Over the last few years, adult braces have seen a steady rise in popularity. Although some people automatically associate orthodontic work with children—especially teenagers—recent data shows that more and more adults are wearing braces now than ever before.
The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) website notes that one-third of all orthodontic patients today are over age 18—an all-time high.
Adult braces are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. After postponing non-essential treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are beginning to resume a regular dental care schedule. In addition, the global shift to remote work has many adults seeking cosmetic dental treatments after watching themselves in countless online meetings.
An increasing number of adult patients are embracing their braces, thanks to more widely available dental care, greater awareness of treatment options, and a general increase in orthodontist referrals from dentists. A few insurance plans even provide better coverage for adult braces and other orthodontic work.
Finally, modern braces are more comfortable, attractive, and effective than earlier models. These improvements have convinced more adult patients to seek orthodontic treatment.
If you’ve been asking yourself—“Should I get braces?”— you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll review the most popular reasons for seeking orthodontic work and outline some of the signs indicating braces may be right for you.
“Should I Get Braces?” Why Adults Seek Orthodontic Treatment
Braces—like all other orthodontic treatments—can benefit patients of all ages.
Alignment problems like crowding, smile gaps, crossbites, underbites, and overbites may develop at an early age, but they often cause issues throughout your life. In fact, many of these issues only grow worse with time, and can lead to lost teeth, gum problems, and impaired oral function.
Thankfully, braces are versatile enough to improve the smiles of adults, as well as children and teens. Here are a few ways you could benefit from orthodontic work.
The most obvious benefit of braces is that they can dramatically improve the look of your smile.
Crooked teeth and misaligned bites often make people feel self-conscious about their appearance. This self-consciousness can cause feelings of embarrassment in public and heighten social anxiety. If you’ve experienced these feelings, you’re not alone.
- 25% of adults avoid smiling because of the condition of their mouth and teeth
- 23% of adults feel embarrassed by the condition of their mouth and teeth
- 20% of adults experience anxiety because of the condition of their mouth and teeth
Getting braces will help eliminate the alignment issues that make you feel self-conscious and boost your public confidence.
Better Oral Health
A crooked smile can hurt more than just your self-confidence. It can also cause significant oral health problems over time.
Overlapping teeth are harder to clean than straight teeth. When brushing and flossing become less effective, unhealthy amounts of oral bacteria begin to grow.
If you have mild crowding or a slightly misaligned bite, you may not notice any adverse effects. However, if you have moderate-to-severe alignment issues, you have a higher risk of experiencing some significant problems, including:
- Periodic cavities
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
After completing your braces treatment, your teeth will be much easier to brush and floss, which leads to better long-term oral health.
Improved Oral Functionality
Severe bite problems can also impede essential oral functions, like chewing, speaking, and even breathing. For instance, an open bite may cause someone to develop a lisp, while irregular incisor and upper anterior teeth can impede the proper pronunciation of specific sounds.
Crooked teeth can also scrape your lips, gums, and cheeks while chewing, causing periodic pain and leading to a higher risk of choking. Severe bite problems may also cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder—a common source of chronic jaw pain.
If you are experiencing any of the above issues, there is a good chance that braces will bring you relief.
Signs You Should Consider Braces
Now that we’ve seen the many specific benefits, we can address the larger question: “Should I get braces?”
Here at Beverly Hills Orthodontics, we have been improving smiles across Los Angeles since
2008. During our orthodontic consultations, we help patients decide whether braces are the right treatment choice to correct their problems.
Based on our consultations, we have noticed some patterns that indicate whether braces are an ideal option. These signs include:
- Feeling self-conscious about your smile. This might be the most obvious indication that you should get braces. Everyone should have a smile they are proud of. If crowding or bite issues prevent you from laughing and smiling with confidence, braces can eliminate these problems and give you a smile that you love.
- Periodically developing cavities and other issues despite brushing and flossing. As mentioned earlier, severe crowding and misaligned bites can complicate oral care. If you brush and floss according to your dentist’s instructions, yet regularly develop cavities and gum issues, braces could be the key to better oral health.
- Regularly experiencing oral malfunctions: Do you often scrape/cut your tongue on your teeth? Do you have trouble pronouncing certain words? Does your jaw ever click, feel stressed, or cause you pain while chewing? Misaligned teeth could be behind your problems.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs for yourself, braces are probably right for you!
Ready To Speak With an Expert About Orthodontic Options? Call One of BHO’s Four LA Locations Today!
If you’re unhappy with the look of your smile or are experiencing specific oral health issues, the answer to “Should I get braces?” should be a resounding YES!
Whether you have slightly crooked teeth or major misalignments, braces can correct your smile and provide you with a lifetime of health benefits. Call one of BHO’s offices in Beverly Hills, Studio City, Alhambra, or Downtown LA today to begin your treatment journey.
NOTE: All blog content is intended to supplement—NOT REPLACE—the expertise of a healthcare professional and should not be construed in any way as medical advice. Consult a professional orthodontist directly, like the ones at BHO, to assess your individual needs and advise the best course of treatment.