It is highly recommended that braces be installed and used on teens. But this does not mean that adults cannot or should not wear braces. As an adult, there are challenges that can be faced when attempting to straighten your teeth that are not as common in teens. Here are three challenges that you may face when attempting to use braces to straighten your teeth as an adult and how an orthodontist can help you to overcome these challenges.
You May Have Gingivitis
One of the challenges that adults face when getting braces is gingivitis. It is estimated that over 47 percent of adults have some form of gum disease or periodontal disease, ranging from mild to severe. Unfortunately, gum disease can cause problems as your teeth need to shift along the gum line. Gingivitis must be controlled before braces can be placed. If the gingivitis is severe, gum grafts may be needed to ensure that there is enough gum tissue to hold and support your teeth as they shift.
The Facial Bones Have Hardened
Another challenge that is faced when braces are placed on adults is that their facial bones, particularly the jaw bone, has already hardened. The reason placing braces is ideal during the teenage years is because the jaw has not yet hardened. The teeth can be shifted easier on a softer jaw bone and then the jaw bone can harden around those shifted teeth. As an adult, you may have to wear braces for longer as it takes the teeth longer to shift and move if your jaw bone is hardened.
Teeth May Not Move to Old Extraction Sites
The last challenge that is faced when braces are placed on adults is that teeth may not want to move or shift over old extraction sites. If you have had a tooth removed in the past, that extraction site has likely healed and there is likely scar tissue present. In addition to this, the bone may now be gone. Teeth may not be able to shift over this extraction site and if they can, there may be no bone to support the teeth. As such, an orthodontist will work to ensure there is enough space for your teeth to shift without having to go over the extraction site. If there is not enough space to work with, prosthetic bone may need to be added to the extraction site so the teeth can shift there.
If you are looking to get braces for adults, it is important to understand that the process may take a bit longer than if you were a teenager and that there may be challenges that you face. However, a great orthodontist can work through these challenges, giving you the straight white smile you have been dreaming of.Share