In the past, we used to think of Invisalign as something that people did as children or teens. But these days more and more adults are getting their teeth straightened.

But can you always get your teeth straightened? Or is there a point where you’re just too old for Invisalign? There’s no upper age limit for orthodontic work, but there are some considerations to take into account if you’re considering Invisalign as an older adult.

Why Get Your Teeth Straightened at Any Age

man with braces smilingMany people think that there are no good reasons to get Invisalign as a senior, but the reasons for getting your teeth straight are the same no matter what your age. This includes:

  • Getting an attractive smile
  • Improving chances in job interviews
  • Enjoying improved health
  • Getting a more efficient bite

For many of these, you might think that it’s no longer worth it at a certain age. But with people living longer than ever, it’s important to think long-term, no matter what your age. If you’re currently 60, you’re probably going to live at least another decade, probably two, and maybe three or four. That’s an entire lifetime for most people in history. And if you’re going to live another life, why not live it with a beautiful smile?

People are also staying healthier longer. You may not feel young, but you probably feel vigorous enough that you are looking forward not just to a lot of years in your life, but a lot of life in your years. And having a beautiful, straight smile can help with that. Choosing Invisalign is choosing to continue living life to the fullest, no matter your age. 

Bone Matters for Invisalign

One of our major concerns for orthodontics, as for dental implants, is that you not only have good bone, but that your bone can heal properly. If you either don’t have good bone density or if you have conditions that impair bone healing, then we may not be able to move your teeth with Invisalign.

One potential concern is osteonecrosis when the bone dies because it doesn’t have enough blood. This is rare for most people, but some medical treatments can increase your risk. If you take bisphosphonates for osteoporosis or have had radiotherapy for cancer of the head or neck, this could be a concern. We will want to talk to your doctor before we decide if Invisalign is right for you.

However, we might still consider cosmetic straightening with instant orthodontics.

Previous Dental Work

Speaking of dental implants, if you have one or more dental implants, it can interfere with Invisalign. Dental implants can’t move the same way that natural teeth do, so we’d have to work around them. In many cases, that may make Invisalign or traditional orthodontics out of the question. But instant orthodontics could still work.

Another concern is if you’ve had restorations placed on or in some of your teeth. A tooth that is weakened by large fillings may not be able to be moved without cracking.

If you have dental crowns, the brackets for wire braces might not secure to them as well. This is where Invisalign has an advantage. It doesn’t always need to bond to your tooth. The clear plastic aligners can shepherd a crowned tooth as easily as a tooth without crowns. 

Oral Health and Hygiene

And of course, we’re concerned about your oral health. Since gum disease risk increases with age, we want to look carefully at your level of risk and ask seriously how orthodontics could affect that.

For orthodontic treatment to be successful and safe, you have to be committed to good oral hygiene. Invisalign has an advantage over traditional braces here, too. If a loss of manual dexterity is already making it hard to clean your teeth, you don’t want to add the complexity of traditional brackets and wires. With removable aligners, Invisalign makes it easier to clean your teeth while getting them straightened. However, you should be prepared to brush and floss more frequently.

If you are concerned about being able to keep your teeth clean during your treatment, we can recommend good tools that make it easier to effectively clean your teeth.

Ask about Invisalign in Irvine

When all is said and done, we can’t tell if you’re a candidate for Invisalign without a comprehensive exam. If you’re tired of living with crooked teeth and want a straighter, more beautiful smile, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.