You’re an adult, and you have a lot going for you. You might own a home, have a great job, or have kids that look up to you. Even so, you might want a better smile. If that’s the case, there are a few teeth straightening solutions worth checking out.
For many adults, the prospect of teeth straightening is a bit mortifying. Braces are seen as something you wear as a teenager—not something you’ll need when you’re an adult. But there’s good news:
It’s completely common for adults to require teeth straightening. According to the Wall Street Journal, over 1.2 million people received some form of orthodontic work in 2012 in the U.S. alone, a number which has gone up significantly since the 1990s.
More solutions are available than ever before, especially in the world of invisible aligners that can be taken off for eating and drinking. These minimally-invasive treatments allow adults to skip the embarrassment of braces altogether without sacrificing the benefits of the straightening.
If you’re going to find the right treatment for you, you need to be informed. Let’s explore what it means to have your teeth straightened as an adult, so you can find the ideal solution for your situation.
Why bother straightening your teeth as an adult?
There are a number of reasons to straighten your teeth, and it’s not just about looking good. Here are some reasons adults bother to straighten their smiles:
Your teeth will be easier to clean. Straight, orderly teeth expose a lot of surface area for cleaning, ensuring that your brushing and flossing gives desired results. If your mouth is clean, you’ll have better breath and be able to stop cavities in their tracks.
Decreased headaches and even back pain. Crooked teeth can lead to jaw and head/neck problems that you may have never suspected were caused in the mouth. Jaw misalignment in and of itself can lead to chronic pain that needs to be addressed.
Smiling more. Simply hiding your smile because you don’t want people to see your crooked teeth can have a profound effect on your mood. Some science supports that smiling even helps you promote stress recovery.
Improved confidence. Adults need confidence every bit as much as teenagers do. Handling important meetings, presentations, job interviews—the list of events that require self-confidence goes on and on for adults. Straightening your teeth won’t only give you a healthier smile, but it will make you less self-conscious when you do smile.
Special considerations for straightening teeth later in life
Because you’re not a teenager anymore, you may have additional challenges, especially if you have any underlying gum or pain issues. Sometimes, the following issues can set you back before you begin:
Crowns and cavity fillings can mean that your teeth straightening will require special customization, which is why it’s so important to have a full consultation with a specialist.
Sensitivity to pain is more common in adults, so orthodontists will sometimes “take their time” in moving the teeth.This can lead to a more drawn-out process, which means you need to find the most comfortable solution possible.
Costs tend to go up a little bit because of these considerations; on average, according to the Wall Street Journal, a teeth straightening process for an adult could run as much as a $1,000 more than it would for a teenager.
Invisalign vs. Braces: Which should adults choose?
Despite the great promise of Invisalign and the long-proven effectiveness of braces, there is no perfect solution for all adults. Take a look at the table below to see which solution suits your needs.
Frequent concerns of adult teeth straightening
Although you’re an adult and you can handle the prospect of teeth straightening, it’s perfectly understandable that you’ll have come concerns.
Professionalism is a top concern, especially for those who are entering the workforce or are at a new job. A 25-year-old at a job interview with braces may be concerned that he or she looks “too young” for the job despite their qualifications. In this case, appearances do matter—and it’s important that you seek out a solution that reduces the appearance of teeth straightening as much as possible.
Intimacy is another top concern. Fortunately, the top solutions shouldn’t interfere with your intimacy in any way, although confidence during dating is always a concern with any change to your teeth.
Feeling like a kid
Looking “young” is a top concern for adults who feel that they have a “teenager issue” playing out in their adult life. The truth is that teeth straightening makes sense at just about any age so long as you can achieve a healthy smile the right way. Not only can it help you look your best, but it can promote the healthiest possible oral health for the long term.
Costs may not be as difficult as you think. Although the overall cost for these treatments can be high, it’s also a long-process. Be sure to ask questions of your insurance provider and with your orthodontist as well so you understand what it really will take to make sure that you can cover the payments of a teeth straightening.
Teeth straightening has a dramatic impact
Teeth straightening can have a dramatic impact on your life—and you don’t have to be a teenager to know that. If you want a healthier, cleaner smile, look into the right teeth straightening solution, no matter what your age.