Adult braces

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If you are an adult with crooked or misaligned teeth, you’re probably wondering whether or not getting adult braces would be a good option for you.

In this article, we’ll talk about why it isn’t too late to achieve a straight smile as an adult, and why you should definitely give yourself the gift of a straight, confident smile. We’ll also look at the different teeth straightening treatment options that are available to you, from traditional braces to clear aligners and night-only braces.

In case the cost of orthodontic treatment is what’s holding you back from getting adult braces, we’ll also take a look at how you can make your braces more affordable.

If all of this sounds good, then keep on reading.

It isn’t too late to get straight teeth as an adult

Is it too late to get braces and fix problems like crooked teeth or crowded teeth when you are an adult?

You might be one of the many who mistakenly believe that straightening your teeth as an adult is all but impossible. Alternatively, you may be haunted by memories of the kinds of colorful metal braces other kids used to wear when you were in middle school and high school.

Well, let me tell you, getting adult braces – and seeing real results from wearing them – is neither as daunting as you might think. There are all sorts of good reasons why you should be getting braces if you have crooked teeth, and there are many different ways of making your orthodontic treatment affordable, whether through your dental insurance or by arranging to pay for your teeth straightening treatment via a payment plan that helps you spread out the cost.

Many adults might be worried that wearing braces as adult might involve a certain amount of stigma, and if you’re one of them, I’ve got good news for you. Braces have come a long way since metal braces were the only option. Today, there are plenty of orthodontic care companies offering invisible braces and night-only braces, which means you’ll be able to undergo your orthodontic treatment without anyone knowing about it – until they start noticing how amazingly straight your smile all of a sudden is.

Top three reasons for getting braces as an adult

As already mentioned, there are numerous reasons why getting adult braces is a good idea. Here are the top three.

A straighter smile can make you more confident

The first and most obvious reason why you should be getting dental braces as an adult is that the much straighter smile wearing braces can give you is likely to boost your confidence and impact your mood.

If you’re feeling self-conscious right now because of overcrowded or misaligned teeth, just take a moment to imagine how much more energised and confident you are going to feel when you have a new smile worth showing off to the world.

Braces help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems

The reasons for getting adult orthodontic treatment aren’t purely cosmetic. You may be surprised to learn that there are some very important health reasons, too.

The condition of your teeth can have a tremendous impact on your overall health. For example, crowded and crooked teeth can make it difficult to clean properly between your teeth, which can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth are also known to cause jaw problems and painful tension.

In the long run, tooth problems or the likelihood of developing them only grow worse when left unaddressed. Investing in dental braces in an investment not only in your personal appearance and in your confidence, it is also an important investment to make in your health. If your crowded or crooked teeth are causing you problems or are likely to in the future, you owe it to yourself to get them straightened out sooner rather than later.

You can straighten your teeth discreetly

Straightening your teeth doesn’t have to be a public spectacle – on the contrary, undergoing treatment can be done absolutely discreetly, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, depending on which braces treatment option you choose.

Today, clear aligners are becoming more and more commonplace, and one of their great advantages is that many can be worn as night-only aligners. While some invisible braces including braces from ClearCorrect and Candid aligners have to be worn between 20 and 22 hours a day, others you can get away with wearing as little as 12 hours a day, meaning you can get away with only wearing them at home.

You won’t have to wear braces forever

Straightening your teeth may take much less time than you imagine.

How much time, exactly, you can expect to spend wearing braces is going to depend on how much correction your teeth need and which aligner or braces company you choose to go with. If your teeth only require a very small amount of adjustment, the entire process might take as little as six or eight weeks. In other words, wearing braces is a short-term sacrifice to achieve a straight smile.

Adult braces options – from traditional braces to clear aligners

Which dental braces should you choose?

There are many more different kinds of dental braces on the market today than there were just a few years ago. Developments in dental science and technology mean that a new kind of braces – invisible aligners – have become hugely popular, particularly among adults who wear braces.

The reasons for this are obvious. Still, let us lay all of your options on the table so you know what your options are when it comes to choosing the braces you as an adult is going to prefer.

Metal braces

We’re all familiar with conventional braces. Traditional braces, or metal braces, have been around for the past 100 years.

Initially, metal braces were very bulky and cumbersome, but over the decades, they’ve become more and more refined, effective and discreet.

Traditional metal braces are applied to the teeth by the dentist and then connected with a wire. The wire is tired to the braces using elastic ties, often in vibrant colors. Wearing traditional braces requires a trip to the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks, where the orthodontist adjusts the wire.

Metal braces is still a viable choice of braces today, but mostly among children and teenagers. If you have to wear braces as an adult, chances are you would prefer an even more discreet option.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic or porcelain braces are made of a clear, tooth-colored material which makes them a much more discreet choice than traditional metal braces.

Apart from being less visible, ceramic braces work in exactly the same way as metal braces.

Lingual braces

Rather than being placed on the front of the teeth, lingual braces sit at the back.

A clear advantage to lingual braces is that they are completely invisible, since no one but your dentist is going to see the back of your teeth. Another pro offered by lingual braces is that they allow the orthodontist to adjust them on a micro-level.

While lingual braces is a good choice for adults wanting to wear their braces discreetly, not all orthodontists are able to do them as they require a very refined skill set that most orthodontists haven’t been trained on. For this very reason they also tend to be quite expensive.

Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces function very similarly to both meal and ceramic braces, in that they rely on braces and wire to adjust the teeth. You can get self-ligating braces in either metal or a clear ceramic version.

The main difference between self-ligating braces and conventional metal braces is that they use a small metal clip instead of an elastic band to hold the wire in place.

Clear braces

Clear braces, also called invisible aligners, are the newest shoot on the tree of available teeth straightening treatments.

As the name suggests, clear aligners are all but invisible. This is a huge plus for adults who would like to straighten their teeth in a way that is discreet and disrupts their life as little as possible.

Apart from their transparency, other advantages to wearing clear aligners include that they are removable, which makes it easy to keep both your braces and your teeth clean during the teeth straightening process, the fact that they straighten teeth faster than most other teeth straightening treatments, and the fact that they (in some cases) require fewer or no dentist visits.

When it comes to clear aligners, Invisalign is the best-known brand on the market, but there are many other clear aligner providers including more affordable options such as AlignerCo and SnapCorrect.

Night braces

Perhaps the biggest upside to (some) invisible braces is that some of them only have to be worn for 10-12 hours every 24 hours. Byte is just one example of a brand offering night only braces.

Because you only have to wear night braces for 10 or 12 hours, it means that you probably won’t have to wear them out in public, and that you in effect you have the option of keeping your teeth straightening treatment completely to yourself if you want absolute dicretion.

Adult braces Q & A

We’ve gone over why you shouldn’t hold yourself back from getting braces as an adult. We’ve also looked at the different adult braces options are

How much do adult braces cost?

Adult braces can range in cost from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds or US dollars. The total cost of straightening teeth is going to depend on a number of different factors including what type of braces you have chosen to go with, how much adjustment your teeth need, whether you have insurance and so on.

Many teeth straightening companies offer free consultations and flexible payment plans, and if you’re lucky, you might even find that your teeth straightening treatment is covered by your dental insurance.

Is it weird for adults to have braces?

It is never weird for an adult to take care of their health and their appearance, and this is exactly why some adults choose to wear braces.

What’s more, clear aligners make it possible for adults to straighten their teeth without anyone knowing that they’re using braces. While some clear braces have to be worn up to 22 hours a day, others are nighttime only braces that adults can get away with only wearing in the comfort of their own homes. So if you don’t want anyone to know that you are wearing treatment braces to straighten your teeth, you can.

Is it worth getting braces at 35?

It is (almost) never too late to straighten your teeth. Whether you’re 35 or 65 doesn’t matter – getting your teeth straightened if you need it can prove an important investment, not only in your appearance but in your dental and oral health.

If you’re an adult and have avoided straightening your teeth so far because you’re worried that it is too late to achieve a straight smile if you didn’t wear braces as a child, you’re, thankfully, mistaken.

Parting words

There are plenty of adult braces options available to anyone wanting to achieve straighter teeth, including adults.

Straightening your teeth as an adult is an investment in both your appearance, your confidence and your health. Could there be a better investment than that?

The average adult may not find the thought of wearing braces very appealing – but most can get onboard with adult braces when they realize how easily, affordably and discreetly they’re able to straighten their teeth. This is particularly true for those who choose to go with clear plastic aligners, as these are virtually invisible and tend to straighten teeth in a short period of time.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.

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