adult braces

(It was, literally, a bonding day for both of us.)

“Why did you get braces? Your teeth weren’t crooked.”

I hear this question at least once a week- from friends, family, neighbors… and there’s one quick and easy answer I give. “My teeth were straight, but my bite was wrong. It was actually causing fractures on my lower front teeth.”

This is usually followed by a slightly inquisitive side tilting of their head as they process my answer. (It’s very similar to my puppy when I speak to her in my Gru voice from “Despicable Me”… you know, just for fun.)

That is my go-to answer. And people always respond the same way, “I had no idea braces could help with that!”

And then they usually begin asking questions or telling me about issues they have developed since they had their braces removed when they were teenagers. Random strangers will also stop me to discuss what it’s like to have braces as an adult, and share that they have often considered it for themselves.

I am more than happy to discuss the plethora of issues that can be solved by orthodontic treatment, even if it means I am holding up the cars behind me in the Carl’s Jr Drive Thru line. People have questions, and as an adult patient currently in braces, I have answers.

There are definitely important cosmetic reasons for getting braces as an adult: that slightly crooked tooth that always causes you to close your lips right before the picture is taken, or the lower front teeth that just didn’t grow in straight.  Getting those things fixed can be imperative for someone’s self-esteem, no matter their age.

But most people are simply unaware of the overwhelming number of issues that can be directly attributed to crooked teeth, overcrowding, overbites or underbites, incorrect jaw positions, or jaw joint disorders:

  • Damage to teeth, including fractures and broken teeth
  • Sleep issues
  • Neck and jaw pain
  • Difficulty with dental hygiene due to the inability to brush or floss all areas of the teeth
  • Increase in cavities and periodontal disease
  • Irregular wear to tooth enamel
  • Problems with speaking, biting, and/or chewing
  • Digestive problems caused by the inability to properly chew food

I suffered from six of the above issues. (And no, I won’t tell you which ones exactly. I like to be a tad mysterious.) But I do promise the improvements have been life-changing. I very clearly remember the day I felt my molars touch when I closed my mouth, instead of only my front teeth.  It was very strange, and also pretty fantastic. It was that very obvious proof that MY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT WAS WORKING! Not that I doubted it, but the actual, physical, chewing-on-my-back-teeth-feeling was very reassuring. I had also noticed – much to my very vain pleasure – that my cheekbones were a bit more prominent. Just a bonus, but I wanted to share.

I’m also having fewer issues with snoring – much to my husbands’ delight. I could literally go on and on, but alas, I will stop here with these final words. You deserve to live your best life. If there is even the smallest possibility that doing something for yourself – like finally getting those braces – (or even getting them AGAIN as an adult) – could help with that, don’t you think you deserve it?

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