Last Updated on
Orthodontists are often faced with many questions about who can or cannot get braces from adults aged 20-45. Three of the most common questions are “Is there an age limit on having orthodontic braces?” If none, then “What is the best age to have orthodontic braces?”Adults are usually ecstatic to find out they may be eligible for this dental appliance and may then ask, “How long do adults wear braces?”.
Our expert orthodontist can answer these questions and explain how braces work to give adults great-looking teeth, an amazing smile, better oral health, and improved facial symmetry. Even older patients with missing, worn, or misshaped teeth or gum disease may be good candidates for this popular orthodontic treatment.
What are Orthodontic Braces?
Children and adults of all ages can get orthodontic braces to correct a number of oral or teeth problems. The dental appliance can be installed in the mouth for cosmetic or structural purposes. Except for Invisalign, these appliances consist of metal wires, brackets, and elastic bands fitted to the teeth to help move them into the proper position.
Whether it is traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign, the aim is to align or straighten the teeth and improve bite problems. Issues with the bite typically result from structural abnormalities such as misaligned jaws or shifting of the teeth. These treatment options also help correct teeth overcrowding (malocclusions) or gaps between the teeth.
Is There an Age Limit on Having Orthodontic Braces?
If you’re wondering what is the best age to have orthodontic braces, there is no right or wrong age for this. But the treatment process can be a little more complex for adults since jaw bone development is typically completed by age 20.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, “whether you’re 8 or 80…it’s not too late,” although the treatment time can last longer because adults have denser bone tissue compared to children.
More and more adults are exploring their treatment options after realizing that teeth straightening with braces are not just a “teen” thing. Many of them come from families who didn’t see the need for corrective treatment or simply couldn’t afford it.
With the power to change that, they are now looking to get fitted with braces and can hardly wait to step out with a smile that makes a great first impression. Once you’ve made the decision to get treated, your orthodontist can help you decide which type of appliance is best for you.
3 Top Reasons Adults Get Dental Braces
Because there is no best age to have orthodontic braces, the time may be now for you to visit your orthodontist. Here are 3 common reasons to schedule an appointment:
- To Correct an Overbite, Underbite, or Overcrowded Teeth: The upper and lower rows of teeth should meet and touch without any gap between. Adults with an overbite have upper teeth that protrude over the lower row. In the case of an underbite, the lower teeth protrude further away from the upper row. These orthodontic problems can also happen if the jaws are misaligned and may cause trouble with speaking, biting, or chewing. Not to mention how uncomfortable or self-conscious you may be feeling about your looks.
- Crooked or Misaligned Teeth: Teeth that are out of alignment can lead to gaps and affect the way you speak or pronounce certain words. Excess wear and tear on the teeth, pressure or strain on the gum and jaw, temporomandibular joint disorder, and headaches are more likely to occur. Teeth grinding or clenching and jaw pain are other possible discomforts that orthodontic braces can help to alleviate.
- Improve Oral Health: Straightening your teeth goes beyond the aesthetics benefits braces provide. It can help improve oral hygiene and boost oral health. Your newly-aligned teeth will be easier to clean thus reducing the chance for plaque and tartar buildup from bacterial activity. Cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss are also less likely to occur from prolonged exposure to bacteria in the mouth.
Adults Getting Braces: Is It Ever Too Late?
Braces Treatment Options for Adults
Once you have good oral health and healthy, tough gums suitable for dental appliances, the next thing is to determine which orthodontic treatment is right for you. You can choose ceramic braces or Invisalign depending on the orthodontic problem that needs correcting and your personal preference.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are usually made from porcelain. They are similar to traditional metal braces, except they are more durable and come in various shades of color to match the natural color of your teeth. They are affixed to the teeth but are less conspicuous. Instead of in front, the wire and brackets are fitted behind the teeth offering you a discreet way to straighten or align your teeth.
- Invisalign: Patients with mildly crooked or misaligned teeth usually make suitable candidates for clear aligners, also known as Invisalign. The invisible, removable, custom-made braces are also preferred by adults who want to improve their smile without the obvious wires and brackets that reveal their orthodontic treatment. Removable Invisalign aligners make it easier to eat and are easy to clean and replace.
How Long Do Adults Wear Braces?
This is a top question by adult patients who cannot wait to see their new smile—and for good reasons. If you’re someone who was taunted, bullied, or laughed at because of protruding upper or lower teeth or misaligned teeth, you know what it feels like to yearn for normal-looking teeth. Perhaps you hid your smile or avoid socializing.
Dental braces can be life-changing for you after several months. Depending on your unique circumstances, the treatment can last approximately 18 to 22 months on average. You will continue to visit your orthodontist every six to eight weeks for checkups and necessary adjustments during this time.
So, no need to worry about how long do adults wear braces. In the end, you’ll have teeth that look and function better and a heart-warming smile. Even you may agree that it’s definitely worth the wait!
Your smile matters to us at any age! Visit our highly-skilled orthodontist
So, is there an age limit on having orthodontic braces? The short simple answer is, “no.” Your teenagehood may be long gone, but you’re not too old for dental braces. Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Michael McDermott, can help you achieve the look you want by providing braces and other dental services to match your needs.
Patients in Baxter, MN, and surrounding cities are welcome to schedule an appointment at McDermott Orthodontics. We also serve patients in Delano, Pequot Lakes, and Brainerd MN. Call today or use our online appointment request form.
Like what you read? Comment below or CLICK on an APP LOGO to follow us and share the conversation
13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
Are You Too Old for Orthodontic Braces?
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.