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“BRACES ARE ONLY for teens,” said no orthodontist ever. It may be true that a teenager’s teeth are easier to guide into their proper position, but there is no age limit on orthodontic treatment. Our teeth will still respond to the gentle pressure of orthodontic appliances even when we’ve lived for multiple decades.

Bad Oral Habits and Mesial Drift

Our teeth tend to shift gradually towards the front of our mouths during adulthood, whether or not we had braces as teenagers. It’s called mesial drift, and it’s the result of things like enamel loss, tooth loss, and teeth grinding. Even sleeping on our stomachs or constantly resting our heads on our hands can contribute towards an increasingly crooked, overcrowded smile.

It’s possible to minimize mesial drift by maintaining good posture, sleeping on our backs or sides, and keeping up with our oral hygiene habits (including regular dental appointments), but adult braces might be necessary to correct any drift that’s already happened or any issues that weren’t corrected earlier.

The Success of Adult Orthodontic Patients

Adult orthodontic patients have one major advantage over their adolescent counterparts: they generally have better self-discipline, making them better at following the orthodontist’s instructions. That’s how they’ll get better results in a shorter time!

Top image by Flickr user Charles Williams used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.