Are braces just for children?

Many of us have grown up watching our school friends wearing braces and assume that once we get past the age of 18 there is nothing that can be done about the position of the teeth.

Interestingly, many adults notice that their teeth get more crooked with age and may not have needed a brace as an adolescent. This is entirely normal, as your teeth do move about and are affected by ageing. This can be seen most dramatically at the end of the teens or the beginning of the early twenties when the lower jaw finishes growing.

The teeth are usually in balance between the muscles of the tongue and lips, so when the lower jaw grows the lower teeth in particular are moved forwards. This means the lips are slightly tighter and can therefore push the front teeth back causing them to bunch together and overlap. If you have minor crookedness of your teeth, this will usually get gradually worse with age.

One of the other reasons why teeth can move dramatically can be due to gum disease so you should check with your dentist that you don’t have this first before embarking on orthodontic treatment.

So what can be done?

Teeth can be straightened at any age, it just takes a bit longer in an adult as they have stopped growing and the bone is not remaking itself as it does in growing adolescents. The good news is that new technology such as AcceleDent can reduce the time it takes to complete adult brace treatments by at least 30%, so it may be as quick as 6-9 months to get a fantastic smile.

Paula

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