Adults seeking that perfect smile

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(SWEEPS FEED)- More and more adults want that perfect smile and are willing to pay for it with orthodontic treatment. But braces for children can be a whole lot easier than they are for their bigger counterparts, with adults sometimes requiring other treatments to get everything in line.

Lisa Ackerman figured she’d put her money where her mouth is.

“After my daughter got her braces and my stepdaughter got her braces, I just decided to join the group.”

Ackerman is part of the more than 1.2 million Americans aged 19 and older wearing braces. Although children are still the most common orthodontic patient, one in five is an adult.

“We talk about tooth shapes and sizes, and so the smile becomes very important,” said Dr. Dewayne McCamish with the American Association of Orthodontists.

McCamish says there are a few reasons more adults than ever want to set things straight, so to speak.

“Adults are living longer, and as a result, they’re more aware not just of their dental health, but of their overall health.”

Clinical professor Dr. Gerald Nelson agrees, “it is increasing among adults, a desire to have good fitting teeth, good looking teeth, good facial balance, so that when you go to work, people aren’t distracted because your teeth are all crooked or you have a big overbite.”

But braces won’t go on and off as quickly for adults as they might for kids, whose mouths put up less resistance to the changes because they are still growing.

“Some problems are more complex and require a longer period of treatment and require even multi-disciplined treatment,” McCamish said.

Even as an adult, the extra attention to your teeth can have a lasting impact.

“The health of the joint, the health of the bone, the wear of the enamel on the tooth, so orthodontic treatment is a benefit for a person for a lifetime,” McCamish added.

The cost for braces ranges based on where you are in the country and how extensive the treatment is, or how long you will need the braces, but you should typically expect to pay about $5,000 for orthodontic treatment.

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