Am I Too Old For Braces?

DDS Ana Doughert at her practice

Am I too old for braces? Yeah, of course you’re too old for braces. You’re 30/40/50/60/70/80 and any age in between. Just put you out to pasture right now,  you’re too old for anything! Fewer things get patients contemplating their mortality more than a discussion about orthodontics. People start contemplating how much longer they think they will live and if it’s worth spending the money.  Even people in their thirties.  It’s insane! Anyone past the age of 20 automatically considers themselves too old for orthodontics. After some education and quality one-on-one time focused on their needs, most patients change their minds.

I’m happy to say that we currently have patients at Rolling Oaks Dental in their teens and in their seventies in the middle of orthodontic care, and all of the decades in between.

When adult new patients at Rolling Oaks Dental are presented with comprehensive dental care options, orthodontics is often a part of the discussion. Many adult patients have crowding of their teeth that has gone untreated for years and has gotten worse and worse. Sometimes, patients lose a tooth and do not have it immediately replaced. This can result in teeth shifting and rotating near the space. Before treatment such as a dental implant can be considered, restoring the space for adequate function and hygiene purposes must be considered. Patients that have an excessive overbite, open bite, or cross bite must often consider orthodontics as part of a comprehensive dental treatment.

After disease, infection, and dental decay is addressed, orthodontics is frequently the second phase in restoring a patient’s natural dentition back to optimal health. You might think that cost is the number one concern for adults when it comes to whether or not they will consider orthodontics. Interestingly, it’s probably the second or third thing most adults are worried about, tied with concerns about how long the treatment will take.

So what’s the number one reason most adults hesitate to get the orthodontic treatment they need?

How they will look/be perceived!

Most adults don’t want to consider orthodontic care because they think it will make them look like a teenager. They think that no one will take them seriously if they have braces. It transports them back to a time in adolescence where they might have been mocked or ridiculed for something or other, and they somehow construct the idea in their minds that getting braces will take them back there again.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why.

First of all, advances in technology have made orthodontics come a long way from where it was when you were a child. Procedures that can cut treatment time dramatically are available. Clear braces make orthodontics a little less metal mouth and a bit more stylish. If Invisalign is an option for you, you may be able to get the orthodontic treatment you want without ever having to wear braces.

The second reason is the most important one. Your perception of what an adult with braces represents to others is totally wrong.

When you see someone of a track or path, jogging and listening to their favorite tune, do you automatically think something negative about that person? What if you see someone eating a healthy meal? What about if you see someone that just got a nice haircut or a great new outfit? Do you think poorly of them? No, you don’t. As a matter of fact, you think the opposite. If you see someone taking care of their health, you automatically think positive thoughts about that person. Have you ever seen someone in their eighties riding a bicycle? It’s awesome! If you see someone of any age wearing some nice clothes and sporting a fresh new haircut, you automatically think, “man, I like the way that person presents themselves, very professional, it shows how much they care,”.  People that take care of themselves and that are actively improving themselves are attractive.  They care about themselves.  They want to be better today than they were yesterday.

So now let’s talk about you. With braces. Without excuses. Taking care of your health. Taking care of your appearance. Making an investment in yourself and in your body, your most valuable asset that you have on this planet. People don’t perceive you as a wannabe teenager with some kind of problem. People see you as a confident adult, doing your thing to take care of yourself. Self improvement is not a dirty word. It’s something that the best strive for every day. Improving your smile. Improving your dental health so that you can keep your real teeth for your entire life. These aren’t things that people frown upon. Quite the opposite. People will admire you for your commitment to your health. It’s a beautiful thing!

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