Am I Too Old for Orthodontics?

Treatments & Care

Many adults wonder if they have left their run too late when it comes to orthodontics. However, adults are just as good candidates for braces as adolescents. There is no cut-off age as some people may incorrectly assume; teeth can be moved and aligned correctly at any age.

Purpose of Orthodontics

There is a range of reasons why adults choose to have orthodontic treatment.


For some people, it is simply a matter of aesthetics. They want to look their best and improve their self-esteem. It may be for their career, personal reasons or both. Some people have disliked the look of their teeth for as long as they can remember and vowed to seek treatment as soon as they could. For others, they may have seen the positive result of a friend or child with braces and want the same outcome.  

Medical/Dental Purposes:

Orthodontics can be used to assist in the prevention and treatment of temporomandibular and jaw pain, sleep apnoea, speech impediments, chewing and eating difficulties. It can also in many cases improve and assist with the cleansability of the teeth, as straight teeth are easier to clean, and well-formed contact points can prevent annoying food from getting stuck between the teeth.

Orthodontic treatment is often also used to improve the bite/occlusion (relationship between the upper and lower teeth), treat protruding teeth, to manage problems with crowding or spacing, and to assist in managing the effects of significant tooth wear due to bruxism (teeth clenching).

In many cases, having your teeth straightened prior to restorative dental treatment will allow your dentist to achieve more ideal and better outcomes with respect to the replacement of missing teeth or restoration broken down teeth with fillings or crowns..

Orthodontics can assist in the treatment of current medical/dental issues and stop problems from becoming more complex later in life.

Considering Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?

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Self-Conscious about Wearing Braces?

Adults are often looking for discreet mechanisms to straighten their teeth. In view of this we have a wide variety of treatment options tailored to cater for this precise demand.

Because of the perception that braces are mainly for adolescents, some adults are worried about how braces will look or be perceived by others. It’s an understandable concern, but most adults happily report that the transition was easy and within weeks their family, friends and colleagues were used to seeing them with braces.

Many adults choose the less obvious or invisible types of braces such as tooth coloured (ceramic) braces or internal (lingual) braces which cannot be seen at all.

For those adults who are looking for options other than fixed braces, in many cases we are able to straighten the teeth using a sequence of clear aligners (Invisalign TM).  Clear aligner treatment is a novel modality where we use removable clear plastic aligners to straighten the teeth, which may be removed from the mouth for eating and drinking.

All of these options are less noticeable than standard braces however not all are suitable for all treatment plans. Also, tooth coloured braces are not usually placed on bottom teeth as they can in some cases cause wear or chipping of the edges of the top teeth.

Whichever option you choose, you can be assured that adult braces are more common than you think and your concerns are probably unfounded.

Understanding What can be Achieved

Whatever your motivation for obtaining orthodontic treatment, it is important that you understand what can and can’t be achieved. A consultation with your orthodontist will allow you to discuss what you would like changed with your teeth, smile, and in some cases your facial profile. From there your orthodontist can comprehensively discuss the relevant options to fix the problems which are of concern to you.

The Orthodontist has doctors on staff that specialise in the field of adult orthodontics and regularly treat patients with complex problems.

If you would like to discuss your options with respect to any form of orthodontic treatment, contact your nearest clinic to make an appointment. One of our specialist Orthodontists will be only too happy to have an obligation-free discussion. Ask as many questions as you like so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether orthodontics is right for you.   

Category: Treatments & Care