When most people think about braces, they think of the investment made in their children's mouths. Even if they wore braces as a child, they seldom consider wearing them as adults. But you may not want to cancel your orthodontic insurance benefits yet. Many adults benefit from braces later in life. Here are a few signs you may have an orthodontist appointment in the future.
1. Your Teeth Are Shifting
Did you know your teeth can shift as you age? While the shifting is often unnoticeable initially, you realize it after a period. Movement can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Some of these include the following:
Periodontal disease - can cause decay in your teeth and jaw bones. The disease weakens your teeth's support system, which results in shifting.
Bruxism - commonly referred to as teeth grinding, often occurs at night and may go unnoticed for a period. Not only can bruxism cause jaw problems, but it can also cause excessive wear and tear of your teeth. When you grind your teeth over time, the pressure of the grinding can cause your teeth to move out of alignment.
Tooth loss - As you age, it is not unusual to lose a tooth. Accidents, injuries, decay, and gum disease can all cause tooth loss. Once the tooth is lost, an orthodontic device is required to prevent shifting to fill the empty space.
Do you realize that even some foods and beverages can cause your teeth to shift? The damage comes from high-acidity foods and beverages weakening and damaging the enamel on your teeth. This damage can cause erosion which in turn changes the shape of your teeth and causes shifting.
2. Difficulty Brushing and Flossing
Shifting or overlapping teeth often create crevices you have difficulty getting to when brushing or flossing. Failing to adequately clean these spaces results in a build-up of tartar and possibly decay.
If you have lived with a gap in your front teeth you are uncomfortable with, now may be the time to fix it. Even gaps that were closed by braces earlier in life can reopen as you age. A short time in braces may improve the space and make you more comfortable smiling.
4. Overbites or Underbites
Overbites and underbites can create teeth that do not come together correctly when you close your mouth. Both of these conditions not only affect your bite and chewing but can also affect how you look.
Your orthodontist can tell you if you are a good candidate for adult braces. Just know you will not be alone. Adult braces are more popular than you may think.