Did you know that between 20% and 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults?
In the US and Canada, this rate goes up to 27%. Meaning, one in four people aged 18 and older are wearing orthodontic appliances!
All these should give you a hint that having braces in college is no longer a big (and embarrassing) deal. In fact, many people who’re out of college and are already in the workforce wear braces!
The question is, why exactly are more adults opting to undergo orthodontic treatment? Do you have options other than the traditional “train-track” braces?
We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
There’s No Such Thing As Being Too Old for Braces
Granted, the ideal age to get braces is between 10 and 14 years old. During this time, a child’s head, mouth, and bones are still developing and growing. This makes it easier to “adjust” and “intervene” with the teeth’s growth.
Moreover, getting braces at an early age makes the teeth likelier to stay put in their new positions.
If you didn’t have braces back then though, don’t worry. Today, there are orthodontic appliances specifically made for adult teeth. What’s more, innovative orthodontic technology allows for reduced discomfort and faster treatment time.
In short, adult braces are now more comfortable and need less time to get your teeth all straight.
Having Braces in College Pays Off in the Long Run
28% of US adults aged 18 years and older believe that how their teeth look affects their job interviews. 38% of the interviewees also said that teeth issues make their lives “less satisfying”.
Previous studies set the bases for these effects. Researchers have long since established the connection between oral health and mental health. Malocclusion, in particular, can have serious psychological effects.
Unfortunately, malocclusion is quite common, with more than six in 10 US adults having some form of it. 1.5 in 10 adults also suffer from severe malocclusion that impairs their mouth functions!
Adult braces can help prevent these future health concerns. Plus, if you get them while you’re still in college, your teeth will be straight by the time you graduate!
Straighter Teeth are Easier to Clean and Maintain
More than nine in 10 adults in the US have had at least one decayed tooth. An estimated one in four also has untreated dental decay.
Crooked, misaligned, or twisted teeth contribute to many of these cases. Their incorrect placement creates hard-to-reach niches and surfaces. This then makes it harder to give the teeth a proper and thorough cleaning.
Moreover, the “extra” crevices these teeth create are more prone to plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque that has hardened into tartar is much more difficult to remove by brushing. This then makes your teeth more susceptible to decay.
Braces can make all the surfaces of your teeth easier to reach. They do so by moving the teeth gently to more ideal locations. Straight teeth are easier to brush properly, so they have a lower risk of developing cavities.
Reduced Decay Risks Means Reduced Risks of Tooth Loss
36 million US adults are completely edentulous. Meaning, they no longer have any of their natural teeth! What’s more, another 120 million are missing at least one of their permanent teeth.
Tooth loss is the primary outcome of tooth decay, which you’re at greater risk for if you have crooked teeth. That’s why you should consider getting braces ASAP, or at least during your college years.
Better Cleaning Equates to Healthier Gums
Granted, gum disease is more common in people aged 30 or older, affecting at least half of people in this age group. However, gum disease isn’t strictly age-related, as people as young as 20 have shown to develop it too.
Like tooth decay, your risks for gum disease are higher if you have misaligned teeth. This, again, has to do with the position of your teeth that makes it harder to clean them well. The bacteria in the plaque that forms on your teeth can travel to and affect your gums as well.
Rather than risk not only your teeth but also your gums, you should consider getting braces. Especially since gum disease appears to have a link with other health conditions. Healthy gums may also help prevent hypertension, heart disease, and even cancer.
Removable Braces are a Perfect Fit for Active College Students
Do you do a lot of sports at school? Perhaps you’re a member of the varsity team or you do a lot of public speaking. Either way, you’re likely worried that braces may interfere with your extracurricular activities.
The good news is, you have the option to wear removable orthodontic appliances. One of these is the Invisalign system, made of nearly-invisible thermoplastic material. These aligners, or “trays”, are custom-fit, and you can remove them as needed.
Just don’t forget to put them back on after a game or a speech. For these teeth straighteners to work, you need to wear them at least 20 to 22 hours a day.
Healthy College Kids Have Always Been the Cool Kids
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons for having braces in college. It’s a great investment not only for your career but for your overall health and well-being too. That’s why as early as now, you should already plan on getting your teeth all straightened out.
Besides, you have many options aside from the traditional metal braces. Invisalign, for instance, will correct your teeth’s alignment without people even knowing it! You don’t have to hide your smile while you’re still undergoing treatment.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of straighter, healthier teeth? Then now’s the best time to see a Fort Pierce orthodontist! Connect with us now so we can examine your teeth and start your treatment ASAP.