Many patients who have teeth alignment issues ask the question “Am I too old for braces?” The answer, at least in the majority of cases, is that you’re never too old to improve your teeth alignment. While childhood is certainly the best time to have orthodontic work done, not everyone has the opportunity to get the orthodontic care that they need as a child or during their adolescence. About 1 out of every 5 orthodontic patients today is an adult, in fact. There are many adults who have crooked teeth today, and it’s not too late to correct that through braces. You can have the straight smile that you’ve been wanting all your life.
What Type of Changes Are Needed?
One of the main determinants in evaluating an adult’s suitability for braces is the type and degree of alignment problem. As an adult, your bones aren’t growing anymore. This means that structural changes to the mouth are much more challenging than they’d be with a child or an adolescent whose mouth is still growing into its adult size. As long as the changes you need don’t require a major structural change to your mouth, braces should be a possibility for you. Most adults have correctable alignment issues. However, in cases of very serious misalignment, malformed jaw, or other major structural issues, surgery may be needed to correct the underlying issue before you can use braces for alignment correction. Your orthodontist can evaluate your case to determine whether you’ll benefit from braces now, or whether you may need to have a surgical correction done beforehand.
Worried About Metal Mouth?
One concern that many adults have when they’re considering braces is “metal mouth.” It’s not uncommon to hear patients say “I’m just too old to walk around with a metal mouth!” While this is a purely cosmetic concern, it’s a completely valid and understandable one. Fortunately, advances in the world of orthodontics now allow adults to straighten their teeth without being obvious about it. For example, two popular teeth straightening options at Strickland Orthodontics today are clear braces and Invisalign. Both of these options are designed to gradually shift the alignment of your teeth without anyone even knowing you’re doing so because they’re made from clear plastic. This allows adults to still feel like grown-ups while they get the alignment correction that they need. Clear straightening with devices like Invisalign also has the advantage of being significantly more comfortable than the metal brackets used in braces. You’re never too old, especially when it comes to invisible teeth straightening!
The Time Commitment Needed for Adult Braces
Adult braces of any type, whether it’s metal braces or a clear appliance like Invisalign, do require a time commitment. In most cases, adults need to wear braces for anywhere from 18 months to around 3 years. During that time, you’ll need to care for your braces properly, wear devices like Invisalign exactly as recommended, and see your orthodontist on a regular basis. Usually, this means visits every month or two, but this does vary by situation and patient. Check-ups are usually quite fast and easy, but they do require at least a small time commitment. They’re an essential part of straightening your teeth because this is the time when your orthodontist checks for proper fit, emerging issues, and alignment changes. Correcting teeth alignment issues in adults is usually a longer process than correcting the same issues in a child. However, if you’re willing to commit the time and effort you can still get great results.
Ready to Get the Straighter Smile You Deserve?
Strickland Orthodontics is an Alabama orthodontic practice that is owned and operated by a father and son team of orthodontists. Dr. H.L. Strickland and Dr. Stephen Strickland serve patients at five different Alabama locations, offering the highest level of patient convenience. As a leading provider of orthodontic care, Strickland Orthodontics has been awarded with several prestigious awards. They offer traditional braces, Invisalign, clear braces, auxiliary appliances, expanders, soft tissue laser, and surgical orthodontics along with many other services. The Strickland Orthodontics team is here to help, so call anytime to arrange a consultation.