Can adults get orthodontic treatment?

Adult Orthodontics
Can adults get orthodontic treatment?
June 21, 2022

We frequently get asked whether adults can be treated with braces or Invisalign. The answer… ABSOLUTELY! Believe it or not, over 30% of our patients are adults (non-growing patients). We have a variety of reasons adults want to see us for an evaluation:

  • They have one or two teeth that have always driven them crazy that they want to fix
  • They had braces as a kid and didn’t wear their retainer, so now their lower teeth are crowded
  • The dentist refers them to us because they have crowding that is making it difficult for them to keep their teeth clean
  • Their bite is off so that they are experiencing a lot of wear or bone loss on their teeth, compromising the health and longevity of the teeth
  • They plan to have crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, or implants placed, and the dentist needs the teeth in the proper position before the restorative work can be completed.
  • Their kids just finished treatment, and now they’re jealous of their beautiful smiles! 


Adult orthodontics is very similar to orthodontics in children. We still straighten your teeth using the same mechanics. We can still use rubber bands. Adults can still get colors if they want, or they can choose more aesthetic options like no colors, clear braces, or Invisalign


However, there are also a few differences. If the adult patients have a history of periodontal disease (gum and bone loss), we will likely move the teeth more slowly. Since they are done growing, we also cannot perform growth modification with expanders and appliances that help fix overbites (what we call overjet- the horizontal overlap between the top and bottom teeth), so we will offer other ways to create a functional bite and beautiful smile. If the adults had dental work like bridges or implants in the past, we will need to work around those because they can’t be moved. 


In conclusion, if you are an adult wondering if you are “too old” for orthodontic treatment, the answer is NO! We will always offer both braces and Invisalign, and let you decide which option is going to best fit your lifestyle. Do you want your teeth to move without you having to think about it, and are ok with a few food restrictions and coming in to see us every 6-8 weeks? Then braces are for you. If you prefer a removable, more esthetic option with no food restrictions and fewer appointments- about every 15 weeks- and will be good with remembering to wear aligners, then Invisalign is what you should choose. Either way, we are here to guide you in your decision, and to give you a perfect smile that you are proud to show off! 

If you have any further questions about adult orthodontics or would like to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION, give us a call or send us a message at 704-782-5146. We can’t wait to meet you!