Am I Too Old For Braces?

In the not-so-distant past, orthodontic treatment focused mainly on children and adolescents. However, advancements in techniques and technology mean more adults than ever before are looking to improve their smile with braces and aligners. In fact, about 1 in every 4 current patients are over the age of 18! Just 30 years ago, that figure was less than 10% so there’s been an impressive increase among adults exploring orthodontic options. If you’ve spent years feeling uncomfortable with the way your smile looks or feels, there’s never been a better time to schedule a free consultation with Vermette Orthodontics

We hear from adults every day who worry that their chance for a straighter smile has passed them by, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’re never too old to benefit from everything orthodontics has to offer! We’re proud to offer patients of all ages a range of affordable treatment options to help correct crooked teeth, overbites, and everything in between. Keep reading below to learn more about how orthodontic treatment can give you the healthy, confident smile you deserve. 

Why are more adults looking into orthodontic treatment?

Traditionally, two of the biggest deterrents to adults getting orthodontic treatment were the length of treatment combined with the way braces looked. For a long time, metal braces were the only way to straighten teeth and treatment could take 2-3 years in some cases. For adults already feeling insecure about their smile, this wasn’t an attractive prospect! Many worried it would affect them professionally as well as personally, while others fretted that braces simply wouldn’t fit into their lifestyle. 

Fortunately, modern orthodontics has come along in leaps and bounds over the last several years! Today’s treatment options include updated metal braces, clear braces, as well as invisible braces  or Invisalign aligners. Not only are these appliances more attractive and less noticeable, but they’re also comfortable, efficient, and tend to work faster in most cases. This has made adult orthodontic treatment far more appealing! 

We often gain a better understanding of how oral health is linked to our overall health as we grow older. This knowledge can inspire some adults to seek out dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to keep their teeth and gums clean, healthy, and free from gum disease in the future. We also encounter many patients who received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed and now they want to finish the process. Touch-up treatment is common, too, since our teeth shift over time due to age, genetics, or infrequent retainer use. 

Some adults have never had any treatment before, and are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. Research shows that a more attractive smile can boost a patient’s confidence and self-esteem, so this is certainly something we support! Whatever your reason for exploring orthodontic treatment, our team is happy to help you choose a treatment plan that will fit your needs, lifestyle, and goals.

How does orthodontic treatment differ for an adult patient?

The main factor in qualifying someone for orthodontic treatment is not their age, but how healthy their teeth, gums, and the surrounding bone is. Whatever a patient’s age, the same physiological process is in play to move the teeth through the bone. However, adults have denser bone tissue than children and adolescents. Their jaw is done growing while younger patients are still experiencing growth. This may cause the teeth to move a little more slowly or treatment to take a little longer, but age does not keep the teeth from being moved into more desirable positions! 


What types of braces are available for adults?

Modern braces are one of the most effective tools we have to straighten teeth and improve oral health! Vermette Orthodontics is proud to offer adult patients the following types of braces. 

Metal braces

Metal braces are composed of a mix of stainless steel and other high-quality metals. This means the brackets are very durable and long-lasting! Modern metal braces are also much lighter, more efficient, and more comfortable than they used to be. They’re also customizable! Patients can choose from a variety of fun colored elastics to match their personality. 

Metal braces produce excellent results and can be particularly useful in cases that are severe or complex. Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces tend to be a slightly more affordable option. These orthodontic staples tend to be the top treatment option year after year, and with very good reason! 

Clear braces

Clear braces are also referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. Although they function in much the same way metal braces do, clear braces come with the added benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. The brackets are about the same size and shape as metal braces, but better able to blend in with a patient’s natural smile. This offers a more subtle straightening option for patients, especially when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties!

 Clear braces are tough, but the material they’re made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who require extensive corrections to be made. Clear brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we generally only recommend clear braces to our older teen and adult patients.  

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen clear aligner therapy

Invisalign is actually an alternative to traditional braces, but it’s still a system worth knowing about! Invisalign consists of a series of clear removable aligners that are custom-designed to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. Like traditional braces, these customized aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time. However, they don’t require any brackets, bands, or wires to do so.

These clear, removable aligners do offer patients a bit more flexibility than traditional braces. They’re designed to be taken out when eating or drinking, so there aren’t any food restrictions. Oral hygiene techniques are simple since the aligner is removed before brushing and flossing. Dr. Vermette was actually the first orthodontist certified to use the Invisalign system in New Hampshire, and has completed an advanced fellowship in Invisalign treatment! So you can rest assured your smile is in the best hands with Vermette Orthodontics and Invisalign clear aligners. 


Get the smile you’ve always wanted with the experts at Vermette Orthodontics

If you’re an adult, the question to ask isn’t “am I too old for braces?” but “is there anything about my smile I’d like to improve?” If so, Vermette Orthodontics may be just what you’re looking for! All of our treatment options can be an excellent fit for any busy adult, and our expert team is committed to providing you with a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic journey, from beginning to end. 

If you’d like to learn more about how our braces can transform your smile, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Vermette in our Concord office. There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards the healthy, confident smile you deserve!