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Adult Orthodontics – Fact Sheet

“Excuse me, I need what?”
So, you made it through adolescence relatively unscathed. Your parents respectfully stayed away from home football games. You actually had a date for the prom. Then, just when you thought it was safe to start feeling smug about it all, your dentist slays you with three of the most dreaded words known to aesthetically conscious people everywhere: “You need braces.”


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adult-ortho-bothAmericans are putting greater emphasis on health, fitness and self-improvement, and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment. And recent advances, such as less visible and more effective brackets and wires, now make orthodontic treatment more palatable for many adults. Of the 1.3 million people who begin treatment each year, 25 percent are over 18 years old. And most feel that the benefit of improved self-image is well worth the time and investment.

But even more important than giving you a winning smile, orthodontic treatment may benefit your dental and general health. If teeth are poorly aligned, removing plaque and tartar by brushing and flossing alone may be difficult. A poor bite may result in fractured or excessively worn tooth surfaces. And the extra stress caused by a poor bite can even result in pain or problems with the jaw joints.

While most dentists treat some orthodontic problems, if yours thinks you should see a specialist, he or she will refer you to an orthodontist. The cost and length of your treatment will depend on several factors: the severity of the problem for which it is prescribed; the health of your teeth, gums and supporting bones; your age; and how closely you follow your dentist’s or your orthodontist’s instructions.

Yes, donning braces at the age of 30, or 40, or even 60, can be a somewhat humbling experience. However, it might help to remember the words of wisdom parents have shared with their kids over the years like, “It builds character.”

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