Dental Health

How Braces Can Change Your Life at Any Age

Did you know that teeth can be moved at any age? In fact, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, sometimes well into their 70’s, proving that if you are unhappy with your teeth, it’s never too late to re-align your smile.

Many of my adult patients feel the desire to return to orthodontics if their teeth have shifted or they stopped wearing a retainer, while others would simply like to have straighter teeth. If you’re unaware of the different types of orthodontic treatment available, and which would work best for you, take a look at this infographic to find out the options.

Are there good results?

At my orthodontic practice in Napa, California, adult patients make up one third of my patient base and I’ve been achieving great results with them. One that stands out is a patient that had lost a front tooth in her teens. This patient had been living without her front tooth for over 30 years, coping with it by never smiling or hiding her mouth. Suffering from low self-esteem, she felt like she didn’t deserve for it to be corrected.

That was all changed when we started her with clear aligners. With the first tray, we were able to paint-in the missing tooth, so the patient could immediately see a difference. Treatment is currently only a few months in and already, her confidence has increased and she can smile without hiding her teeth or smile. It really changes a person’s self-confidence, to be able to just smile. Research shows that when you smile, you feel better, so after 30 years this patient was finally able to do just that. The first day with clear aligners changed her world.

My patient has 18 months of treatment left, after which she will be fitted with a bridge or implant to replace her lost tooth. Although implants and crowns are something that her dentist offers, patients who need them often require their teeth to be moved before the dental work can be completed. This is where your dentist and orthodontist will work as a team to get teeth to the right place for safer and longer lasting implants and crowns.

What risks are involved?

As with any treatment, there are some risks involved for adults that decide to get braces. The overall dental health of a patient is important as periodontal diseases must first be taken care of by a dentist before any orthodontic work can begin. Certain medications can also mean that orthodontic work isn’t possible.

Gum recession or a history of restorative work like crowns or fillings can also be common with older patients, so this can pose individual challenges and would need to be discussed with your orthodontist.  Being diligent with your dental care and making regular visits to your dentist is always important as it helps to keep a healthy foundation, which in turn benefits any orthodontic work you may want to have done in the future.


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