I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone say “I’m too old for braces”. I often wonder why, in these modern times of internet access and blogging etc, people still believe that braces are something that only children and adolescents can have. There have been enough celebrities (and royalty too!) who have had their teeth straightened as adults to dispel that myth, so is there really something else going on here?
It might be more truthful to say that some people don’t think they could cope with having a brace as an adult. Many of the reasons behind this perhaps stem from our pre-conceived ideas of braces. We may have had a friend at school with a removable brace or plate who never wore it so it didn’t work, and we certainly get a skewed idea of what braces look like from films and TV (just think of Johnny Depp in Willy Wonka or Ugly Betty!). The reality is that a lot of adults feel very self-conscious about having a brace that they put up barriers to treatment subconsciously (what will others think of them, they don’t want to appear vain) and we are fearful of putting ourselves in that position.
Another fear is pain. As we age our tolerance for pain does decrease, so we try and avoid things that are painful – like going to the hygienist! However, we are willing to have an armful of injections in order to go on safari or exotic holidays. So what does that tell us? We are willing to have something that we don’t enjoy in order to get the benefits! So why can’t having braces be the same? After all the benefits of having a straighter smile include easier to clean teeth and improved oral hygiene, increased confidence and a more youthful appearance! So don’t let the excuse of age put you off. If you want something enough you’ll do whatever it takes to get it.
Maybe take the advice from one of our patients, Roger, who had treatment in his 50s – “Having finally taking the plunge after a couple of false starts, I would recommend anyone to do likewise. I am delighted with the outcome – I cannot believe I left it so long! The difference is spectacular – thanks to everyone at Park Lane Orthodontics!”