Just How Important Are My Teeth In Retirement?

Written by Anthony Pistolese

Today, braces are making a profound difference in people’s lives – regardless of their life stage. In fact, more and more mature adults are choosing to correct their teeth with adult braces at a later age.  Some older adults now wear braces at the same time as their grandchildren!  After all, retirement years bring with it the time to do things you never had the time or money for when you were younger.  Since teeth can be corrected at any age and seniors are living long and full lives, it is more important than ever to take proper care of your teeth.

Why are Seniors Choosing Adult Braces?

Increase Self Confidence and Quality of Life

A good looking smile can help increase self-confidence and a study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontics discovered that adults who underwent orthodontic treatments reported that these treatments significantly improved both their personal and professional lives. Specifically, 75 percent of adults reported of improvements to their career or personal relationships as a direct result of their new and improved smiles. Further, they stated that their new smile boosted their self-confidence, and over 90 percent of these survey respondents said that they recommend adult braces and related orthodontic treatments to other adults.

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Improve Overall Health

While some people may opt to get braces for cosmetic reasons alone, it is important to remember that overlapping and/or crowded teeth can be more difficult to clean.  As a result, tooth decay and gingivitis are more likely to occur and these conditions can unfortunately also lead to cardiac issues. Further, people with teeth that do not line up properly can have problems swallowing and chewing food.  Poor alignment of teeth can also put stress on facial muscles which can result in pain.  Lastly, teeth misalignment can make it difficult to pronounce some words and sounds.Staying healthy should be at the forefront of your retirement years – you worked hard to get here, so you want to make sure you are maximizing the time you have to enjoy this time!

Improvements in Adult Brace Technology

More people are also choosing adult braces as there has been a significant improvement in orthodontic treatments in the past few decades.  As many adults and seniors were concerned about how awkward metal braces may impact their appearance, adult braces now come in a variety of different forms and materials that include the popular clear Invisalign retainers and white ceramic braces.  Another good option for adult braces is lingual braces which are attached to the inside of teeth.  Many seniors opt for these types of braces as they are essentially invisible to any onlookers, though take a little extra maintenance.

Overall, more and more seniors are choosing to wear adult braces.  Adult braces can improve your appearance, boost your self-confidence and improve your overall health to boot, making the decision to get adult braces at a later age makes complete sense. What’s stopping you?

Hi I’m Anthony Pistolese, and I’ve been an Orthodontist for almost 25 years! I love my work and spend most of my time helping to achieve the best results for patients in Sydney, Australia. I love golf, but rarely get to play. The only other male in my household is Buddy the King Charles Spaniel and he thinks I’m special! Occasionally, I escape for a boy’s week out on the water deep-sea fishing in the sunshine and the salt but my latest craze is making pizza’s in our wood fired oven.

What Do You Do For Fun In Retirement?

One of the great rewards of retirement is when you get there you can do what you want. Whatever you love, whatever you are most passionate about, whatever you have always wanted to try but never had the time, all await your undivided attention when you cross the retirement threshold.

I don’t think one really appreciates the nature of free time until you retire. While on the job any free time you may squeeze out of the day offers a brief taste, a momentary respite in an otherwise turbo world. In a flash you find yourself back on the treadmill quickly bidding adieu to that relaxed pressure free escape that too soon becomes but a memory.

As a retiree you are in the driver seat. As a retiree you set the pace that suits you best. As a retiree you have time for fun – finally. And now that you have all the time in the world, what do you do?

It is not always easy to effortlessly transition to a life where no one tells you what to do. Freedom might even feel a bit scary if you find you are at a loss over how to fill the hours.

Fear not – many have gone down the same road you now navigate. A little practice, a pinch of creativity, a willingness to step outside your comfort zone and you should soon find your second act all you hoped it to be – maybe even more.

What do people do for fun once they retire?

One regular LBR reader typically ends her correspondence with “keep on dancing.” Two years into retired life she explores opportunities to volunteer and engage with her community. Each day is a chance to try something new and her perpetual optimism fuels her journey.

A friend has become very involved with the quilting community in our area. She attends regular get-togethers, man’s booths at local events, and enjoys conversing with others similarly inclined. Plus she creates some truly beautiful quilts whether to decorate her own home or donate to worthy causes.

Senior Playing at Water's Edge

My wife has a dedicated table (on wheels) set aside to build challenging jigsaw puzzles. She works on nothing less than 2000 pieces and has completed some majestic works. And once again proof it’s about the journey rather than the destination – once completed she calmly takes them apart and puts back in their box (after taking a picture of course).

One neighbor teaches a yoga class weekly out of her house. A handful of dedicated locals show up regularly to bend, stretch and meditate their way toward better lives.

Gardening is a wonderful way to feed your creativity while at the same time enjoying the outdoors. There is always something to do if you hope to keep things ship shape. And in the end efforts spent weeding, pruning, fertilizing and defending the crop from varmint’s results in beautiful flowers, tasty veggies and juicy fruit.

Along the lines of enjoying the outdoors taking a walk or hike through the neighborhood and surrounding parks is good exercise, puts you in contact with people around you and gives you a chance to ruminate as you take in nature. No planning is required – just head out the front door and start walking. You never know where you might end up.

My wife discovered the wonders of Pinterest on her iPhone. Each day she scans the site for new creative and tasty recipes to try out. Talk about a win-win situation! My favorite to date is the Pear Tart with powdered almond crust.

Another friend has become quite the bicycle rider. He is often seen wandering the back roads or slipping and sliding down mountain paths in local parks. Great exercise and he sure covers some ground.

My brother has set a goal to visit all the California Missions. His family joins him as they track down new locations near wherever they happen to be traveling. History, beautiful scenery and quality family time are rolled into one memorable outing.

The same brother feeds his passion for music by joining with a handful of similarly minded young-at-heart to play songs for friends and family. He still composes original works and I find there is nothing better than sitting in on a jam session to share his joy of music.

My dad has always loved going for an afternoon drive. The nearby Sierra Foothills offer unlimited views of gnarly old oak trees sprinkled across expansive rolling hills. And when the wild flowers are blooming there is no prettier spot on earth.

My Aunt Lydia took up oil painting later in life. With no formal training just because she enjoyed doing it she began putting on canvas colorful still life portraits as well as a multitude of scenic views. All family members have a picture or two from her gallery.

Have you ever felt the urge to write a story? Or perhaps document your family history for future generations? Retirement can offer the perfect opportunity to release the writer within you.

Our neighbors are avid bird watchers. They love spotting a new winged visitor in the trees and figuring out what the heck it is. They turned me onto a great app that helps identify unknown fliers by their size, colors, and even the song they sing. Check out Merlin from Cornell Lab.

My wife and I have incorporated a few games into our end-of-the-day agenda. Come 5:00 you can expect to see us sitting down on the patio engaged in a spirited battle of Gin Rummy, Backgammon or Dominoes. We find a little friendly competition helps get the juices flowing before dinner.

A few other options you might consider: learn a new language, learn to play a musical instrument, volunteer, become your own handyman, figure out your family tree, add a pet, travel, join a choir, try your hand at the art medium of your choice, learn to cook, start a business, buy/rent an RV and hit the road, babysit, be a mentor, and the list goes on.

Having fun in retirement is not so difficult. Of course you have to give yourself permission to do so. Occasionally you may feel slightly guilty having free time to do what you want while so many others struggle in the same old day to day grind. But remember you paid your dues. You survived the grind and this is your chance to make up for lost time. Now is your time to have fun.