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How old is too old for orthodontic treatment?

Do you smile with your lips closed or focus on being at a certain angle in photographs to hide your teeth? Did you have orthodontic treatment as a child, but have since stopped wearing your retainer and have noticed that your teeth have started moving? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, ~50% of the patients in our practice are adults including patients in their 50s, 60s and 70s. All of them had stories such as these that first brought them to our office. One patient broke our heart telling us she hasn’t truly smiled in any of the photos in the first year of her baby’s life because she didn’t like her smile. This doesn’t have to be the case!

Orthodontic treatment moves teeth in the same way for a 75-year old as it does for a 13-year old. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age! No one is ‘too old’ for orthodontic treatment. If an adult is self-conscious about their smile, orthodontic treatment can provide them with the same benefits younger patients enjoy – teeth that function well, and that look nice, too.

If treatment is recommended, there are a number of options available today that make it much less noticeable than it was in the past. Thanks to today’s technology, many of today’s appliances are nearly invisible. These appliances include clear aligner trays (i.e. Invisalign®) and clear ceramic braces, but even brackets used in more traditional stainless steel braces are small and sleek.

Orthodontic treatment not only gives patients straight teeth but aligns the bite so that teeth meet properly. A good bite makes it easier to chew and speak. It can also enhance your appearance and contribute to your overall health because a good bite makes it possible to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods. Straighter teeth are also easier to brush and floss making you less prone to cavities.

In addition to the oral health benefits, patients appreciate the improvement in the look of their teeth and their smile brought about by orthodontic treatment. We often notice the improvement in our patient’s self-esteem as they go through orthodontic treatment. Our patients smile more brightly with each visit! Orthodontic treatment is a smart investment in your dental, physical and emotional health at any age! It’s never too late to get the smile of your dreams!

The above case was treated with Invisalign® clear aligners. Learn more about the benefits of Invisalign® over traditional braces here.


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