According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), almost 1.7 million adults were treated by a registered orthodontist in 2016. That’s a 50% increase from a similar study conducted in 2006. More and more adults are choosing to get their teeth fixed, be it with traditional braces, clear alignment systems, or even professional teeth whitening. In fact, some orthodontists are reporting that their patient pools are around 20% adult.
But why are so many adults getting their teeth fixed? Here are 6 possible answers.
Orthodontic technology is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was even 10 years ago. The methods have gone from thick and uncomfortable wires, brackets and rubber bands to barely noticeable trays and aligners. Rather than having metal push, twist and pull teeth into place, many adults are choosing to enjoy a better smile without all the pain or annoyance.
Many recent studies suggest that crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth as well as teeth that don’t come together properly when the jaws close (malocclusion) can cause lots of mouth health issues. Crooked teeth are a lot harder to clean, making gum disease and tooth decay a big risk. Malocclusion can cause swallowing and chewing problems, and can even make it harder to pronounce certain sounds. Not to mention bad bites often put excess strain on the facial muscles, causing pain.
For many adult cosmetic dentistry patients, getting their teeth fixed is a step on the road to fixing other dental issues. For example, a tooth restoration can only be successful if the spaces and tooth crowded is first corrected.
Surprisingly, studies have shown that more adults are getting their teeth fixed because people’s teeth are more crooked than those of people who lived centuries ago. Some experts think this is because our diets consist more of soft, processed foods so we chew less. This reduced chewing may be decreasing our jaw size relative to our teeth, causing more tooth crowding. If more adults have crooked teeth, it makes sense that more adults would get them fixed.
Cosmetic dentistry is the largest nonsurgical beauty industry after makeup. This includes both orthodontics and the multi-billion dollar teeth whitening industry. The mainstream, commonplace availability of cosmetic dentistry makes it not only social acceptable but encouraged for adults to get their teeth fixed.
A 2012 study reported that 38% of Americans would rule out a second date with someone if he or she had crooked teeth. That’s just one example of how much the American beauty standard relies on a straight white smile.
If any of these 6 reasons speak to you, maybe its time to consider getting your teeth fixed. Residents of Suffolk County can schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss cosmetic dentistry on Long Island with the experienced doctors at LI Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry.
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