Is there an age limit for braces?

Many people wonder whether they should have worn teeth braces while they were young. There is a misconception that there is an age limit for braces and that once you are past a certain age, you can no longer benefit from them. However, with the recent orthodontic developments, this could not be further from the truth. In this day and age, almost everyone can wear braces to fix their smile. There are numerous options available, including the best lingual braces, traditional braces, clear aligners, etc. That said, age does play a role in brace effectiveness. In this article, we will be looking at how age influences wearing braces, what is a good age to get braces, and all the available brace options that you can choose from.

Is there an age limit for braces?

person wearing braces
Even metal braces can look great!

The answer to this question is very simple. No, there is no age limit for getting braces. However, if you are looking for maximum effectiveness, your age might still be important. Being eligible to wear braces has more to do with your permanent teeth than it has with age. It is entirely possible to wear braces at later stages of your life, provided you still have a good number of permanent teeth. One of the qualities of a good orthodontist is being able to fit braces with only a few permanent teeth so don’t worry if you are jumping on the brace bandwagon late in your life. While there might not be an age limit to getting braces, there are age brackets in which braces are most effective. Let’s take a look at them.

What is a good age to get braces?

The best time to get braces is as soon as possible, truth be told. The sooner you can fix your smile, the better. However, most orthodontists recommend that the child’s first visit to the orthodontist’s office should be at around seven years of age. That is the time when permanent teeth begin to come in and it is the time when you want to search for any irregularities. Before that, you simply don’t know what you’re “working” with. That being said, if your child starts developing permanent teeth at the age of six, that is when you should take them to the orthodontist.

This initial visit serves to determine whether braces will be required. This does not mean that your child will get their braces straight away, it just means that they will need to wear them sometime in the future. One of the main benefits of an early visit is that you will not need to look for warning signs that you need braces. But even if you visit the orthodontist early, most children will fit their braces between 8 and 14 years of age.

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Getting braces as an adult

While braces are best utilized when your teeth are still “young”, this does not mean that they can’t help you later in life. In fact, since there is no age limit for braces, you can fix any of the issues that developed until that point. It is never too late to fix your smile! Braces can help you reposition your teeth, alter your bite, and align malposed teeth. Or they can be used for aesthetic purposes alone. While braces for children are designed to support healthy teeth placement and growth, braces for adults are there to fix any issues that may have occurred throughout your life.

adult person wearing braces, symbolizing no age limit for braces
It’s never too late to invest in your smile and get braces.

Some people may think that getting braces means that they will be “stuck” with them for a long period of time. While it is true that wearing braces requires anywhere from 14-26 months for full effect, that time will pass by before you know it. Furthermore, these days, there are many different types of braces to consider and some of them can be practically indistinguishable. Before we get into the details of all the available options, we would like to present a few things to know when getting braces as an adult.

Adults are generally more responsible

Many children do not get the most effective brace treatment due to the fact that they are not fully “invested” in the treatment itself. Most of the time, children do not really understand why they are wearing these awkward things in their mouths, they do it because they are told to. But as an adult, you are fully aware of exactly why you are wearing braces and want to get the maximum effect possible from them. You are spending a lot of money on braces, after all, it only stands to reason. As an adult, you will pay more attention to maintaining your oral health while wearing braces, meaning that you get full effectiveness. Any treatment, braces included, depends on compliance and investment. And adults, in general, tend to be more compliant. Simple as that.

Treatment might take a bit longer

While there is no age limit for braces, the fact of the matter is that adult treatment requires more time. This is due to the fact that your jaw is fully-formed and your teeth are already set in their respective places. These circumstances make it slightly harder for braces to work their magic and prolong the treatment time. However, depending on your issue, you may not need to wear braces for an extended period of time. For example,  you may need to wear braces for only a few months to fix a simple spacing issue. But some complex cases may take as long as three years of wearing braces. It all depends on your particular situation, no two cases are identical.

Furthermore, with all the recent developments, it has never been a better time to get braces. With all the dental tech trends that are changing the industry, getting braces is becoming more affordable and more effective than ever. Now, let’s take a look at all the available options you have to choose from.

Available brace options

person holding a metal teeth brace
Braces come in a variety of colors

Here are the five main brace options:

  • Traditional (metal) braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Clear aligners
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Lingual braces

Do note that you may not qualify for each brace type. This depends on the severity of your case, as well as some additional considerations. The best thing to do before getting braces is to consult with your orthodontist. They will be able to tell you exactly what type is best for your situation.

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Traditional braces

Traditional (metal) braces are perhaps the most famous type. They have a long history, with modern braces dating back to the 1900s. However, the braces of today are almost nothing like how they were back in the day. Today, metal braces are smaller, more effective, more comfortable, and they work faster. Furthermore, traditional braces are suitable for the largest range of teeth issues. They are also the most affordable brace option. Metal braces are ideal for children and adolescents but many adults choose to wear them due to their benefits and the fact that there is no age limit for braces.

Some of the disadvantages include more difficult brushing and flossing, meaning that they are not ideal for patients who already have poor oral hygiene discipline. Traditional braces are also one of the “worst” looking brace options.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces offer similar effects as traditional braces but they are much less noticeable. These braces are made out of clear, tooth-colored, material, making them less noticeable than metal braces. The main difference between traditional and ceramic braces is that the latter is somewhat larger and is prone to staining. This depends on the brushing habits and the diet, of course, but it is still a factor to consider. Ceramic braces are ideal for any adults and adolescents that have aesthetic concerns.

ceramic cup
Ceramic is much closer to your natural teeth color than metal.

Clear aligners

When you want both aesthetics and results, you can’t go wrong with clear aligners. The most famous brand is, of course, “Invisalign” but there are many other options as well. Clear aligners are the most popular braces on today’s market due to the fact that they are clear and transparent, removable, and allow for easy brushing and flossing. Furthermore, their treatment is usually faster than other options, and you will need to make fewer dentist appointments.

While this may sound ideal, the “problem” is that these aligners are not suitable for all treatments. They are best used when you just need to fix mild to moderate dental issues. For comprehensive treatments, you will want to look to other options. While there may not be an age limit for braces, the complexity of your issue will limit your available brace options.

Self-ligating braces

For patients that are sensitive to discomfort or cannot sit in the dental chair for very long, self-ligating braces might be the best option. These braces work similarly to their metal and ceramic counterparts but they utilize clips or doors to hold the wire in place. This results in easy adjustments and somewhat shorter appointment times.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces go behind the teeth and that is what makes them different from all other brace types. These braces offer unique advantages such as complete invisibility, versatility, and full customization to patients’ specific teeth. They are best used in adults who have complex orthodontic issues but do not want to be seen wearing braces.

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Now that you know that there is no age limit for braces, you can freely choose the best option from all the available ones. If you need any more information on invisible braces, top brace companies, or anything relating to dental care, browse and explore the Consumer Opinion Guide. Our knowledge database holds all the answers!

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