Braces Aren't Just For Kids

More and more adults are getting braces to improve their bites and straighten their teeth. There are many orthodontic options that help make orthodontic appliances popular among older individuals. You're never too old to improve your smile, so if you are considering corrective dental appliances, here are some things to consider.


Metal orthodontic braces are still popular choices for adults and may be the best option if your teeth are crowded or very crooked. Many adults, however, choose a more inconspicuous look, and because of this, they opt for tooth-colored or ceramic braces.

Although ceramic appliances are not completely invisible, they are less conspicuous. They don't attract as much attention as metal wires and brackets do; however, they can stain, especially when exposed to highly pigmented drinks or foods, such as coffee, berries, red wine, and tea.

Other popular options for adults are clear braces, or aligners. These are removable dental appliances that you can take out of your mouth before eating, brushing your teeth, and flossing. They require no brackets or wires and are almost invisible.

Another type of appliance is the lingual brace. The orthodontist places these appliances behind the teeth, and they are good options for those who want an alternative to metal appliances. 

Special Considerations

If you are considering braces as an adult, your orthodontist will consult with your dentist before your treatment starts. As people age, they are more likely to experience gum recession and bone loss.

They may also have significant periodontal disease and thinning gum tissue. Conversely, kids often have healthy gums that are stronger and thicker.  Before your orthodontist starts your treatment, your gum disease and any other oral problems that you may have should be well-managed.

You will have to care for your orthodontic appliances just like kids do. This means brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding hard, chewy foods, and seeing your orthodontist on a regular basis.

You will get your brackets tightened periodically, and while you won't be in any pain afterward, your teeth may be a little sensitive. Because of this, your orthodontist will recommend that you take non-prescription pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Also, if it makes you feel more comfortable, eat soft foods for a day or so after your tightening. 

If you want to fix your bite or enhance your smile, make an appointment with an orthodontist to learn about various treatment options. It's never too late to improve your oral health with dental appliances.