According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), over 20 percent of braces wearers are adults. You may think this number just consists of 20 and 30-somethings who missed out on orthodontic treatment as children, but a growing number of adults with braces are over the age of 55.
Although there have been no widespread surveys of over-55 adult braces wearers, anecdotal evidence suggests that this trend is growing. In an interview with the Columbia University News Service, Dr. Don Joondeph, former president of the AAO, said he had six to eight patients between 70 and 80 and "two or three dozen" who are over 60.
"People are healthier longer," he said to the source. "A patient who comes in at 60 could have 30, 40 years ahead of them. They're making a good investment for their health."
Older Americans, who have traditionally chosen dentures or implant dentistry, are seeing orthodontic treatment as a viable alternative. Technological advances like ceramic brackets, Invisalign retainers and lingual braces appeal to people who may be embarrassed about wearing traditional metal braces.
Patients of any age can wear braces as long as they have strong, healthy teeth. In the past, it was common for people to begin losing their teeth in their 40s, but improvements in preventative dentistry have slowed that trend. Seniors are less willing to lose their teeth and will work hard to keep them.
Braces are not for everyone, so it is important to speak with an experienced orthodontist. If you are interested in adult braces, contact a New York City orthodontist today who can answer any questions that you may have.