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Are Adult Braces for You?

Q: I know some adults who have braces, but does orthodontic treatment really work as well for adults as for children?

A: Today, orthodontic treatment is a viable option for nearly any adult. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists estimates that more than 1 million adults in the United States and Canada are being treated by its members. If your teeth are healthy, an orthodontist can move them at any age.

Q: Why do adults generally get braces?

A: An orthodontic problem that may have been minor or left untreated as a child often worsens with age. When teeth are crowded and don’t fit together properly, this can lead to painful problems with both the teeth and gums.

Q: Does orthodontic treatment pose problems for adults that children don’t face?

A: It’s much easier to move teeth while the jaw is growing, rather than after it has stopped growing. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and the bone that supports the teeth. For these reasons, the orthodontist may work with your dentist, an oral surgeon, and other medical professionals to create and implement the best treatment plan.

Q: What kinds of braces are available?

A: There are a variety of choices including metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and concealed braces that have brackets that attach to the back of your teeth.

Q: How can I find out if braces are right for me?

A: The first step is to consult with your dentist and ask for an evaluation.

Once you are fitted with braces, you will be able to continue to live a completely normal life. You will be able to sing, play a musical instrument, dine out, kiss, and have your picture taken with confidence. Your only constraint may be wearing a protective mouth guard while playing sports and other activities that may result in injury to your mouth or jaw.

“FAQs” American Association of Orthodontists. http://www.mylifemysmile.org/faq. Accessed 2013.

“Can Adults Wear Braces?” Know Your Teeth, Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=C&iid=322&aid=1303. Accessed 2013.

“Braces.” American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/braces. Accessed 2013.

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