Are you unhappy with your smile, but are afraid that you are too old for Invisalign braces? Worried about what you will look like with a mouth full of braces? Just because your parents couldn’t afford braces when you were younger doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in yourself now that you are an adult and make your own money. It is never too late to be good to yourself. Luckily there are no age requirements or restrictions when it comes to being a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. Ultimately, only you and your doctor can decide if it is the best treatment for you, but let’s tale a look at one of the most commonly asked questions we get: am I too old for Invisalign braces?

Age is just a number

Today people are living longer and longer and quality of life is just as important at 80 as it is at 40 years of age. Whether you have always needed braces, but couldn’t afford it until now, or have developed teeth positioning problems as you age, Invisalign can help both with the look of your smile and the health of your teeth and gums. Remember that straightening crooked teeth is not just an aesthetic issue. When teeth are crowded it becomes difficult to clean between them properly making you more at risk for periodontal disease, so straightening them out will help you clean and floss better. Crowding and bite problems will only worsen as you age so why not take care of it now while you can? Preserve your natural teeth for as long as you can so you can enjoy life to the fullest without suffering from preventable embarrassment and pain caused by tooth decay and tooth loss.

While there are no age requirements, your teeth and gums do have to be healthy and in good condition in order for Invisalign to be effective. As we get older, periodontal disease is more prevalent and the conditions of your gums might preclude you from being eligible for Invisalign. You must treat your other dental problems first before even considering braces. Once there is no inflammation then Invisalign treatment can be started.

Another concern is the condition of your tooth bone. Whenever you move teeth like with Invisalign or traditional metal braces, there is always some bone remodeling as well so it is important that you have stable tooth bone. After a thorough examination, your doctor will be able to tell you if there are any concerns with you starting the Invisalign process.

If you are eligible for Invisalign, the great news is that adult teeth are as easy to move as your teeth were when you were a teenager. While we usually think of the middle school and high school years as the time for braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five of the patients that wear braces are over the age of 18.

Benefits of Invisalign

If you know you want to invest in braces, but are worried about having to sport a mouth full of metal for a couple of years, then Invisalign is a great option for you. Invisalign treatment uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal braces and wires to put pressure on the teeth in order to make them move. Because they are made of BPA-free clear plastic, most people will not even know that you are wearing braces. As an adult, you might feel even more self-conscious about wearing braces, so the clear plastic used in Invisalign aligners might be especially appealing to you. And even better yet, the aligners can be easily removed for eating and brushing and flossing, making living with braces a whole lot more convenient. You still be able to enjoy foods like corn on the cob which are usually prohibited when wearing metal braces and you won’t have to worry about pieces of food getting stuck in wires.

When you first get the aligners put on your teeth, there may be some slight discomfort or soreness, but taking some over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve those minor symptoms.

Remember that there is no expiration date for investing in your smile. Whenever you do it, you will be saving yourself from other costly dental procedures and maybe even tooth loss later on. Not fixing crooked or crowded teeth will just lead to tooth decay and the need for crowns and root canal. Also when you realign your bite, you are also preventing other problems like TMJ.

The Invisalign Process

The process for getting Invisalign is very simple. First you should set up a consultation with a few orthodontists. It is important for you to not only make sure that Invisalign is right for you, but that you pick an Invisalign provider that you can trust as well. You want someone that not only as the proper training, but who you are comfortable with as well.

At the consultation, the orthodontist will examine you and take x-rays and photographs of your teeth and then go over your options with you. Once you have decided to go full steam ahead with Invisalign, you will come in to get impressions made of your teeth and your doctor will develop a customized treatment plan that he or she will go over with you. You will know exactly what to expect each step of the process.

Once you receive your first set of aligners, you will be required to wear them at least for 20 to 22 hours a day and after about every 6 weeks afterwards you will get a new set of aligners to wear. At each stage of the process, your doctor is focusing on moving just certain teeth instead of trying to move them all at once. You will love watching your smile improve at each stage of the process. Keep in mind that at the end of treatment, you may be required to wear a retainer for a while to help your teeth maintain their new positions.

Everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile. Are you too old for Invisalign braces? The answer is a definitive no. You are never too old to take good care of your health. Check out local Invisalign providers to see if this treatment is right for you.