We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of kids walking around wearing braces or undertaking other orthodontic treatment – but what about adults? Can teeth be straightened at any age? Can the same orthodontic results seen in children also work for adults? Is it more expensive to straighten your teeth as an adult?
These may be some of the questions you’ve asked yourself as an adult seeking orthodontic treatment, and they can be quite daunting! The great news is, although orthodontic treatment is generally skewed towards children and young adults, your adult teeth can absolutely be treated as well! Orthodontic treatment is becoming more common for adults, and it’s not just folks in their 20s and 30s. People over the age of 50 are also making visits to the orthodontist’s office. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult!
Can teeth be straightened at any age?
Healthy teeth can be treated at any time, so there’s no such thing as teeth that are “too old” for orthodontic treatment. As an adult there may be a number of reasons to wonder “can teeth be straightened at any age?”. These may include misalignment, gaps, an overbite or underbite – which are all still treatable in adults!
You may find that the biggest barrier between you and your adult treatment may be brushing away the stigma. Sure – we don’t think orthodontic treatment is anything to be embarrassed about, but maybe you’re deterred by the thought of a “metal mouth” from braces. The great news here is that as technology progresses, our orthodontic treatments are becoming more and more inconspicuous. Braces are now easier to install and easier to manage. They also aren’t as noticeable as in previous generations, especially with the introduction of clear braces and aligners.
Braces for adults over 40
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – you can straighten your teeth at any age, provided that your teeth are treatable. For adults considering orthodontic treatment, now is the time to do it. With so many great and emerging technologies in the orthodontic field creating discreet treatment options, there’s no reason for anyone to even know that you’re undertaking treatment.
If you’ve considered braces for adults over 40, you’ve probably also noticed the large number of braces patients being children and young adults. This can largely be credited to the “sturdiness” of traditional metal braces making them an ideal treatment for children who may have trouble staying away from the hard and sticky foods that should be avoided during orthodontic treatment. In the last 10 years attitudes have shifted toward dental braces and the Australian Society of Orthodontists state that 7 out of every 10 children react in a positive way when told that they need orthodontic treatment – many kids actually want to have braces!
Adult braces options
So we’ve asked “can teeth be straightened at any age”, but what are your options as an adult seeking orthodontic treatment? As we mentioned previously, there are quite a large number of orthodontic treatment options for adults – with many of them being so discreet that your friends and family probably won’t even know you’re undertaking treatment! Typically, in adult treatments either traditional braces or clear aligners are great option. Both have their pros and cons, which we will explore shortly, so it is best to consider the best option for your individual circumstances. Some reasons adults are turning to orthodontists to help perfect their smile include, for a boost in confidence, for an upcoming event, to perfect a selfie smile or for better oral health. Whatever your reason, thankfully orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the days of metal braces and the stigma once associated with braces is all but gone. Let’s discuss your options.
Let’s start by breaking down your adult braces options. Traditional braces are generally metal and are attached to the front (or cheek side) of the teeth and are suitable for patients of all ages. They consist of two parts; a series of either metal or clear brackets that are attached to each tool, and an arch wire which runs through the slots in the brackets. Traditional braces work through tension being applied in the wire which slowly moves the teeth into their desired position. Braces are a great option for any patients with sever misalignment or require quite major corrections, however, traditional braces are not a good option for anyone seeking discreet treatment, or those who don’t like the look of braces. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but traditional braces don’t mix well with red wine and coffee which often discourages adults seeking treatment. We know, we’re not sure how to give them up either! The high acidity in both of these drinks can actually erode the enamel on your teeth cause a slight discoloration on some parts of the braces.
Now onto one of the better adult braces options – clear aligners. Clear aligners are plastic trays that are moulded to fit your teeth and work by applying gentle pressure until your teeth reach their desired position. Clear aligners are one of the more popular of the orthodontic treatment methods for adults over 40, and for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they’re discreet! Clear aligners are practically invisible while you’re wearing them which means that no one will even need to know that you’re undergoing treatment. Another great aspect of clear aligners is that they’re removable! You can simply take them out for any special events, or sport, where you don’t want to be wearing your aligners. Clear aligner treatments are ideal for patients with moderate misalignment issues and unfortunately severe cases may not be able to be treated using them.
How old do you have to be to have braces?
Can teeth be straightened at any age? Orthodontic treatment traditionally begins when a child has lost most of his or her baby teeth, and a majority of adult teeth have grown in – usually between the ages of 8 and 14. When treating orthodontic cases in children, it’s best to begin between the ages of 10 and 14 due to the structure and growth stages of the head and mouth. This is due to the head and mouth still growing, and this is when the teeth are more adaptive to change which will ultimately make the process easier. For this reason, orthodontic treatment is generally skewed toward children and young adults – but this doesn’t mean that adults can’t undertake treatment at all! Today, orthodontic treatment is a viable option for almost any adult and with continuous advancements in orthodontic treatment, you have many options available to you that will fit in with your current lifestyle. In addition to enhancing the appearance of your smile, orthodontic treatment can also greatly improve the function. Straighter teeth generally mean healthier teeth due to the fact that your pearly whites will be much easier to brush and keep clean – a big plus for adults!
What’s the best age for orthodontic treatment?
The best age for orthodontic treatment is between the ages of 10 to 14 when receiving face-to-face orthodontic treatment. This is when a child’s physical development makes it most receptable to change as the jaw bones are still soft. As the bones are still pliable, corrective procedures work faster and more effectively than they do for teens and adults. In children, early treatment is an effective interceptive measure that lays the foundation for a healthy and well-functioning mouth in adulthood. The most common ages for orthodontic treatment to begin is around 10 to 12 for girls, and 12 to 14 for boys. The great news is that orthodontic treatment can be completed at any age, despite the heavy skew toward children and adolescents. Adults are able to wear braces too, and it’s becoming more and more commonplace for adults who perhaps did not have the opportunity to receive treatment in their early life. Many of the treatment options available for adults now are far more discreet and comfortable than what was available during their early years. Good oral health that comes from well-aligned teeth and a confidence boosting smile are a major bonus for anyone – especially adults!
Anyone can have straight teeth with EZ SMILE
We’re glad you’ve stumbled across EZ SMILE in your search for the answer to “can teeth be straightened at any age?” While you’re here, let us tell you a bit more about our treatment options. EZ SMILE is an at-home based clear aligner treatment option. “At home?” – yes! One of the greatest benefits of EZ SMILE is that the entire treatment can be completed from home. You either have the option to order an impression kit, take moulds of your teeth and send them back to us, or you can book in for a FREE 3D teeth scan at one of our locations Australia wide. EZ SMILE clear aligners are made of a clear, BPA free plastic which is moulded to your teeth and work by applying gentle pressure until your teeth reach their desired final position. EZ SMILE clear aligners are so discreet that no one will ever know that you’re undergoing treatment – but we challenge you to keep them quiet! We promise you’ll want to tell your friends about these. The entire EZ SMILE treatment costs $2,149 and can be paid up front or using a number of payment options – which makes us one of the most affordable clear aligner treatments, AND up to 70%^ cheaper than traditional orthodontic methods. Check out the rest of our website to find out more.
^ ^Price comparison between treatment with EZ SMILE clear aligners (single payment of $2,149) and $7,000 total cost for an 18 month treatment using traditional orthodontics for a patient with low to moderate crowding. Source: https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/how-much-braces-cost/