How Old Is Too Old For Orthodontic Care?

Our smile is an important part of how we express ourselves. When we’re not comfortable showing our smile because of crooked teeth or a misalignment, it can affect our self-esteem and even our social life. You may feel like it’s too late to get help and that you are stuck with the way your smile is for the rest of your life but that’s simply not true. 

In this blog, we’ll be talking about adult orthodontic care and what to expect. 

Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?

Some assume that after your teenage years, you can no longer receive orthodontic treatment, but that assumption is just not correct. You can receive orthodontic care at any age, there’s no limit on feeling good about your smile.

While adult orthodontic care may be a little different, and the treatment can take a little longer, the results will be the same – you’ll be happy. And it’s common – in fact, more than a quarter of all orthodontic treatment in the US and Canada is performed on adults.  

So, why wait? Reach out today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your treatment goals with our board certified team. 

How is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Different?

Now, as we mentioned – orthodontic treatment on adults may differ a little from how we approach children and teenage orthodontic care. This is because adult teeth are no longer growing, the jaw is fully developed and it’s possible that the orthodontist will deal with a more dense bone tissue. 

In addition to that, further underlying concerns are more common with adult care – this could include anything from missing teeth, to grinding your teeth at night. If you have dental issues like this, the orthodontist will work with your dentist to develop a care plan to fix the dental issue before moving forward with treatment. The great news is that orthodontic treatment for adults can be just as successful as it is for children and teens. 

Braces and Aligners For Adults

Braces and aligners gently move your teeth to the position they need to be in. Regardless of your age when you begin treatment, you can choose from braces or aligners. Your options include the following.

Traditional/Metal Braces 

These braces have metal brackets that are attached to the teeth, and use metal wires. Although this style has been used for decades, they’ve improved by using smaller and higher quality brackets. This is great for both comfort and style. 

Ceramic Braces 

These braces are made of clear ceramic, or can match the color of your teeth. This is a similar concept to the metal braces, but allows for a less noticeable appearance. 


Aligners are custom-made clear plastic trays that sit snugly on your teeth and slowly guide them back to the correct alignment. Aligners are usually more expensive but also more popular for several reasons. Aligners can be removed when eating and brushing your teeth, and can be almost invisible. 

What to Avoid When Wearing Braces or Aligners

When it comes to wearing braces as an adult, you will have to follow the same guidelines that a child or teen would need to. These include the classics, like avoiding eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods; wearing a mouthguard when playing sports; and consistently flossing and brushing your teeth gently. However, there are additional guidelines that adults are recommended to follow.

Smoking and Vaping

It’s advised to avoid smoking or vaping while wearing braces or aligners. This is because smoking and vaping can cause an increase in plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. Smoking and vaping not only makes the braces and aligners more noticeable due to discoloration, but it also leaves a stain on your teeth showing where the braces were on your teeth after the braces have been removed.

Drinking Coffee & Alcohol

The good news is that with braces, you can drink coffee in moderation, just make sure to brush your teeth after a cup of coffee to avoid staining your teeth. Alcohol is something that you should discuss with your orthodontist – here at Advanced Orthodontic Specialists, we use stainless steel which means that alcohol will not stain or impact your braces.

If you have aligners, the guidelines are a bit different. It’s recommended to avoid tea and coffee to prevent staining your teeth and the aligner tray. If you must have coffee or tea then make sure to remove the aligners because the heat from the coffee or tea can cause the aligners to lose their shape or warp. It is also recommended to remove your aligners before drinking alcohol, to prevent staining and an increase in gum disease or tooth decay due to the high sugar content in some alcoholic drinks. 

If you’ve spent years being hesitant to smile then it’s time to make a change. Here at Advanced Orthodontic Specialists, we understand the importance of feeling comfortable smiling around others, that’s why we’re here to guide you on the right path. 

Reach out today for a free consultation and treatment quote

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