need to wear braces for a longer period of time than younger individuals.
Dr Kishkindha stated that orthodontic hygiene is essential when it comes to braces. She added, "It becomes challenging to brush properly and maintain good oral hygiene while you have braces on your teeth. This can make teeth prone to calculus deposits. Thus, an adult who is getting braces should make sure to brush and maintain proper oral hygiene."
More Time Needed For Results
Be realistic about your expectations. Patience is important, as it may take up to several years to achieve the desired results. "In older adults, certain factors that aid in bone growth and development become slow. As a result, the treatment takes much longer as compared to teenagers."
Wearing braces requires regular visits to the orthodontist, and you will need to be diligent about following the prescribed treatment plan. Dr Kishkindha emphasised that people – whether young or old – must wear retainers after completing their orthodontic treatment, which can further increase the treatment time. Retainers should be worn after the orthodontic treatment is completed to ensure that the position of teeth does not move back to the pre-treatment position.
Impact Of Oral & Other Health Problems On Braces
Dr Kishkindha stated, "The orthodontic treatment becomes more challenging when a person suffers from oral health problems. For instance, if a person develops lesions in the oral cavity, the braces can react with them, as they are also foreign objects. Other health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension also play a role in it. In these conditions, bone growth is delayed and compromised. For such patients, it is beneficial to manage sugar levels and blood pressure before going for orthodontic treatment."
In conclusion, there is no right age for adult braces, but if you're considering braces as an adult, the best thing to do is to consult with an orthodontist. They can assess your dental needs and help you determine if braces are the right treatment option for you. With the right orthodontist and a commitment to your treatment plan, you can achieve a beautiful, healthy smile at any age.
Image Credits: freepik