It’s Never Too Late to Move Them

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

For many young people with poorly aligned teeth, wearing braces is just one more adolescent rite of passage. Yet today more adults are also realizing the benefits of choosing to “grin and bear it.” The number of people over the age of 21 who have chosen orthodontic treatment has increased dramatically within the last decade.

Treatment of misaligned teeth is possible even if you are age 50 or beyond, although it is important to discuss your expectations with an orthodontist. Although there are several types of braces, they all work under the same principle. Teeth are “harnessed” together, usually with wires that are adjusted periodically to exert the proper amount of corrective tension on your teeth. Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners that fit snuggly over your teeth like a thin night guard. Each aligner in the series is designed to apply a precise amount of pressure to specific teeth to produce the movement required to improve your occlusion. Each aligner is worn for two weeks before going onto the next in the series. During the corrective process, you may experience some soreness as your teeth respond to the shifting, but the long term result is definitely worth it.

You might consider orthodontic treatment for the following reasons:

  1. To improve your appearance by correcting teeth that protrude, recede, or crowd one another. Orthodontic treatment often results in a more aesthetically pleasing smile, which can boost your self-esteem.
  2. Proper alignment of your teeth can prevent gum disease. Crowded or misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean, and bacteria is often trapped near the gumline causing inflammation.
  3. Orthodontics can also correct an improper bite, which can put pressure on your teeth and cause joint discomfort or can lead to premature wear of tooth surfaces.

Remember that it is never too late for orthodontic treatment, so brace yourself for a better, healthier smile!

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