Braces after 50?

Would you wear braces or a retainer? There are no age limits to orthodontic treatment. Just be aware that treatment goes more slowly as you get older, so it may take longer to get the results you want.

Orthodontia: The basics

Orthodontics deals with straightening teeth and correcting irregular bites. This is accomplished through the use of corrective appliances, including braces and retainers. There are two phases to orthodontic treatment: the active phase and the retention phase.

  • The active phase involves the use of braces to move the teeth into their new position
  • The retention phase involves the use of a retainer to keep the teeth in place.

Orthodontic techniques

Braces work to move the teeth by applying continuous pressure in a specific direction. This pressure is adjusted multiple times over the course of the treatment, which can last anywhere from one to three years, and sometimes longer. Braces consist of brackets, which are applied to the teeth with a bonding agent, and wires, which are threaded through the brackets to guide the teeth to their new position. The newer Damon Bracket utilizes technology that allows the wire to slide back and forth within the bracket, which creates less friction and results in more comfort. Ceramic brackets are translucent, so they blend in with your natural tooth color and will not stain or discolor over long periods of time. Invisalign® is an orthodontic system that works to straighten the teeth through the use of a series of clear plastic molds called aligners. The number of aligners used will depend on each individual, and they are worn for two weeks and then changed. This process is repeated until the teeth are in the desired position. The entire treatment takes the same amount of time as traditional braces.

Can any vibrant woman have orthodontic treatment?

Not all adults are candidates for orthodontia. Some adults have gums that have receded too much or have shallow roots from years of abuse. In these cases, veneers are often used to mimic the effects of orthodontia treatment.

What you should know:

DURATION: Depending on what needs to be done, orthodontia on adults may take from 18 months to several years

COSTS: Fee varies depending on the type of braces used and the length of treatment, but range between $5,000 and $8,000.

RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS: In adults, braces can take a much longer time to reposition teeth, and the results are not always permanent as teeth may shift back over time. In many cases, a combination of Invisalign® and porcelain veneers will provide the best result.

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