AAO Ragan Orthodontics in Dallas, TX

Braces for Adults – Am I Too Old?

Just about anybody can get braces, and there are reasons an adult might want them. The obvious and probably most common reason is to improve their smile. Take a look at options for braces for adults. 

Other reasons for getting braces

There are other reasons for getting braces as an adult that don’t involve vanity. For example, a person’s teeth shift throughout their life. In some cases, a person who had braces as a teenager may find that their teeth have shifted back to their original positions. Similarly, if somebody loses a tooth, the other teeth will eventually shift to close that gap and cause problems in the process.

Braces can also be used to treat jaw pain caused by bite problems. They may also be used to help a patient prepare for a new implant, crown or bridge by changing the position of the teeth.

Who should not get braces?

The patient’s age is less important than their health. A good candidate for braces will have healthy teeth, gums and jawbones. Conversely, people who have unhealthy gums, severe receding gums or bone loss should not get braces. In other words, you can be in your thirties and still can get braces as long as your teeth and gums are healthy.

Some patients are allergic to the materials used to make braces or retainers. For example, some people are allergic to nickel, which is used to make some wires or brackets. Others are allergic to the latex sometimes found in exam gloves, elastics or o-ring ligatures. Such patients can probably still get braces – but they need to talk to their orthodontist about any available alternatives to the usual materials.

Some unfortunate patients may not discover their allergy until after they’ve begun their treatment. They should tell their orthodontist if they start developing a lot of mouth sores, hives, swelling, or have trouble breathing.

Other considerations

Getting braces is a major commitment. The procedure typically takes two years and costs anywhere between $3000 and $6000.

The patient will have to be diligent about cleaning their teeth. Food stuck in the braces will cause both a bad smell and tooth decay. Patients should therefore brush their teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. While flossing with braces can be difficult, there are “floss threader” products that can help.

After the braces are taken off, the patient will need to wear a retainer. Most patients will need to wear the retainer 24/7 for the first six months after the removal of their braces. After that, they will have to wear the retainer at night for the rest of their lives. The retainer will prevent their teeth from shifting back into their old, crooked positions. A retainer generally needs cleaning and care. They should be brushed daily and cleaned with a bacteria-killing product like Retainer Brite or Dentasoak.

At Ragan Orthodontics getting patients the right type of braces and making their teeth look great again is important. Dr. Ragan will be able to answer any questions or concerns you might have if you think you need braces whether you are an adult or have a child that is in need. Please feel free to contact us to schedule your consultation and we can get you on track to get a brighter, straighter, healthy smile.