San Diego, CA – Can adults wear braces, too? While braces are most commonly seen on adolescents and teens, the answer is yes – you’re never too old for orthodontic treatment. In fact, today nearly one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.
“I provide orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages,” says Dr. Santiago Surillo, a San Diego orthodontist. “There are many reasons why an adult may seek out treatment. Perhaps they never got the treatment they needed as a child, or maybe they’ve noticed that as they’ve aged, their teeth have shifted a bit. Whatever the reason, we’re always happy to work with patients of all ages.”
Braces provide the same benefits for adults as they do for adolescents. A straighter smile and better functioning bite can help you tackle the world with confidence. But, as an adult, orthodontic treatment may take a bit longer than it might for a younger patient. That’s because younger patients have the benefit of a jaw that is still growing. Once the jaw stops growing, it take a bit longer to guide the teeth to their new locations. The average length of treatment for an adult is 18-36 months.
The good news is that there are more options in braces than ever before. Maybe as a teen you decided you didn’t want to be a metal mouth, so you opted out. Metal braces are still the most popular option because they are the most affordable and efficient, but the good news is they are sleeker than ever before. In addition to metal braces, you can choose from:
- There are also clear and ceramic braces, that are worn just like traditional metal braces, but they blend in better with your natural tooth color.
- Lingual braces are affixed to the tongue side of the teeth, making them invisible to others.
- Clear aligners like Invisalign are virtually invisible and fit over your teeth like a retainer.
The aligners are also removable, meaning you don’t have to make adjustments to your diet or your oral hygiene routine. They work best for more mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
“Many of my adult patients are parents of my younger patients who have seen the incredible transformation orthodontics can have on their child’s smile and confidence,” says Dr. Surillo. “You may not even realize that dental issues you’ve had could be corrected with orthodontics. If your teeth are even slightly misaligned, you could be doing damage to your teeth and the health of your mouth.”
That’s because crooked, crowded and otherwise misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, which can lead to decay and gum disease. A poorly aligned bite places uneven pressure, which can cause teeth to chip and break, and it can cause headaches and other pain, as well.
The next time you take your child for an orthodontic check-up, schedule one for yourself, too. You may be surprised what orthodontics can do for you. And the good news is, braces are more efficient and affordable than ever before. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Surillo, call 619-461-6166.