Although it’s more common to get braces when you’re young, many people would be surprised to hear there’s no age limit on braces. However, while you can get braces at any age, getting them done as an adult can require additional help in some cases.
We break down what all adults should know before they get braces themselves.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Braces? What You Need to Know as an Adult
Typically, kids as young as 6-8 years old can get braces, but as we stated previously, you can get braces at any age. Because your jaw and teeth are still adjusting when you’re young, there’s a huge benefit to getting braces during this time. However, whether your jaw has changed or your teeth have, getting braces later in life can be done—but there are some things you’ll need to know.
Because adult teeth have stopped growing and your jaw is now fully formed, correcting more severe misalignments can require more work. In some cases, braces alone will not be enough to correct these issues and oral surgery may be needed. To clarify further, this often isn’t in every case as everyone is different, and braces may be enough to get your best smile back.
Also, understand that orthodontics alone may not be enough for some patients. Gum disease, fillings, and other dental treatments may need to be performed alongside or prior to getting braces. Conversely, if you’ve taken good care of your oral health, you’ll likely be a prime candidate for braces and may need nothing more.
It’s also important to point out that braces don’t lose effectiveness as you get older either. By caring for your braces and following the proper habits with them on, your jaw and teeth can still adjust, just a teenager’s or child’s would.
Alternatives to Metal Braces for Adults
Much the same as metal braces (and still using some metal components), ceramic braces offer an alternative to adults who want to minimize the appearance of braces. These ones are a particularly good choice for people who are a bit self-conscious about their appearance and want to make it less obvious they have braces.
Invisalign is one of the newest companies on the orthodontic scene and offers a less traditional approach to adjusting your jaw and teeth. It involves using a series of clear aligners to shift your teeth back into place and is often a great choice for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of braces maintenance or want to show off their smile in photos without the look of braces. However, choosing Invisalign versus braces isn’t always possible as braces can correct more severe problems.
While it can feel embarrassing getting braces as an adult, you have nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, you should be proud you’re being proactive about taking care of your oral health!