According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) nearly one in five orthodontic patients are over the age of 18. While the majority of these patients are young professionals in their 20s and 30s, a growing number of adults with braces are middle-aged or even retired.
The reason why people who are advanced in age choose treatment may come down to changing expectations about teeth. Americans are living longer than they have in any other time in history. While older adults have been content with dentures in the past, folks today want to keep their teeth. With technological advances there are more options to keep teeth healthy for a longer period of time.
The aging process often causes issues with jaw position and teeth alignment, which can lead to gum disease or worn-down tooth enamel. Dr. Gayle Glenn, former AAO president, told Washington-based publication The Inlander that adults today have no intention of treating their teeth like their grandparents may have.
"Certainly people in my generation and younger expect to keep their teeth," Glenn told the source.
Glenn added that some older adults worry about how braces will look on them. They often think that their only options are traditional metal brackets and wires. It's a pleasant surprise when they find out that products like Invisalign or lingual braces may be available to them. Common concerns about time commitment are often relaxed when they find out that large numbers of appointments are not necessary.
If you're interested in learning how you could benefit from adult braces, your best source of information is an orthodontist in New York. Contact the friendly staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists today to schedule a free consultation.