In the past, we used to think of

orthodontics 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 orthodontics? There’s no upper age limit for orthodontic work, but there are some considerations to take into account if you’re considering orthodontic work as an older adult.

Why Get Your Teeth Straightened at Any Age

Many people think that there’re no good reasons to get your teeth straightened 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?
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Bone Matters for Orthodontics

One of our major concerns for orthodontics, as for dental implants, is that you not only have good bone, but that your bone is able to 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 traditional orthodontics.

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 orthodontics. 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 traditional orthodontics out of the question again. 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. And if you have dental crowns, the brackets for wire braces might not secure to them as well, which might make Invisalign the orthodontic treatment of choice.

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 personal 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. If you’re not prepared to put in the extra time and effort it takes to keep teeth clean with braces or aligners, then maybe orthodontics aren’t a good idea. The same goes if you are unable to perform good oral hygiene due to arthritis or other conditions.

You Won’t Know until You Ask

When all is said and done, we can’t tell if you’re a candidate for orthodontics 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.