Are You Too Old For Braces?

Age has no effect on the human desire to be attractive. Older people sometimes look around for ways to improve their smile in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Choking problems, for example, can arise from misaligned teeth, so braces are an option for those searching for answers. No one is too old for braces, but older people should know a few facts about bones and the teeth that rest on them before making a decision.

Bones

As the body ages, bones tend to weaken thus increasing the risk of fracture. Postmenopausal women suffering from osteoporosis are an example. A few chemical medications that may cause bone loss, especially pain meds, antihistamines and high blood pressure drugs can cause side effects leading to bone loss. Checking with a dentist will ensure the bone is strong enough to support the teeth being corrected.

Teeth

A tooth is a crown dressed in enamel, which goes into the gum and rests on bone. Underneath there is dentin, which can show when the enamel is worn away. Beneath all this is the root canal, which is filled with living tissue, blood vessels and nerves. As teeth age, foods, medications and stress can cause teeth to become weak and require replacement.

Braces

Braces work by gently pushing the teeth into alignment. This uproots the teeth from the bone and repositions them. The bone grows back so the tooth has nowhere to go but the other direction. By adulthood the bone has stopped growing. Some extractions could be required to make room for the teeth to move in the right direction. It usually takes about two years to realign the teeth with braces, but since each individual is different, it might not take as long.

Types of Braces

The choices in braces cater to many needs. Metal braces are the cheapest and get the job done. Ceramic crowns are not advised for lower teeth, because they’re smaller and harder to keep up with. Ceramic wears down tooth enamel as well. So many people get top ceramic and bottom metal braces. Plastic is available, such asinvisible braces, but this stains easily and both plastic and ceramic cause friction with metal braces. Invisible wires behind teeth are available, but they tend to cause tongue and speech problems, in addition to being more expensive.

No one is too old for braces, they can improve their teeth, health and lifestyle.

Bio: Richard is a freelance writer who has “been there and done that” when it comes to braces. He’s paid his dues, thank you very much. He writes about dentistry, general health and eco living. Visit him at @thefreshhealth … if you like.

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