The short answer is yes; of course adults can wear braces. The longer answer is that the suitability of braces depends on the individual. However, this is the same for patients of all age who are considering braces as a form of orthodontic treatment.
If you did not have the opportunity for orthodontic treatment as a teenager; or you neglected wearing your retainers at night after treatment, and now require treatment again as an adult, the benefits of orthodontic treatment are the same. You can look forward to an improved smile, and improved oral health from wearing braces:
Straight teeth are easier to clean and there is less chance of food being trapped between teeth.
- Braces help to align your teeth for a better bite for eating and chewing.
- Straight teeth are less likely to suffer from trauma compared with protruding teeth, especially if you engage in contact sports.
However, since adults are no longer growing, orthodontic treatment may take longer than it does for teenagers.
Not Keen on Metal Braces? Try Invisalign!
If you are thinking of getting orthodontic treatment, yet shudder at the thought of being a ‘metal’ mouth, Invisalign® may be something you can consider. Similar to braces, Invisalign moves your teeth gradually and gently over time into the optimum position. The difference is that no one can tell you are in the midst of orthodontic treatment! Invisalign is akin to having contact lens for your teeth, when these removable aligners are worn, they cannot be seen in photographs or from afar, only subtly close up.
This treatment option however, requires discipline. The aligners are to be worn at least 22 hours a day, even in bed at night. This means that the only time you are not wearing aligners is when you are eating or drinking. You are encouraged to brush and floss 30 to 45 minutes after each meal before you put on your aligners again. As such, school-going teenagers may not be suitable for Invisalign, as it can be difficult to take time out from their school curriculum for brushing after meals. For adults whose jobs require them to be on the go frequently, finding the opportunity to brush may pose a challenge as well.
Although this may seem burdensome at first, many of our patients have had unexpected bonuses to their Invisalign treatment apart from straighter teeth. These include better oral hygiene due to increased frequency of brushing and flossing; weight loss as a result of lesser snacking in-between meals, and even smoking cessation, because it was too troublesome to have to brush after each meal and smoke!
You should discuss concerns regarding your teeth and treatment options with your dentist. The benefits of taking on orthodontic treatments even in your adulthood far outweigh the cons.