I'm 50 – Can I Still Have Orthodontics? {FACTS}

By around age 50, most women have raised their kids and have seen them leave home.  They finally have more time to attend to their own needs and wants. Teeth often need various kinds of work done on them by the time women are in their 40s or 50s, so taking care of them should be high on the empty-nest mom’s to-do list!


50 year old woman

Orthodontics Is Now a Middle-Age “Thing”

Fortunately, orthodontics for adults is now the new “big thing.” According to the American Association of Orthodontists, orthodontic treatment for adults has risen in popularity by 40 percent in the past decade. A sixteen percent increase in popularity occurred between 2012 and 2014, which was partially due to aged celebrities like Danny Glover and Faye Dunaway proudly admitting to having orthodontic work done. In a typical modern orthodontic practice, anywhere from 20-50% of the patients are adults, including the middle-aged and elderly.


Besides Celebrity Endorsement, What is Driving People Toward Older Orthodontics?

  1. Age-Related Oral Changes in People Who Live Longer – People are living longer than they did in past generations, so their teeth have endured more years of abuse and developed serious problems along the way.


  1. Increased Knowledge About What Older Teeth Can Withstand – As people live longer and their teeth misalign, crack, fall out, etc., people have been asking whether or not older teeth are strong enough to withstand the pressure of older orthodontics. Absolutely! More than 1.4 million adults are currently having orthodontic work done. Even patients as old as their nineties have been known to get treatment. It is never too late to correct teeth alignment. As long as the gums and jawbone structure are good, teeth can still be moved.


  1. Discreet Modern Alternatives – Traditional metal braces were all that existed back when today’s middle-aged people and seniors grew up. Now that clear braces and aligners are viable options to move teeth, adults of all ages are more likely to get orthodontic work done because they can do so without having to use the braces they had seen on kids for many years. The modern technology even makes people feel like they look cool.

There’s More…

  1. Sophisticated Addressing of Health Issues by Today’s Patients – Teeth can die due to nerve and blood supply issues, causing pain and tooth loss. Crowded, crooked teeth are hard to clean, which leads to plaque formation and inflammation that can spread throughout the body. Today’s middle-aged people and seniors are no longer willing to deal with pain or drug themselves for pain or inflammation daily for problems they know orthodontics can effectively correct at the source whenever bad teeth alignment is to blame.


  1. Modern Views About Aging – While people have always preferred to have a nice smile, today’s middle-aged and elderly people fight aging more than previous generations did. They are willing to spend about $6,000 (give or take $1,000) to get orthodontic work done on their teeth because they know that orthodontics will improve their smile, overall image, and self-confidence for years to come in addition to relieving tooth-related pain and improving chewing functionality and their overall health.



What Problems with Teeth Do Older People Experience?

Okay, now for the down and dirty details of problems that arise in the oral cavities of older people. As one kidney cancer survivor jokingly used to say concerning getting old, “If you live long enough, you get there!” With old age comes old-age problems, which nearly always involves problems with teeth.

Teeth move and change over the years, which can be due to jaw bone loss. More specifically, jaw bone loss can cause teeth to:

  • Push inward
  • Crowd together
  • Misalign bites
  • Affect speech

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites cause jaw joint pain and headaches. In turn, these conditions can cause:

  • Increased bone loss
  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Tooth decay

Misalignments occur at any age, but old age can cause alignment problems in teeth that had formerly been straight. Misalignments come in the following forms:

  • Overbite
  • Deep bite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite/lopsided bite
  • Gap teeth
  • Open bite
  • Crowded teeth

When the top teeth completely cover the bottom teeth, the person has a deep bite. Deep bites are actually exaggerated overbites. Deep bites adversely affect the temporomandibular joints that connect the jawbone and skull because the lower jaw is pushed back. This pressure is increased when chewing. This is also true of a lopsided bite.

After people have lived with these problems for many years, they develop muscle pain and headaches because of the damage that has been done to the teeth and the surrounding jawbone. Orthodontic work can correct these misalignments and eradicate the pain.

Can Teeth of All Conditions Be Subjected to Orthodontics?

No. If you have cracked or split teeth, an orthodontist can tell you whether you should get the bonding, veneers, crowns, root canals, or implants that you need doing before or after you get orthodontic work done. Some treatments can be done after you get orthodontic work done, while others can’t. You don’t want pressure from braces to compromise the other work that you just had done on your teeth. On the other hand, some teeth have cracks that are bad enough that orthodontic work would make them get worse, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.


What Color Would My Smile Be?

Today, there are several options that are available when it comes to braces. They include traditional stainless steel braces, clear braces, and clear aligners.


Make an Appointment Today!

Is it time for mom to pay attention to her oral health? Probably so. Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics thinks you deserve to have your own needs met for a change, and we are here to help. If you live in the South Carolina area, please book an appointment for an initial examination with Dr. Nease by phone at (864) 579-7700, or in person at one of our three offices. The doctor will create a personalized treatment plan just for you! Please submit any questions that you have online and we will quickly answer them.

Contact us today and walk away with a smile.

Duncan Office
1785 E. Main Street
Duncan, SC 29334
Phone: (864) 579-7700


I’m 50 – Can I Still Have Orthodontics? {FACTS}

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