Can you get your teeth straightened at any age?
If you’re like many adults who want to straighten their teeth, you might find yourself gnawing over this question: “Am I too old for Invisalign?” While it’s true that the majority of orthodontic patients are between ages nine and 14, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re hardly alone in wanting to straighten your teeth as an adult.
In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontics, an estimated 27% of orthodontic patients in the U.S. and Canada are over 18, a number that increased by 16% from 2012 to 2014. But what exactly is driving people to correct crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth beyond their teenage years?
Simply put, advances in dental research and technology—like Invisalign—have made orthodontic treatment more comfortable and discreet than it’s ever been. Furthermore, as we all have access to more information than ever before, an increasing number of people are now aware of the many advantages a straighter smile brings.
Top 5 Benefits of Invisalign for Adults and Seniors
While the best way to know if Invisalign is right for you is to talk to your dentist, you can start by kicking the age myth to the curb and getting to know what makes Invisalign such a desirable treatment for adults.
So whether you’re 20, 60, or somewhere in between, here are the top 5 benefits of choosing Invisalign to straighten your teeth at any age.
1. Invisalign is discreet.
Though traditional metal braces are an effective treatment for straightening teeth, most adults find the idea of having a mouthful of metal orthodontic appliances far from appealing. Alongside being culturally associated with awkward adolescence, metal braces can create unwelcome social and functional side effects (see #2) during the 18 to 36 months it takes for them to work their magic.
Enter the Invisalign system, which uses clear aligners and attachments (also called buttons) that are virtually invisible. Alongside allowing you to discreetly straighten your teeth, your clear aligners are completely removable and can be left out of your mouth for up to two hours daily.
2. It won’t disrupt your daily activities.
Made of multiple interdependent components, traditional braces require additional care and consideration in order to be comfortable and effective, such as implementing a modified diet, meticulous cleaning, and careful kissing. While chewy, crunchy, sticky, hard, or sugary foods can get trapped between or easily dislodge an orthodontic appliance, metal wires and brackets can spoil intimate moments by uncomfortably snagging your or your partner’s lips or tongue.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign’s clear aligners are completely removable, which means you can still eat your favorite foods and clean your teeth as you normally would. And with no pokey metal to contend with, Invisalign makes kissing your partner or date comfortable and free from foreign hazards.
3. Invisalign can improve your smile’s function and longevity.
Invisalign does more than improve your smile’s appearance (though it does that, too). Bite abnormalities (called malocclusion or “bad bite”) and misaligned teeth can put you at risk for undesirable oral health issues, such as jaw problems, uneven wear and damage to your teeth, chips and breaks, enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, cavities, and periodontal (gum) disease.
When you use Invisalign to correct minor bite misalignments and crowded, spaced, or uneven teeth, you are actually giving your smile the best opportunity for lifelong comfort, health, function, and longevity.
4. It can help make your teeth easier to clean.
One of the main reasons Invisalign helps you dodge unsavory oral health issues (#3) is by making it easier for you to maintain great oral hygiene. Because there are fewer nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach spaces, straight and evenly spaced teeth are easier to keep clean with daily brushing and flossing. Add twice-annual dental visits, a healthy diet, and good oral habits, and you’ve got what you need for a smile that’s as healthy and resilient as it is beautifully eye-catching.
5. Invisalign can boost your self-confidence and well-being.
Showing your teeth while smiling and speaking is an integral aspect to your social interactions, which is why having a smile you’re not happy with can dampen your self-expression, detract from your self-esteem, and hinder you from pursuing personal, romantic, or professional opportunities.
For the majority of American adults, having great oral health and a beautiful smile is the reason they feel confident every day. If crooked, crowded, or spaced teeth are standing in the way of your self-confidence, Invisalign can help you create a beautiful smile you’ll love for the rest of your life.
Dr. Van Istendal is passionate about helping patients experience the benefits a healthy, beautiful smile can bring. To learn more about how you can transform your smile’s health and appearance with Invisalign, contact our office today to schedule an appointment today.