Adult Braces – Here’s all you need to know!


Do you want to undergo orthodontic treatment to improve the quality of your smile and looks? Getting braces as an adult is not just about facial aesthetics. It’s also about misaligned teeth correcting.

Misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean, which makes you more susceptible to tooth decay, and gum disease. They also cause speech problems, jaw pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and other serious problems.

This post is here to address your maximum doubts and apprehensions about teeth straightening for adults.

Is Teeth Straightening Possible for Adults?

Though it’s ideal to get orthodontic treatment when you are a child, adults can also be excellent candidates for adult braces treatment. You might be surprised, but many types of adult braces work perfectly well for adult teeth straightening. More on this topic will be elaborated on in upcoming sections.

What are Adult Braces?

Adult braces are like regular braces but are customized to align adult teeth in a better position. Apart from aging, the environment and bad habits cause alignment issues in adults. Therefore you may feel the need for braces later in life.

Adult braces become medically necessary if you have misaligned teeth or jaw. Apart from aging, the environment and bad habits also cause alignment issues in adults.

What are the Types of Braces for Adults?

Adults have various options for braces – metal braces, lingual braces, Invisalign aligners, and self-ligating braces. Let’s look at them in detail:-

  • Metal Braces

    Also known as traditional braces, metal braces are one of the oldest and proven ways to treat various misalignments. Metal braces come in brackets strapped to your teeth with metal wire and tiny rubber bands. The wires put constant but gradual pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position.

  • Lingual Braces

    Traditional braces are not considered as best braces for adults because of their striking visibility, difficulty in keeping them clean, and the dietary restrictions you need to follow while wearing them.

    Lingual braces are an improved version of traditional braces as the wires and brackets sit on the inner part of the teeth. Therefore they are comparatively less visible.

  • Invisalign Aligners

    Invisalign aligners or clear braces are indeed considered amongst the best way to straighten teeth for adults. The aligners are made of clear plastic material. You wear them like you wear a mouthguard. They are not visible to others and can be removed before eating and brushing.

    Thus, invisible braces for adults don’t come with any dietary restrictions. Also, it’s easy to clean them and maintain oral hygiene wearing them. Naturally, many adults prefer Invisalign braces over other adult braces.

  • Self-ligating Braces

    Self-ligating braces come with rubber bands that connect brackets to the wires. The brackets are small and clip right into the wires. They can be clear in appearance and are easier to clean.

How to Manage Your Adult Orthodontic Treatment?

As an adult, you must consider the following factors before you begin your treatment for teeth straightening:-

  • Medical History

    Low bone density can be a hurdle in teeth straightening for adults. It is more common in women. Your jawbone and teeth need to be perfectly healthy for undergoing adult braces treatment. Your orthodontist will check your medical history and perform a detailed diagnosis to ensure appropriate bone density to start orthodontic treatment.

  • Preparedness for Multiple Treatments

    You may need to undergo a combination of treatments to align your teeth and jaw. For instance, you might need to wear traditional braces for some time after wearing clear aligners for months to ensure the success of your treatment. You must be mentally prepared to adjust your lifestyle and dental hygiene routine according to the treatment.

  • Consistency, Patience, & Self-discipline

    Do braces take longer as an adult? Yes, they do! You need to wear braces for an extended period since your teeth are no longer growing, and bones are harder. Faithfulness in wearing the device and following all the instructions is how you can timely complete your treatment. Otherwise, you may need to wear the adult braces longer than required.

    Although self-discipline regarding braces is hardly an issue as most adults are mature and motivated enough to complete their treatment quickly with shining colors!

What Conditions are Resolved Through Adult Braces?

Braces for adults help resolve the following dental health problems:-

  • Improves Self-esteem: Adult braces can give you a perfect smile, which you lose to aging or other factors. An ideal smile adds to everyone’s self-confidence!
  • Enhances Functionality: Teeth straightening aids in improving the functionality of teeth for adults, making it easier to bite and chew. It also boosts declining oral health with age.
  • Resolves Periodontal Problems: Often, periodontal diseases result from misalignment of teeth and jaw. Braces align teeth for adults to avoid these issues.
  • Restoration of Missing Teeth: Adult braces make restoring missing teeth easy.
  • Reduces Bone Loss: Adult braces prevent bone loss by preventing teeth and gum infections due to teeth misalignment.


Some more queries regarding braces for adults are answered here!

Aligners vs. traditional braces: Which is better for adults?

Aligners are undoubtedly more preferred as they are more convenient and discreet than conventional metal braces. However, if you have severely crooked teeth, your orthodontist might suggest a combination of aligners and braces or solely traditional braces as your treatment.

Read a full comparison between Braces & Aligners

Are braces equally effective for adults as they are for Children?

Yes, braces are as effective for adults as they are for children, provided you take the proper treatment and follow your orthodontist’s instructions to the T.

How much does adult braces cost?

The cost of your orthodontic treatment depends upon your health condition, the orthodontist you choose, and the type of adult braces used for your treatment.

What are the best braces for adults?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution available when it comes to braces. As stated earlier, clear braces are the first choice for adults. However, depending on your oral health condition and budget, your orthodontist can only prescribe suitable adult braces.

How is braces treatment different for adults and kids?

The teeth and jawbones in kids are in a developing stage. Therefore easily take the desired shape through braces. Whereas adults have fully grown teeth and jawbones. So it takes more time and specially designed devices to align the jaw and teeth straightening for adults.

Is there any age limit for braces?

Thanks to the modernization of dentistry, there is no age limit for braces. It takes more time for adult teeth to straighten than for kids. But you don’t need to live with a misaligned jaw and teeth just because you are a certain age.

Do braces take longer as an adult?

Braces treatment takes 18 months to approximately 3 years for adults. The duration significantly depends upon your condition and the type of braces you choose.

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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