It’s Never Too Late for Straight Teeth
Here, five things to think about if you’re over 50 and considering braces
These days it seems every 20-something has perfectly straight teeth. Yet we Baby Boomers grew up in a time when braces were primarily reserved for the worst cases – kids with buck teeth or massive gaps. Slightly crooked teeth were the norm, something you just lived with.
Well, not anymore. Increasingly, people of all ages are opting for million dollar smiles and perfectly aligned teeth.
“Adult orthodontic treatments have really expanded in the last 10 to 15 years,” says Dr. Helene Grubisa, an Oakville, Ontario-based orthodontist and the president of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists.
According to some estimates 20 to 25 per cent of orthodontic patients are adults and more than half of them are women.
3) Orthodontics before dental prosthetics: If you’re planning on getting a crown, veneers, implants or bridges, it’s best to do the braces first, so your teeth are properly aligned. Think of it as prep work. “This is so the orthodontist can optimize the placements for these things and set up the best possible framework,” explains Dr. Grubisa.
4) Get ready for lots of choice: The technology of orthodontics has changed significantly in the past 35 or 40 years. There are more choices and the treatments are better and more comfortable than they used to be. The days of ‘metal mouth’ are over. Traditional-style braces are now smaller, less visible, the wires much gentler and there are generally fewer required visits to the orthodontist, says Dr. Grubisa. There are also the clear liner options, such as Invisalign, which have no wires or brackets and are almost invisible, as well as removable for eating, brushing and flossing. “The clear liners are particularly appealing to people who don’t want to be wearing braces, say, during a business lunch.” Another option is lingual braces, which are placed on the inside surfaces of the teeth so they’re barely visible. These tend to be the most costly.
5) Interactions with medications: Some medications, like anti-inflammatory drugs or certain osteoporosis medicines can have an effect on treatment and the movement of teeth, so it’s important to talk to an orthodontist about what you’re taking.