Orthodontic Treatment for Adults: Perfect Smile at Any Age

Orthodontic treatment for adults effectively straightens teeth and corrects bite issues. It improves dental health and enhances your smile. With options like braces and aligners, adults can achieve optimal results. Address any tooth decay or gum disease first, ensuring a smooth and successful orthodontic journey.

What benefits might I gain from adult orthodontic treatment?

The advantages of orthodontic treatment can include:

  • Enhancing your appearance, particularly your smile.
  • Correcting dental crowding and straightening your teeth.
  • Adjusting your bite so that the front and back teeth align properly when closing.
  • Assisting other dental treatments.

Age is not a limiting factor, although the types of treatment may differ in adults. When teeth have not developed or are missing, braces can close gaps or create space for false teeth. If space is created, your dentist might fit one of the following:

  • Dental bridge (resin-bonded bridge) – a false tooth attached to another tooth.
  • Dental implant – a false tooth on a titanium screw placed into the jawbone.

How visible are the braces?

Fixed braces are available in tooth-coloured varieties that blend with the natural colour of teeth. The wires used to straighten teeth can also be coated with a tooth-coloured material to make them less visible. some tooth-coloured braces are not placed on the lower teeth. This is because they can cause wear on the upper teeth.

Braces can also be attached to the back of your teeth (lingual braces). These are much less visible but can be more noticeable to the tongue and might initially affect speech.

Clear, removable aligners fit closely over your teeth, using a series of aligners to straighten them. Wear them day and night for the best outcome, but remove them for eating and drinking. Tooth-coloured or metal attachments fixed to your teeth often enhance the treatment’s effectiveness.

Is it always possible to have braces as an adult?

Yes, certain adult issues may require a combination of jaw surgery and orthodontics, as braces alone cannot correct them. First, treat any tooth decay or gum disease before fitting braces.

Will I need teeth removed?

If your dentist needs space to straighten teeth or correct the bite, they may first extract some teeth. Alternatively, in some cases, they may narrow down the teeth in width through interproximal reduction. A detailed assessment and planning are always necessary.

How long will treatment take?

Simple straightening can sometimes be completed in less than 12 months. However, more complex issues can take longer to address. A short course of treatment may yield limited changes. You must then wear retainers to maintain the teeth’s position once the braces are removed. This prevents them from moving back.

Will it be painful?

Expect your teeth to be sore for about 3-5 days after each brace adjustment. If needed, take simple painkillers as directed. Use orthodontic relief wax if the brace irritates your lips or cheeks, and consult your dentist for further advice. Wear protective shields at night with lingual braces to protect your tongue.

How often will I need an appointment?

After fitting the brace, you will need regular appointments for adjustments.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist?

Yes. It is important to continue check-ups with your regular dentist throughout adult orthodontic treatment to monitor for tooth decay and gum disease.

Will I need to wear another brace once treatment has finished?

You will need to wear a retainer after your brace treatment concludes.Retainers can attach to the back of your front teeth (fixed) or be removable. Your dentist will recommend what works best for you.

How long will I need to wear the retainer?

You will need to wear your retainer regularly to keep your teeth straight. Changes in teeth positions can occur throughout life and are part of the normal ageing process. The only way to ensure permanently straight teeth is to wear a retainer on a part-time basis for life.

How much will it cost?

This depends on the complexity of your case and the type of brace used. Book a consultation online or via WhatsApp.

Things to remember

  • You can wear braces at any age.
  • Your teeth and gums must be healthy before starting orthodontic treatment and maintained in a healthy state throughout treatment.
  • Braces alone cannot treat some complex adult issues.
  • Various types of braces are available.