Facts About Adult Braces

Updated February 16, 2024
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Going to the orthodontist’s office is never considered a fun task. But, as an adult, it can be viewed as even more dreadful because braces are seen as something for teenagers or even young children. However, we are here to tell you that there is no shame in wanting to fix your smile, no matter how old you are. In fact, many adults are getting braces these days to get the smiles they have been dreaming about.

We have compiled this list of facts about adult braces to show you that there is no age limit when it comes to fixing your smile.

Braces are for all ages. 

Yes, in an ideal world, everybody would get braces as a teenager, and their teeth would be fixed forever. But, that’s simply not the case, whether it’s due to a lack in dental care, the cost of braces or teeth moving back after not wearing a retainer, there are many reasons why adults need braces. There are a lot of different treatment options as well, including Invisalign, for those adults looking for a more discreet look while straightening their teeth. Some clear aligners are even removable. But, just because you can remove them does not mean you should. Even removable aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day in order to achieve the best and fastest results.

Adult braces do not hurt. 

Some people believe that orthodontics hurt more as an adult than as a kid. We don’t know where this belief came from, but we can tell you that it is absolutely not true. Of course, some discomfort is expected when adjusting to your new braces, but there should not be any pain, and the discomfort will eventually fade. Today’s metal braces are designed with technology to minimize discomfort while also reducing how long treatment takes. This means that your adult orthodontics plan can be efficient and convenient, and you can have a straight smile in no time.

You aren’t alone. 

Being an adult that wears braces might make you feel embarrassed, isolated, or alone. But, there is no reason for that. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, one in five orthodontics patients is an adult. That’s about one million adults that are currently wearing braces. That’s a lot more than you were expecting, isn’t it? That’s because many adults choose to wear invisible aligners instead of traditional metal braces, and you may not even notice them.

You can still kiss with braces! 

Some adults veer away from braces because they feel a mouth full of metal will impact their dating life and that kissing will be extremely uncomfortable. Remember in high school, when your biggest fear was getting your braces stuck together while kissing? Fortunately, this can’t and won’t happen. Kissing while wearing metal braces will require a bit of an adjustment, but it’s nothing that you won’t be able to get used to. 

“I don’t have years to wear adult braces.” 

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t be wearing adult braces, or any braces for that matter, for years on end. Technology has evolved, and adult orthodontics treatment plans are more efficient than ever these days. Invisible aligners move the teeth more effectively. This gives your orthodontist more control over the amount of force that is applied to your teeth— allowing for the process to be super-efficient. As an adult, you should expect your orthodontic treatment to take about 12-24 months, nothing close to the five years you may be imagining! If you think that a year or two still sounds too long, consider this: your teeth need time and pressure to straighten out. Each tooth has a nerve ending inside that’s called a pulp. If your teeth are realigned too fast, the process will cut off the teeth’s blood supply. That’s why braces are designed to slowly and steadily adjust your teeth with pressure so that the pulp continues to move with the tooth and still supplies the tooth with the blood and nutrition it requires. The braces’ archwires are fabricated to get the ideal amount of pressure on each tooth, which causes them to move to the desired place as efficiently and healthily as possible.

Braces are used for more than simply straightening the teeth. 

While the most common reason for braces is to straighten teeth, they actually have many other uses as well, including difficulty speaking, breathing issues, and problems swallowing or chewing. If you’re experiencing issues with any of those, adult braces may be the solution you’re looking for. Braces also contribute to better overall oral health because sometimes it can be hard to properly brush or floss teeth that are crooked or that are on top of one another.

“I will have to miss my weekly tennis match due to my braces.” 

You can still safely play sports with braces. If you are going to play a high-contact sport or a sport where there is a risk for something flying at your mouth like baseball, softball, football, basketball, soccer, hockey, skiing and so on, wear a mouthguard. There are special orthodontic mouthguard that are designed to fit in your mouth perfectly. The mouthguards are made from silicone to provide a cushion between the lips and teeth in order to prevent them from impacting each other. So if you are an athlete, talk to your orthodontist to get fitted for a mouthguard so you can continue playing your sports with peace of mind that your braces and your mouth will be protected.

As an adult, there are several orthodontics options, from metal braces to invisible aligners. The first step in deterring the adult orthodontics plan that works best for you is contacting an orthodontist today. Whether you’re a young adult, a parent or even a grandparent, we have an orthodontics plan for you to get you feeling confident about your smile, contact us today and we will talk about a custom adult orthodontics plan.


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