Turns out braces aren’t just for kids and teens. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), more adults than ever are opting to straighten their teeth with traditional braces or clear aligner options.
The Benefits of Straighter Teeth
The AAO president says adults notice improvements in both their personal and professional lives after orthodontic treatment. And the benefits aren’t just cosmetic — healthier jaw alignment can prevent crowding issues later in life, limiting tooth decay, jaw pain, and abnormal enamel wear.
While the benefits of orthodontics are many, the largest hurdle for many people interested in straightening their teeth is overcoming the perceived stigma associated with wearing braces as an adult.
Adult Braces are More Common Than You Think
Thankfully, this stigma seems to be diminishing. As more adults opt for orthodontia, the use of braces has normalized across multiple age groups. Kids and teens still make up the majority of orthodontic patients, but the number of adults continues to rise — nearly 2 million adults sought out treatment in recent years.
Many adult patients didn’t have access to braces when they were younger because of high costs or limited doctor availability. It can be expensive to straighten misaligned teeth, but advances in technology make current orthodontia more affordable than ever. Other patients may have had childhood braces, but their teeth have shifted after years of inconsistent retainer use or further dental work.
Do Adult Braces Work?
While it’s easier to adjust the teeth and jaw alignment of a still-growing child, adult braces can be extremely effective at straightening smiles and improving overall oral health. Depending on an individual’s specific situation, it just might take a bit more time than if they had received orthodontic treatments at a young age.
In fact, there are specific benefits to having braces as an adult: adults tend to practice better dental hygiene than children and teens. Generally more responsible, they’re also more likely to wear their retainers and report potential problems early on. This means cleaner braces and healthier mouths throughout the treatment process!
The Final Verdict
There’s nothing weird about getting braces as an adult — in fact, it’s more normal than ever. As technology continues to advance and doctors become more experienced, the options for anyone looking to get straighter teeth keep growing.
Most importantly, getting braces at any age is about finding the doctor and system that works for you. At Madison Family Dental, we offer traditional braces, Invisalign and other clear aligners — we’ll work with you to create a program that matches your lifestyle and preferences!