adult woman with braces smiling We know that people think that your teenage years are the time to get braces. They think that if you didn’t get them, then you’ve missed your chance. However, that’s not true. While there are definitely advantages to getting orthodontics when you’re young, there is no age limit to when you can get braces or another type of orthodontics.

This blog explains some of the issues to consider when getting orthodontics as an adult, but the Miami, FL cosmetic dentists at Luxe Smiles can help you decide if you’re a good candidate for braces.

Professional Appearances

One concern people have about getting braces as an adult is that coworkers, clients, and others won’t take them seriously. As more adults get braces, this is less of a concern. However, it’s not insignificant. If this worries you, we sympathize, and we have good news for you.

These days there are several orthodontic options that are discreet and very hard to notice. Even metal braces can have clear or white ceramic brackets and a tooth-colored wire.

Clear plastic aligners are even more subtle. Even a person talking to you in the elevator might not notice your aligners. Nobody needs to know unless you tell them.

Some people worry about braces interfering with their ability to speak clearly during professional presentations. Clear braces help with this because they are removable. You can take them out for important presentations and pitch meetings.

Tell our Palmetto Bay cosmetic dentists that this is important to you, and they’ll help you select the right orthodontic treatment for you.

Better Hygiene Required

You always have to be careful about hygiene with braces, but adults need to take even greater care.

One of the biggest concerns related to getting braces as an adult–especially an older adult–is gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, and it’s linked to dozens of major health concerns. Gum disease risk increases as we get older. The CDC estimates that about half (47%) of adults aged 30 and over have gum disease. By age 65, 70% of adults have gum disease..

The good news is that after you get orthodontics, your gum disease risk decreases. However, during orthodontic treatment, your gum disease risk can increase because of the additional challenges of cleaning your teeth.

Before starting orthodontics, our Miami dentists will evaluate your oral health. If you have serious gum disease, we might recommend postponing treatment until we get gum disease under control. We’ll talk to you about your ability to clean your teeth, and if you have difficulty, we might recommend removable clear aligners that make it easier to clean your teeth and gums.

The risk of cavities also increases as we get older. If you aren’t carefully cleaning your teeth around braces, you may develop cavities that can threaten your teeth. Some habits like smoking, wine drinking, and soda drinking can make your risk even higher. Consider cutting back or quitting altogether during orthodontic treatment.

Bone Health

Orthodontics moves your teeth by encouraging your bones to regrow around your teeth. Pressure on your teeth encourages your body to remove bone from one side of your teeth and build it up on the other side. This lets your teeth move.  If your body doesn’t have healthy bone, it might have trouble doing this. Mild to moderate osteoporosis isn’t necessarily a problem in this context. However, if you have severe osteoporosis and are taking certain osteoporosis medications, pain medications, or certain hormones, you might have a harder time getting good results from orthodontics. If you’ve had cancer treatments that affect your jawbone, you might not be a good candidate for orthodontics.

Our Palmetto Bay dentists will talk to you about your bone health, as well as any medications you are currently taking. We’ll evaluate your current situation to help you decide whether you’re a good candidate for braces or not.

What If You’ve Had Braces Before?

Some people consider getting orthodontics as an adult because previous orthodontic treatment relapsed. Just as orthodontics can move your teeth, the daily forces of biting and chewing can also move your teeth. Retainers help prevent these forces from moving your teeth back to their previous configuration. As long as you wear your retainers, your orthodontic results can last forever. However, once you stop wearing a retainer, your teeth can move. How much they move varies from person to person.

The good news is that it’s usually easier to treat orthodontic relapse than to straighten your teeth the first time. There are special treatments designed for people with relapse. Often, you can complete these in a matter of weeks to regain your straight smile.

Considering Adult Braces in Miami?

If you’re unhappy with crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, you don’t have to just accept them. It doesn’t matter your age; you can get orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of your smile.

Want to talk to a Miami cosmetic dentist about whether you’re a good candidate for braces? Please call (305) 253-7670 or email Luxe Smiles to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Palmetto Bay.

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Dr. Anamary Testar