A lot of entertainment news shows have been covering a special phenomenon recently: middle-aged (and slightly over middle-aged) people — well, celebrities — wearing braces. You have Faith Hill, Tom Cruise, Mia Farrow, and even local news anchors proudly flashing metal brackets on their teeth. Most would associate braces with middle school- or high school-era awkwardness – being called metal mouth and lisping through sentences. Why adults would subject themselves to the same discomfort and changed appearance is definitely something interesting to learn more about. According to an orthodontist Brisbane locals turn to, more and more adults are deciding to wear braces pretty much for the same reason parents pay thousands of dollars for their children: they want to straighten out their smiles. Working to get a set of perfectly straight teeth is like committing to a strict beauty regimen – it’s to improve dental health, create a youthful outward appearance, and get a boost of confidence. Some also say that one of the motivating factors behind wearing braces as an adult is the way ageing somehow creates a “horse-like” structure or shape for the face. The lips tend to shrink and it appears like teeth become more prominent, which can be rather strange. In addition to that, gums and overlapping teeth become harder to care for as people age. Snaggle teeth become even more prone to developing cavities since the structural make-up deteriorates as people advance in age. Wearing braces, then, is a good solution to make oral care easier and more effective. Another explanation provided is that sometimes, people can only afford to have their teeth fixed when they’re older and have a stable job. Braces aren’t cheap, so achieving a beautiful smile is often placed low on the list of life priorities. Orthodontists point out that adults who need to wear braces don’t have to instantly agree to the metal type, especially if they’re feeling conscious about taking measures to improve their smile rather late in life. There are several less noticeable options to choose from. You have ceramic, which resembles the original stainless steel kind, but unlike metal braces, ceramic braces are the colour of teeth so they’re more inconspicuous. The issue with these braces, however, is that they’re not as durable so they require extra care as far as maintenance is concerned. A second option is Invisalign or clear aligners. These are custom-made trays for the teeth which apply pressure from the shape. Every patient gets several trays and each has to be worn over a specific period of time to be able to improve the alignment of the teeth. These really look invisible and most people will not even know that you’re wearing braces. Another advantage to these braces is that they can be removed easily so you can properly brush your teeth. As for the downside, Invisalign is said to be not as effective in correcting the bite, and usually, traditional braces still have to be worn after you’ve gone through all the trays. But for those who really don’t want people to know they’re wearing braces, orthodontists recommend lingual braces which are custom-made and fit on the tongue side of the teeth. These are harder to install, however, because the work area which is on the tongue side is trickier to navigate, plus they cause more speech difficulty. It’s just important to remember that beauty is pain and the final outcome would be completely worth it. Having a beautiful smile is not only for the young. More mature folks can benefit as well from having perfect, straight teeth, so this trend of wearing braces among older people is in no way unheard of.