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Birmingham Dental

9 Waterfront Walk, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1TX

9 Waterfront Walk, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1TX

Braces As An Adult | Can You Wear Them?

23rd November 2023

Young woman smiling with braces


Many adults think that braces are just for kids, but that’s not true anymore. Teeth can be straightened at any age, and more adults are choosing to improve their smiles. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth or facing dental issues due to misalignment, adult braces could be the solution.

Did you know one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21? That’s right—many are discovering the benefits of perfecting their pearly whites later in life. This article will break down myths, reveal benefits, explore types of braces available for adults, and give practical advice on what to expect from orthodontic treatment as a grownup.

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Key Takeaways

  • Adult braces are a viable option, with treatments lasting 12–24 months and being more affordable than commonly assumed, with various options available to suit individual budgets and preferences.
  • Orthodontic treatment as an adult offers improved dental health, including preventing oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay and enhancing overall well-being and self-esteem.
  • Various types of adult braces, such as traditional metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, or lingual braces, provide discreet options for straightening teeth based on individual needs and aesthetic preferences.
  • Considerations before getting adult braces include the treatment timeline, cost considerations, maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the treatment period, and keeping regular appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments and check-ups.

Myths About Getting Braces as an Adult

Adult braces are not forever; most treatments last 12–24 months. They are also more affordable than you might think, with a range of options available to suit your budget and needs.

Plus, they can actually improve your dental health in the long run!

You won’t wear braces forever

Having braces doesn’t mean they’re for life. Most people think you’ll have to wear them for a long time, but that’s not true. The time it takes can vary, but many adults see results much faster than expected.

This is because orthodontic treatment options have improved a lot. With the right care and plan from your orthodontist, you could be looking at wearing braces for just a short while.

Your teeth move quicker than you might think when under the care of modern braces or clear aligners like Invisalign. As an adult getting braces, know that the duration isn’t forever—often within one to three years, depending on what your teeth need.

It feels great knowing there’s a finish line where you’ll enjoy straighter teeth and better dental health!

It’s more affordable

Adult braces are more affordable than you might think. With various payment plans and options available, the cost can be manageable. Some dental insurance plans also cover a portion of the treatment, making it even more budget-friendly.

Plus, correcting dental issues early can prevent more expensive problems in the future.

When considering adult braces, consult with your orthodontist to explore all the financial options available to you. By taking this step, you can ensure that your journey towards a straighter smile is both effective and affordable.

There are more options

Adults who are considering braces have more options than ever before. Traditional metal braces are still an effective choice for many, while others might prefer the discreet appearance of ceramic braces or lingual braces that are hidden behind the teeth.

Invisalign is another popular option, using clear aligners to straighten teeth without the look of traditional braces. These diverse choices allow adults to select the option that best fits their lifestyle and preferences, making orthodontic treatment more accessible and appealing.

When deciding on orthodontic treatment as an adult, it’s essential to explore all available options and consult with a qualified orthodontist who can recommend the most suitable solution based on individual needs and preferences.

Improved dental health

Adult braces can improve dental health by straightening teeth and correcting misaligned bites. This can reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and jaw pain. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, which helps maintain good oral hygiene.

Additionally, improved dental health can lead to better overall well-being and confidence in your smile.

Overall, wearing adult braces is beneficial for dental health, as it can prevent oral health issues and boost self-esteem. Straighter teeth resulting from orthodontic treatment contribute to a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.

Surprisingly convenient

Adult braces are surprisingly convenient, especially with advancements like Invisalign, which are virtually invisible. This means you can straighten your teeth without anyone noticing.

Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easier to eat and brush your teeth without any restrictions. Additionally, fewer visits to the orthodontist may be needed as compared to conventional braces, allowing you more flexibility in your schedule and reducing disruptions to your daily routine.

Furthermore, Invisalign aligners apply gentle pressure to the teeth for a more comfortable experience. You can also track your progress and see how your smile will look at the end of treatment through virtual 3D models provided by some orthodontists.

Benefits of Adult Braces

Adult braces can enhance confidence, improve oral health, and create a more attractive smile.

Enhanced confidence

Adult braces can significantly enhance your confidence by straightening your teeth and improving your smile. When you feel good about how your teeth look, it can positively impact how you carry yourself in social and professional settings.

Having a more aligned smile could make you feel more confident to speak and laugh without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth. This boost in self-esteem can have a ripple effect on various aspects of your life, making adult braces a worthwhile consideration for those seeking improved oral aesthetics.

Improved oral health

Adult braces can significantly improve oral health. They help align the teeth, making it easier to clean and maintain good oral hygiene. With properly aligned teeth, there’s less risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and jaw problems.

This contributes to better overall dental health and reduces the need for future dental treatments or interventions.

Braces for adults also aid in correcting bite issues such as overbite or underbite, which can cause discomfort and difficulty in chewing. By addressing these concerns, adult braces promote a healthier mouth and contribute to an improved quality of life.

More attractive smile

Adult braces can give you a more attractive smile by straightening your teeth and correcting any misalignment. Having properly aligned teeth can enhance your facial appearance, boost your confidence, and improve the overall aesthetics of your smile.

Whether you choose traditional metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces or lingual braces, the end result is a beautiful smile that you’ll be proud to show off. By undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult, you can achieve the smile you’ve always wanted and feel more confident in social and professional settings.

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Types of Adult Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type; Invisalign offers a more discreet option; ceramic braces blend in with the teeth; and lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth.

Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces made from high-grade stainless steel. They straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires, which put pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position.

These braces are highly effective for complex tooth straightening issues and can be customised with colourful elastics for a more unique look.

Metal braces offer durability and affordability compared to other options like Invisalign or ceramic braces. They’re also suitable for all age groups and effectively correct even severe misalignment problems, providing an excellent option for adults seeking orthodontic treatment.


Invisalign is a popular option for adults seeking orthodontic treatment. It involves wearing clear, removable aligners that gradually shift your teeth into place. Unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, making them a discreet choice for adults concerned about appearance.

They are also comfortable to wear and can be removed when eating or brushing your teeth, allowing for better oral hygiene maintenance during treatment. Many adults opt for Invisalign as it offers a convenient and flexible way to straighten their teeth without the noticeable appearance of traditional braces, fitting well with busy lifestyles.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are a popular choice for adults seeking orthodontic treatment. They are less noticeable than traditional metal braces, thanks to their tooth-coloured or clear brackets and wires.

This makes them more discreet, which is particularly appealing to adults concerned about the appearance of their braces. Ceramic braces work similarly to metal braces in straightening teeth and correcting bites, making them a reliable option for adults looking to improve their smile without drawing too much attention.

While ceramic braces offer a more subtle look compared to traditional metal braces, they may be slightly more fragile and can stain if not properly cared for. It’s essential for individuals considering ceramic braces to discuss maintenance tips with their orthodontist to ensure the best results from their treatment.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces but are placed on the back of your teeth, making them less noticeable. They work by gradually shifting your teeth into the desired position, just like regular braces.

Lingual braces are suitable for adults who may feel self-conscious about wearing visible braces and want a more discreet treatment option. These custom-made braces can effectively address various orthodontic issues while being hidden from view, giving adults the confidence to smile throughout their treatment period.

One point to consider is that lingual braces may take some time to get used to due to their positioning on the inside of your mouth. However, they offer a great alternative for individuals seeking a subtle approach to straightening their teeth without compromising on effectiveness or results when looking for orthodontic options for adults or hiding adult dental appliances.

What You Need to Know Before Getting Braces as an Adult

Consider the treatment timeline, cost considerations, oral hygiene, choosing the right orthodontist and taking care of your braces.

Treatment timeline

Adult braces treatment typically lasts from 18 months to 3 years, depending on the complexity of the case and the type of braces used. Here’s what you need to know about the timeline:

  1. Adjustment Period – It may take a few weeks for your mouth to adjust to wearing braces, during which you might experience discomfort or soreness.
  2. Regular Appointments – You’ll need to visit your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks for adjustments and check-ups throughout the treatment period.
  3. Initial Alignment: The first few months focus on aligning your teeth and jaws, correcting any bite issues, and addressing any overcrowding or spacing problems.
  4. Refinement Phase: Once your teeth are straightened, there will be a phase focusing on fine-tuning the alignment for a perfect smile.
  5. Retention Period: After the braces are removed, you’ll need to wear a retainer to maintain the results, usually for a year or more.

Cost considerations

Adult braces come with various cost considerations. It’s essential to factor these in before proceeding with treatment. Consider the following:

  • Initial consultation and assessment fees
  • The type of braces you choose affects the overall cost
  • Additional costs for X-rays or scans
  • Potential need for tooth extraction or other preparatory dental work before getting braces
  • Ongoing maintenance and adjustment appointments
  • Possible purchase of special cleaning tools for maintaining oral hygiene while wearing braces

Oral hygiene

Keeping your braces clean is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Brushing: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush after every meal and snack.
  2. Flossing: Use threader floss or special orthodontic floss to clean between teeth and underwires.
  3. Mouthwash: Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria in hard-to-reach places.
  4. Avoid certain foods: Stay away from sticky, hard, or sugary foods that can get stuck in your braces.
  5. Regular dental check-ups: Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups, which are even more important with braces.

Choosing the right orthodontist

When choosing the right orthodontist for adult braces, consider their experience and expertise in treating adults. Look for an orthodontist who specialises in adult orthodontics to ensure that they understand the unique needs of adult patients.

Check if the orthodontist offers a range of treatment options, such as traditional metal braces, Invisalign, ceramic braces, or lingual braces, catering to different preferences. It’s important to find an orthodontist with whom you feel comfortable and can communicate openly.

Ensure that the orthodontist provides clear information about the treatment timeline, cost considerations and aftercare. Additionally, verify that they have a good reputation by checking patient reviews and before-and-after photos.

Take care of your braces.

To keep your braces in good shape, follow these tips:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss every day to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and around the braces.
  • Rinse with mouthwash to further reduce bacteria and maintain fresh breath.
  • Avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods that can damage the braces.
  • Attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist for adjustments and maintenance.


In conclusion, adult braces can improve dental health and boost confidence. With options like Invisalign and ceramic braces, adults have choices for discreet treatment. Before getting braces, consider the cost, treatment timeline, and oral hygiene.

Choosing the right orthodontist is important for a successful experience with adult braces. Remember to care for your braces properly once you have them.

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9 Waterfront Walk, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1TX

9 Waterfront Walk, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1TX