Think You Are Too Old for Braces? How to Straighten Your Smile at Any Age

Most people associate wearing braces with children and teenagers, but recently, many adults have been choosing to have orthodontic treatment. Some may never have had the opportunity for orthodontic treatment when they were kids and have always dreamed of a straighter smile. Others will have worn braces previously but have seen their teeth drift out of place as they get older. Whatever the reason, straightening your teeth as an adult has never been easier or more effective, but even so, some people are worried they might have left it too late.


Are You Ever Too Old for Braces?

Generally, the answer is no, provided your teeth are strong enough to be moved during orthodontic treatment. Adult orthodontics may be less suitable for you if you have teeth weakened by decay or trauma or signs of active gum disease, a condition that can destroy the structures surrounding your teeth that hold them firmly in place.

Our dental team at Tandara Dental is often asked at what age is it too late to get braces, and there is no real upper age limit. Your dental health rather than age determine your suitability for treatment. When you come to see us for your initial consultation for adult braces, we can soon see if adult orthodontics is the best option and will achieve the results you desire. We can also show you some photos of people who have chosen adult braces before and after their treatment to see the kind of results you can reasonably expect to achieve.


How Could Adult Braces Help Improve My Smile?

If you have teeth that are overlapping or crooked, or protruding, adult braces will help bring these teeth back into the correct alignment. The result is a smile that is nicely aligned and more attractive. At the same time, realigning your teeth can help to make them easier to clean, so if you currently struggle to floss between tightly packed front teeth, this essential task will become easier after you complete your treatment. If you currently have front teeth that protrude, bringing them back into line can help to protect them. Protrusive teeth are more at risk of getting injured due to an accidental blow to the mouth, especially if you like playing sports and don’t have a well-fitting mouthguard.


What Type of Adult Braces Are There?

Various adult orthodontic systems are available, and these are deliberately designed to be unobtrusive, as most adults prefer not to advertise that they are receiving treatment.

Options include fixed adult braces, which are very different from old braces you may remember from childhood, with heavy metal wires and brackets powered by brightly coloured elastics. Instead, adult fixed braces have clear or tooth coloured brackets powered by thin wires, and often there is no need for elastics. However, fixed braces require more extensive care during treatment and are trickier to look after than removable braces.

Other options include removable aligners using mouth trays. These can be made from a thin plastic material so that once in the mouth, they are virtually invisible, but you might notice a slight halo around the teeth. Other aligners, such as Inman aligners, are removable but don’t use mouth trays. An Inman aligner has a small acrylic base plate fitting around the back teeth and is held in place with small clasps around the back teeth so they cannot be seen.

Once the braces are in, they work by creating a squeezing action on the teeth. The brace has two thin bows made from wire, one fitted inside your teeth while the other is on the outside. These wires are powered by springs, so the bows oppose each other. Teeth are moved using gentle forces, and the bow inside your teeth will push outwards, while the bow outside of your teeth will push inwards. We can adjust the bow to ensure your teeth move correctly and exactly as planned.

Tandara Dental can provide Inman aligners. This system is quick, discreet, and very effective at treating orthodontic issues that affect the teeth visible when you smile or talk and which are in the aesthetic zone.


What to Expect If You Have Adult Braces

Inman aligners are fully removable so that you can take them out for easy cleaning. One question we often hear is how long does it take to put braces in, and the answer is a matter of seconds. These braces are incredibly easy to insert and remove, and we will show you exactly how to do it when you first receive them and show you how to clean them. By the time you leave our dental practice, we can guarantee you will be inserting and removing them like a professional.


How Long Will Treatment Take to Complete?

Treatment is pretty quick since we are only moving your front teeth and not making any major changes to your bite. You might only need to wear your aligners for as little as six weeks. Most people will complete treatment within eighteen weeks. We can provide a more accurate timeframe during your initial consultation once we assess the current position of your teeth.


What to Expect While Wearing Adult Braces?

It is essential to wear your aligners correctly, ensuring they remain in your mouth for between sixteen and twenty hours each day. You can remove them whenever you wish to eat a meal, and it is best to clean your teeth before replacing them. Because the aligners are removable, there is no need to change your diet or your oral care routine, which is the case with fixed old-style braces that can be tricky to clean around and require you to avoid foods that could damage or break them or become stuck around the brackets and wires.


Is Treatment Painful?

Adult orthodontics shouldn’t feel painful, but you might have some discomfort. This is perfectly normal as your teeth are being forced to move and is usually easily controlled with over-the-counter painkillers and should soon subside as your teeth become accustomed to wearing braces. If the discomfort continues, we can always adjust your braces to fit more comfortably.


How Often Do I Need to See a Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

You will need to come and see us every few weeks so we can adjust your aligners to continue moving your teeth correctly. These appointments shouldn’t take very long, and overall treatment times are so quick that you will only need relatively few visits to our dental practice.

As with all orthodontic treatments, you will need to wear a retainer afterwards to prevent your teeth from moving and ensure you can enjoy your new smile for many years, or we hope for life.

If you are reading this and wonder if it is ever too late to fix your teeth, the answer is no! Why not contact us to learn more about adult braces and all the exciting options available to straighten your smile.

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At Tandara Dental Centre in Gosnells, we’re happy to discuss all of your care options with you, so that you can choose the one that’s best for your smile. Contact us today to schedule!