When you think of braces, the first thing that comes to mind are images of high school kids anxiously waiting to get their “metal” removed. However, braces have changed a lot over the last few decades. While teens are still the primary demographic for braces, you should know that braces are becoming more popular as a corrective tool for older adults.
On the Rise: Orthodontics for Seniors
Since the mid-2000s, seniors have been using braces at a steadily growing rate according to the American Association of Orthodontists. This trend might be driven by increased attention to oral health, or an increased life expectancy for older adults.
Modern Braces Provide Options and Convenience
One reason more seniors may be wearing braces is because over the last few decades, there have been huge changes in the way they are made, providing more options and convenience.
Patients no longer need to endure painful metal banding or worry about the affect braces may have on their appearance. Today, braces are often designed to be at least partially hidden from view. Some of these new technologies include white ceramic braces, clear retainers, and “lingual” braces that are placed behind the teeth.
Questions About Modern Braces
How long will braces take to correct my teeth?
Most orthodontic patients only need to wear their braces for about six to nine months for them to be effective.
Are braces uncomfortable or painful?
With the latest improvements in orthodontic technology, the painful aspects of braces are often no longer an issue. Dentists generally do not use metal bands to keep braces in place, and newer placement techniques are very gentle.
Do braces cause cavities?
While older banding methods could lead to white spots on teeth and even cavities, modern braces make it easier to clean your teeth, which makes good oral hygiene much easier than it used to be.
How much do they cost?
At the time of writing in June 2014, a full set of braces costs between $1,800-$5,000 on average.
How can I learn more?
If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontics for seniors, discuss your options with your dentist.
The information on this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Tooth Wisdom® and Oral Health America do not recommend or endorse any specific dentists, products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned. See full Terms & Conditions.