“Should I get braces?” We get asked this a lot by older patients coming to our Glasgow practice. Along with “Am I too old for dental braces?” or even “Should I get braces again?”, usually when they have had braces as a teenager.
The truth is adults are increasingly seeing the benefits from short term orthodontics as they realise they don’t need to put up with misaligned teeth or gaps in their teeth for the rest of their lives.
The answer to: Should I get braces? Look at the benefits
There was an article in the Guardian a while back called Braces at 30 – and I’m still smiling which considered the issue of braces for adults.
The author had a common enough tale of having braces when she was a teenager. She did not wear the retainer she was given after her treatment and she had a relapse in her dental condition.
Surprisingly some of her friends tried to put her off, suggesting that there is something cute and endearing about severely misaligned teeth.
Of course there isn’t. The suggestion is patronising at best and will grate with any patient suffering from crooked teeth.
Healthy teeth come first
We do still see people who are happily oblivious to the aesthetics of their smile and that is all fine and well as long as their teeth are healthy.
The truth is however that many of us would like to maintain or improve the cosmetic aspects of our dental health.
This is particularly true when there is a big life event about to happen.
The use of clear braces dental treatments such as Six Month Smiles and Invisalign for special occasions is a rising phenomenon.
Brides-to-be often ask us about pre-wedding braces.
But can I still get braces at my age?
The answer is likely to be yes. Age is generally not a barrier to braces treatment and we occasionally place braces in patients who are over 50 years old as well as patients over 60 years old with equally successful outcomes.
Failure to persevere with retainers at night is the number one cause of slippage or crowding relapse. We don’t actually use the term 100% relapse unless we have access to the dental moulds of your teeth prior to the original course of childhood braces.
But never mind 100% slippage. Many people are unhappy with 10% slippage.
The important message here is that should you be aware of any tooth movements after your braces treatment. Visit your dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible to have a new retainer made and progressive relapse can be arrested.
The bad news is that the longer you wait the worse things tend to be and the likelihood of further treatment increases with time.