Many people, when speaking of braces, come to think of preteens with double train tracks on their teeth. Braces, however, are not the sole dominion of young adults. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), over 1 million American and Canadian adults have braces or retainers as well.
This number continues to rise as more people start to realize the benefits of correcting their smiles. One must ask, however, as why this is only happening now.
How Have Orthodontic Treatments Changed?
Medical innovations are not what they were a couple of decades ago. Braces used to be inaccessible and uncomfortable. In fact, prototypes to the modern braces used to wrap around a patient’s head. Later models evolved to contraptions that wrapped around individual teeth. These days, however, there are easier ways to incorporate corrective treatments in a day-to-day routine like invisible or custom designed Hawley retainers.
Why Are Adults Getting Braces Now?
Many people did not receive orthodontic treatment when they were children because the cost was prohibitive. Thanks to the availability of options and more reasonably priced products these days, more adults have started to consider them. Clear brackets that allow adults to wear braces and retainers almost invisibly, for example, help them feel more comfortable with the treatment.
This is according to orthodontist Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, who adds, “A beautiful smile is not only great aesthetics, but it’s also easier to clean your teeth if they’re well-aligned.”
Is There a Difference Between an Adult and a Child Getting Braces?
The main reasons why adults and children need braces or retainers remain the same — the treatments mean to correct under or overbites, crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth, and the like. One of the differences between adults getting braces is that since adults no longer grow, the treatment tends to take a bit longer.
There are many reasons as to why an adult would need braces or retainers, but there is no denying the fact that many adults these days do get them.