Is There an Age Limit for Getting Braces?


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Getting the braces while still in your childhood pays huge dividends for the rest of your life, but if you did not experience braces as a teenager, it is not too late if you are an adult.

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Is There an Age Limit for Getting Braces?

  1. 1. Is There an Age Limit for Getting Braces? There’s no denying that childhood is the ideal time for getting braces. For many people it’s a rite of passage: a mouthful of wires is all part of the growing up process. Getting the braces out of the way when you’re a child pays huge dividends your entire life, but if you weren’t fortunate enough to experience them as a teenager, it’s not too late now that you’re an adult. One in five orthodontics patients are adults, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). That amounts to a lot more full grown men and women proudly sporting braces today than ever before. Why get braces? Ideally, your teeth should be perfectly aligned, poised to chomp down at any moment. Yet you might find yourself with crooked teeth, crowded teeth, poorly-aligned teeth, and a bite doesn’t quite hit the mark. There are many health issues related to your bite: an over- crowded mouth can be difficult to clean, making your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay; a bad bite can lead to chewing and swallowing problems; overly-stressed chewing muscles can cause facial pain; and poorly aligned teeth can be the cause of a speech impediment. Braces are often the best solution to these issues, even if you’re over 18 years old. How braces work Braces are extremely versatile: they can move individual teeth in various directions, closing gaps and creating more space all at once. Essentially, braces apply pressure to your teeth, slowly moving them over the course of several years. The root of the tooth presses up against the underlying alveolar bone, and over time the alveolar bone dissolves at the point of contact, allowing the root to move into place. At the same time, new bone is built up in the empty space where the root used to be. A classic set of braces consists of tiny brackets which are bonded to the surface of your teeth, with wires threaded through them. Although steel braces are the most effective, you can get more modern braces made out of ceramic or clear plastic. While these newer types might look better cosmetically, they tend to cost more, break easier, and take longer to fix the problem. Additionally, ceramic braces can chip away at your tooth enamel, and plastic braces can become stained. Considerations for getting braces as an adult It’s important to remember a few things if you’re considering getting braces as an adult. First of all, your bones have stopped growing, and they’re much more rigidly in place than they were when you were 11.
  2. 2. You’ll have to wear your braces longer: an average of two years for adults. You will probably have to see a periodontist (in addition to your regular dentist and orthodontist), who will be able to see if there are any problems with bone loss or bone density. Here at Out of This World Dentistry, we're proud of the many sets of braces we've installed in mouths of all ages. Call today, no matter how old you are, and set up an appointment with your dentist in Cottonwood Heights to see if you'd benefit from braces. Photo Credit: