When to Get Braces: As an Adult

1. Adults show better compliance with oral hygiene when wearing braces. The thing we love most about treating adults with braces is that they follow instructions so much better than teenagers do! Not only does this make treatment easier but because adults tend to brush better and consume less sweets so they end up with less dental problems while in braces. We see many kids and teenagers who have wear braces for a few years and end up with multiple cavities or even occasionally a root canal infection. This happens far less frequently in adult patients due to their better compliance, less sugar consumption and generally better oral hygiene.

2. Adults have a lesser chance of relapse. You may have heard of people who wore braces twice or even thrice. In almost every single one of these cases they wore braces as a teenager but didn’t wear their retainers and ended up having to do a second round of braces to correct the ensuing relapses. Adults have stiffer bones which reduces relapse rates and since wisdom teeth have either been removed or settled in place they also cause less problems in adults.

  • Having softer and flexible bone allows teeth to shift easier during treatment but it also allows them to collapse into their original position easier as well.
  • Teenagers also face a problem with their wisdom teeth coming out and pushing on other teeth. Wisdom teeth come out in late teens or twenties and not only can they hurt you but they also make other teeth more crooked. Since many teenagers typically don’t remove their wisdom teeth until it starts hurting we see relapses happening all too often.
  • If you take your braces off and fail to remove the wisdom teeth right away or soon afterwards, assuming that they need to be removed, then there’s a good chance your remaining teeth will shift over time. It is also very important that teenagers continue to wear their retainers consistently as instructed to prevent their teeth from relapsing particularly when they are still young.

3. Adults are better candidates for clear-braces. Teenagers typically don’t comply with wearing the clear-brace trays for 22+ hours a day as they are supposed to. This is why they are almost never offered clear-braces as an option for orthodontic treatment. On the other hand, adults who need braces to close smaller gaps or fix minor relapses are great candidates for wearing clear-braces. Adults show much better compliance with wearing their clear-trays as well as showing up for regular orthodontic visits. And adults can actually afford these more expensive types of braces.

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When to Get Braces: As a Child or Teenager

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