What to Know About Orthodontics After 50

Despite what many people think, getting braces isn’t just for those in their preeteen and teenage years. In fact, many people over the age of 50 are requesting braces too! Whether you want a nice smile or not isn’t based upon how old you are. In the last ten years or so, adults having orthodontic treatment done has increased by 40%. And, sometimes the desire for more aligned teeth isn’t just about aesthetics. Teeth that are crooked and crowded can be harder to keep clean, which can lead to more plaque buildup, cavities, and gum inflammation. 

As an adult, do our teeth change?

Everyone knows that teeth move and grow the most when we are in our childhood up until post-puberty years. So the question may then be, once our body has surpassed its prime growth period, do the teeth continue to change over time? The answer is yes. Teeth are nestled within bone and gum tissue, which goes through a continual process of breakdown and regrowth. Those who are affected by bone loss in their jaw may find that their teeth have grown inwards, causing crowding that wasn’t an issue in their younger days.

Are there any complications that can develop with a misaligned bite?

Yes, misaligned bites can turn into even worse issues as an adult. For example, people with very deep bites in which their top set of teeth cover the lower part completely when the jaw is closed, tend to have problems associated with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This joint connects the skull and jawbone. An adult patient who’s been dealing with a misaligned bite for 20 to 50 years, may experience headaches and muscle pain. But then after the correction, these symptoms are greatly alleviated or disappear entirely. 

Are there corrective options for people who don’t want wires in their mouth?

It isn’t uncommon for patients, especially those in adulthood, to ask about treatment options that don’t involve braces. Your orthodontist can examine your teeth and offer suggestions on the most effective course of treatment. The options that orthodontists offer today can entail more light, gentle, cheaper, and discrete methods of tooth correction. 

  • Ceramic braces: these translucent braces are worn on the front of the teeth and blend in with the tooth color. 
  • Lingual braces: these braces are mounted on the underside of your teeth, so they are virtually invisible to anyone else. 
  • Clear aligners: these aligners don’t entail braces or wires at all. They are removable and clear trays made of acrylic that slip over teeth. They are worn almost 24 hours a day, except for when removed to eat and for cleaning. 

Whether you are 20, 30, 50, or older, orthodontics can greatly improve your quality of life if you struggle with misaligned teeth and bite. If you are curious to know more about what orthodontics can offer you, then you can speak with a reputable orthodontist in Dana Point, CA, such as from John Redmond Orthodontics! Many clinics offer a free consultation so you can get an idea of what treatment would entail before committing to the entire process.