Orthodontists are seeing an increase in adult treatment with a number of older Americans opting for braces, Invisalign and other procedures. A Columbus, Ohio, woman recently shared her story with local media outlets about why she thinks you’re never too old to fix your grin. She recalls being so embarrassed by her teeth that she would cover her mouth when she laughed and had perfected a closed-mouth smile for photos. It was just a few months before her 70th birthday when she decided to fix her teeth once and for all. She was especially embarrassed by the gaps in her teeth, and after discussing options with an orthodontist she picked traditional braces.
In just two years, she got the flawless smile she’d always dreamed of — the perfect birthday gift to herself. She isn’t alone, with retirees around the country flocking to the dental chair for straighter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists President Dr. Bob Varner, says, “Healthy teeth can be moved at any age,” and encourages people of all ages to consider orthodontics for a better, more beautiful and healthier smile.
The New Face of Retirement
Varner notes, “We regularly treat patients in their 50s, 60s and 70s — and a few times in their 80s.” The AAO is the governing body of 17,000 orthodontists around the world and keeps loose tabs on how many older adults are opting for treatment. The data suggests a 40 percent spike in people 18-plus getting braces and other teeth-straightening devices compared to 20 years ago, particularly in the United States and Canada.
The AAO reports that even more adults would likely get braces if it weren’t for financial concerns and if more education about today’s options was available. Fortunately, many times insurance policies will cover part or all of orthodontics, and if they don’t, then you can rely on many orthodontists to offer reasonable payment plans. Myths still linger about “brace face,” such as claims that braces are painful, unattractive or that your only options are traditional silver braces. The reality is that today’s braces feature state-of-the-art technology, are comfortable and options like Invisalign and colored braces provide many ways to express yourself (or not!) during orthodontic treatment.
Perfect Patient Profile
Even more good news: Thanks to dentistry advances, more people are keeping their teeth longer, which means these teeth can be straightened. Longer life expectancy also means that older Americans are seeing the value of braces in their later years. Dr. Varner says, “People aren’t figuring, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter what I do with my teeth because I’m going to lose my teeth anyway,’” which has helped optimize the orthodontics boom later in life.
Bites change over your lifetime and financial security is more feasible at an older age, making older Americans perfect candidates for orthodontics. Contact Johnson Elite Orthodontics of Salt Lake City for all of your orthodontic treatment needs from childhood to adulthood.