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Sponsored content:  Setting the record – and teeth – straight about braces for grown-ups

Those awkward years of adolescence have passed. Yearbook photos are over. You’re old enough to have a mortgage and be a parent.

So why consider braces as a grown up?

Smile with dental braces Getty Image

There are five big reasons why braces might be right for you, says neighborhood resident and orthodontist Dr. Patricia Simon of Lakewood Orthodontics.

“Botox for the teeth”

Failure to wear a retainer faithfully after braces have been removed is the top reason adults return to braces. “As our face wrinkles, so do our teeth,” Dr. Simon says. “Getting things back in line is like Botox for the teeth.” After graduation from braces, retainers are a must.

Young man with braces. Getty Image

“I want a do-over”

“My parents couldn’t afford braces when I was younger and now I want a nicer smile.” Enough said.


“Reshaping the jaw”

Skeletal or jawbone issues that weren’t corrected as a youth can require braces for facial profile enhancement, Dr. Simon says. For example, on adults with a short lower jaw, upper front teeth often lean back and the lower ones lean forward. To address that issue, teeth have to be prepped orthodontically so that they don’t collide when oral surgery adjusts the bone. This corrects jaw alignment and other issues, such as sleep apnea, in addition to providing an ultimate profile change.

“Tooth loss”

In the case of tooth loss, braces create the space for an implant and, in some cases, provide enough re-alignment that an implant can be avoided altogether.

Woman clenching teeth Getty Image

“Are you a teeth clencher?”

Teeth chipped from clenching and grinding cause the corresponding teeth to move or shift, Dr. Simon says, causing problems with other teeth.

Beautiful woman brushing her teeth Getty Image

“The bottom line”

And there’s one simple reason why adult orthodontics can improve a smile: Straighter teeth are easier to clean. Dr. Simon says.

“When teeth are in their correct position, they look better, and there is less wear-down and less enamel erosion,” she says. “Healthier bone structure around the teeth is achieved by preventing flexing of the teeth and leads to an overall healthier mouth.”

“You just look happier and feel better about yourself when your teeth are as straight and as white as they can be,” Dr. Simon says.

Dr. Patricia Simon has been in practice since 1991 and has seen neighborhood patients at Lakewood Orthodontics for the last 19 years. About half of her practice involves working with adults; stop by her office at 1809 Skillman Avenue for a personalized treatment plan. Lakewoodortho.net.


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