How Old Is Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

There are so many people with crooked teeth and wish to get them fixed. While fixing your crooked teeth with an orthodontic treatment is common for children and teens, most adults think it’s too late for them to get one. However, having crooked teeth can actually mess with the oral health of adults along with negatively impacting their psychological well-being as well. However, the good news is, we’ll give you a detailed guide on getting orthodontic teeth straightening treatment as an adult.

Should Adults Get Orthodontic Treatment?

As we know, having crooked teeth as an adult can often be a source of embarrassment for most people. As an adult, so many people would assume that it’s too late to get their teeth straightened from an orthodontic treatment and choose alternative options like veneers or crowns. It’s a great way to avoid metal brackets from traditional braces and feeling embarrassed of a metallic looking smile in professional meetings or dates. Well, the good news is that adults who do not want to be bothered by the look of metal braces, can go for an invisible braces treatment. Invisible braces are a great orthodontic treatment that can seamlessly correct your crooked teeth in an aesthetic way without the trouble of metal brackets.

What’s The Age Limit For Orthodontic Treatment?

Adult Woman Wearing Braces
Adult Woman Wearing Braces

There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. You can never be too old for orthodontic treatment, regardless of your age. Rarely does age determine whether to have orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will take into account a variety of factors while creating your personalized treatment plan, which can work just as well for adults as it does for teenagers. In fact, one in three orthodontic patients is an adult which demonstrates that getting the smile of your dreams doesn’t have to depend on your age.
“It is important to consult a qualified orthodontist for a thorough evaluation and for a personalized treatment plan. Professional orthodontic care ensures that your teeth straightening journey is safe, effective, and tailored to your unique needs.” – Dr. Athar

What Are The Orthodontic Treatment Options For Adults?

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal bracket braces are the oldest type of orthodontic treatment around, and they’re pretty simple. Individual metal brackets are attached to each tooth and connected with a thin metal wire. It’s held in place with rubber bands around each bracket. Many people have benefited from traditional braces and they offer guaranteed results. However, these are not the most suitable option for adults due to their impact on one’s appearance.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces but use clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with the teeth. They are less noticeable than metal braces, making them a popular choice for older teenagers and adults. However, they can be more expensive and require diligent cleaning to prevent stains from occurring.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth, making them invisible from the outside. They are custom-made for each patient and are ideal for those who want a completely hidden option. However, they can be more uncomfortable initially and may affect speech and cleaning. They can also be the most expensive option and are not suitable for every patient.

Clear Aligners

Clear invisible braces
Clear invisible braces

Clear braces are also known as invisible braces or clear aligners. These are highly personalized, as the aligner trays are based on your dental impressions. These are much less painful than traditional braces and very inconspicuous. No one can tell you have these aligners in, as they’re completely clear. The best part is they’re removable so you can easily eat anything you want without any discomfort. However, they’re supposed to be worn 20-22 hours everyday.

What’s The Best Teeth Straightening Option for Adults?

Clear aligners for teeth straightening
Clear aligners for teeth straightening

Based on research and customer reviews, clear aligners or clear braces are the best teeth straightening option for adults. These are discrete and adults can comfortably wear them without getting embarrassed. They have shown great results in patients with misaligned teeth and they can actually be affordable too compared to other types of braces. There’s actually a number of reasons why you could choose clear aligners over other teeth straightening options.

  • Aesthetics: Clear aligners are virtually invisible which makes them an attractive option for those adults who want to straighten their teeth discreetly. Unlike traditional metal or ceramic braces, clear aligners do not have brackets or wires, so they are less noticeable.
  • Removability and Comfort: One of the biggest benefits of clear aligners is that they are removable. This allows you to take them out for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. You can enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions and maintain better oral hygiene compared to fixed braces. Clear aligners are made of smooth plastic, which is more comfortable than the metal wires and brackets of traditional braces.
  • Convenience and Predictability: With clear aligners, you generally need fewer visits to the orthodontist compared to traditional braces. Treatment plans are often mapped out in advance, and you can switch to the next set of aligners at home, making it a more convenient option for those with busy schedules. Clear aligner treatments are planned using advanced computer technology, providing a clear roadmap of the expected progress and results.

“Clear aligners can contribute to a brighter smile, but the improvements depend on patients’ individual case and oral health. To get the best possible result maintaining oral hygiene is crucial for both alignment and smile aesthetics.” -Dr. Athar

Additional Benefits of Clear Aligners

  • Maintenance of Oral Hygiene: Since clear aligners are removable, you can brush and floss your teeth more effectively than with traditional braces. This helps in maintaining better oral hygiene and reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease during the treatment.
  • Fewer Dietary Restrictions: Traditional braces often come with a list of foods to avoid to prevent damage to the brackets and wires. With clear aligners, you remove them before eating, so you can continue to enjoy crunchy, sticky, or hard foods without worrying about damaging your orthodontic appliance.
  • Reduced Risk of Discoloration: Metal and ceramic braces can sometimes cause discoloration or staining of the teeth around the brackets. Since clear aligners are removable, this risk is significantly minimized, and you can maintain a more uniform tooth color throughout the treatment.
  • Suitable for Various Ages: There is no age limit on clear aligners and adults can benefit from this option. In fact, adults prefer clear aligners the most because of their discrete nature and comfort. Adults are all about comfort, hence, clear aligners make a great choice for them to straighten their teeth.

How Long Does Adult Orthodontic Treatment Take?

The complexity and severity of orthodontic problems determine the course of treatment for adults, and each patient will receive a personalized plan designed to meet their specific requirements. During your initial visit, your orthodontist will be able to provide you with a more precise time frame for your particular course of treatment.
Nonetheless, it is reasonable to estimate that patients with slightly misaligned teeth will finish their treatment in eight to twelve months, although more complicated cases can require several years. Every six to eight weeks over that period, you will have orthodontist appointments to track your development either in-office or remotely. The benefits of better oral health, jaw function, biting, chewing, dental cleanliness, and general self-confidence are substantial for a relatively short time investment.

Why You Should Get Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult

Getting orthodontic treatment as an adult can significantly improve your overall dental health and quality of life. It’s not just about having a beautiful smile, straightening your teeth can lead to better bite and jaw alignment, which can help alleviate issues like jaw pain, headaches, and even difficulties with chewing or speaking. Misaligned teeth can cause uneven wear on your teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease. By investing in orthodontic treatment, you’re ensuring your teeth and jaw function properly, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene and reducing the likelihood of serious dental problems down the line. Plus, a straighter smile can boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable in social and professional settings.

Final Thoughts

Orthodontic treatment for adults is more accessible and beneficial than ever. Advances in technology, such as clear aligners, have made the process more comfortable and discreet. Beyond aesthetic improvements, orthodontic treatment can lead to better oral health, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and improving bite and jaw alignment to alleviate discomfort and improve function. Investing in orthodontic care as an adult can enhance your overall quality of life, boosting your confidence and ensuring long-term dental health.


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1. Are clear aligners effective for adults?

Yes, clear aligners are highly effective for adults. They can address various orthodontic issues, including crowding, gaps, and bite problems. The treatment is planned using advanced technology to ensure precise and predictable results.

2. How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case. For most adults, treatment with clear aligners typically takes between 12 to 18 months. However, minor adjustments can sometimes be completed in as little as six months.

3. Can I eat whatever I want with clear aligners?

Yes, one of the significant advantages of clear aligners is that they are removable. You can take them out when eating, so there are no dietary restrictions. Just make sure to clean your teeth and aligners before putting them back in.

4. How often do I need to visit the orthodontist during treatment?

With clear aligners, you’ll generally have fewer visits to the orthodontist compared to traditional braces. Most patients visit every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure the treatment is progressing as planned and to receive the next set of aligners.

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