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Braces are commonly sported by children and teens – but they’re not the only ones who can benefit from straight teeth. There’s no upper age limit for braces and adults are increasingly getting in on the action and turning to orthodontics for a confident smile.
Your orthodontist will carry out a thorough assessment to determine whether you’re suitable for braces. This will involve checking the health of your teeth and gums. If you do have any problems such as tooth decay or gum disease these need to be resolved before your braces can be fitted
If you’re not suitable for braces, your orthodontist will be able to discuss alternative treatments with you and refer you to a dentist or specialist for treatment.
Can you wear braces if you have veneers, crowns or bridges?
It’s not unusual for patients to have veneers, crowns and/or bridges later in life. In most cases, your orthodontist will be able to accommodate or work around all of the above.
Braces shouldn’t cause any damage to your teeth or restorations. If your orthodontist has any concerns about attaching fixed braces to your teeth, they might recommend removable aligners as an alternative.
If you have veneers, which are fitted to the front of your teeth, you may be a good candidate for lingual braces, which go behind your teeth.
Can braces move dental implants?
Dental implants are also not uncommon among adult patients. Braces can’t move implants, because implants don’t have natural roots, but they can move the surrounding teeth. It’s also possible to replace dental implants after treatment, if they’re not in the best position.
What are the different braces available to adults?
Metal fixed braces are still a great way to straighten teeth, but many adult patients are looking for something more discreet. Conveniently, there’s now a choice of ‘invisible’ braces on offer, including clear fixed braces, clear removable aligners and (the most discreet) lingual braces.
Are adults eligible for NHS treatment?
In the UK, NHS funding is available for orthodontic treatment. However, it’s not usually available to patients aged 18 or over. Occasionally, hospital-based treatment will be approved for adults with severe problems who need treatment to improve their dental health.
Do adults’ teeth stay straight after braces?
If you wore braces as a child and are considering orthodontic treatment for a second time, you’ll be very aware of the risk of ‘orthodontic relapse’. This is where your teeth begin to move back to where they started following orthodontic treatment.
It’s usually the result of tendons, which are stretched during orthodontic treatment, pulling on the roots of your teeth. Unfortunately, teeth also have a natural tendency to crowd towards the front of the mouth as we age. So even if you haven’t had orthodontic treatment, you might notice your teeth becoming more crooked over time.
To help prevent the above from happening, your orthodontist will recommend removable and/or fixed retainers to keep your teeth straight after braces. You’ll need to wear these indefinitely to maintain your new smile.
To find out more about adult braces, contact your nearest eBrace provider.