Braces are often associated with teenagers, but an increasing number of adults choose to straighten their teeth later in life. It’s a common misconception that there is a narrow window of opportunity to straighten teeth. Or that if you didn’t qualify for braces as a teenager, you would never be eligible.
More and more adults are choosing to fix imperfections that may have surfaced in adulthood. For example, perhaps you had braces as a child, but your teeth are no longer perfectly straight? And those who had braces as a teen are learning there are a lot more options available today.
You don’t have to choose fixed metal braces with brackets and wires. There are also clear braces available to make your treatment more discreet.
Clear braces options for adults
If you choose to get braces as an adult, the first thing to remember is that you no longer have to meet any specific criteria. The criteria for NHS braces are relatively strict, but choosing private treatment as an adult removes many of these barriers.
You’ll also have a lot more choices. Clear braces can include clear aligners like Invisalign or discreet fixed braces like CFast. CFast offers several options, including lingual braces, which attach behind the teeth, or clear brackets, which use clear brackets and tooth-coloured wires.
Discretion is one of the best qualities offered by modern-day teeth straightening solutions. As a result, you no longer have to feel self-conscious about your braces. And removable options such as Invisalign will make it easier to fit your braces around your life. However, if you’re thinking about getting braces as an adult, there are a few things you should consider first…
There is no upper age limit
Teeth straightening might be more complex as you get older, but it certainly isn’t impossible. What is important is that you have good oral health and are committed to taking care of your teeth.
The good news is that investing in your smile with treatments like teeth straightening will make you much more likely to take care of your oral health as you get older.
Braces can be removable
Removable braces aren’t always an excellent choice for teenagers because of one simple fact: they are much more forgetful. But we don’t see this problem as much with adults.
If you choose to wear removable braces, you’ll need to commit to wearing them for around 22 hours per day. The treatment won’t be as effective if you don’t wear them for long enough, so we encourage you to have a good think about whether you can commit to this.
Fast treatments are available
Orthodontic treatments for teenagers often focus on proper bite alignment alongside aesthetics. But in adulthood, you might want to focus purely on your smile.
This can drastically reduce treatment times because your dentist only focuses on the “social six”. These are the top front six teeth that are most prominent when you smile. You could see results in as little as six months with our Clear Aligner System.
The downside of treatment
There will always be some downsides to treatment, but it’s better to be informed before you start rather than getting a nasty surprise along the way. For example, teeth straightening can be uncomfortable at times.
Your braces will put pressure on your teeth, which can lead to aches in your mouth and jaw. Patients can easily manage this with over-the-counter pain medication. Once you get used to these new sensations, they will become less distracting.
Another downside of treatment is that it isn’t permanent. After your teeth have reached the ideal alignment, you’ll have to wear a retainer at night to keep your teeth in this new position. Once you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will return to their previous position.
And finally, you may have to make some sacrifices during treatment. For example, we don’t recommend drinking hot drinks with Invisalign aligners. This could mean you’ll have to take out your aligners every time you want a hot drink, or else give up your morning tea or coffee.
Some individuals notice their eating habits improve due to wearing braces or Invisalign, as it becomes too much effort to snack between meals.
Ready to have a conversation about braces with your dentist? Get in touch with Sloan Dental so we can guide you through the process!