Deciding to get braces as an adult is a big choice, but it’s one that can truly change your life for the better. While you might feel self-conscious at first about being an adult with braces, just remember that you’re doing something amazing for yourself and your smile.

Here are five important things to know when getting braces as an adult to help prepare you for this journey.

1. Adult Treatment Typically Lasts Longer

For teenagers, braces treatment usually runs around 1-3 years. But for adults, you’re typically looking at a longer time frame of about 2-3 years on average.

This is because adult bones aren’t growing and developing like teenagers are. So, while a teen’s teeth can shift more quickly, adult teeth need a bit more encouragement and time to get that perfect alignment working. If you are concerned if it is ever too late to get braces, braces do work for adults and it is not too late.

2. The Time Will Fly By

While the idea of wearing braces for a couple years might seem overwhelming, something interesting happens when you become an adult with braces – time flies by much faster than you’d think.

As a teenager, having a couple years of braces looming feels like forever. But as a busy adult, you’ll blink and suddenly your braces will be off revealing that beautiful new smile before you know it.

3. There Are Several Options

When getting braces as a kid, you kind of have to just go with what your parents choose. As a fully grown adult who’s paying for their own treatment, you get all kinds of options!

Do you want traditional metal braces for the fastest results? Clear ceramic braces that are less visible? Or even clear removable aligners like Invisalign? Maybe you want alternatives to braces like veneers or retainers. The power is yours to pick.

4. You May Need to Have Teeth Extracted

One potential downside of adult braces is if your mouth is too crowded and teeth are overlapping, some may need to be removed first to create enough space.

While not ideal, it’s sometimes a necessary step to achieve that perfect smile alignment at the end. Your orthodontist will let you know if this is required in your case.

5. You Will Gain Confidence

Easily one of the biggest benefits to finally getting braces as an adult is the unshakable confidence you’ll gain from your new, stunning smile.

Whether it’s feeling good about yourself with friends and family, appearing more put together and capable at work, or just an overall boost to your self-esteem – that straight smile does wonders. The improved confidence alone makes adult braces 100% worth it.

Can You Get Braces As an Adult: Frequently Asked Questions

How long do adults wear braces?

For most adults, the typical treatment timeline with braces runs 18 months to 3 years. More complex cases that require jaw alignment can take up to 4 years in some scenarios

How do you prepare for adult braces?

Practical tips are to stock up on braces-friendly foods, get a travel toothbrush and orthodontic wax, and be prepared for some temporary minor discomfort as your mouth adjusts. Mentally, know that while it requires patience, the end results are so worth it.

How painful are braces for adults?

Getting braces as an adult can be pretty uncomfortable at first. The first few days after getting braces, your mouth and gums might feel super sore and sensitive.

You can take some ibuprofen to help with pain relief and stick to soft foods like smoothies, soup, or yogurt until the pain goes away. After the first few days, braces are more of a minor inconvenience and do not hurt.

What are the disadvantages of braces for adults?

There are some annoying downsides of having braces as an adult. One of the biggest bummers is that you might not be able to eat some of your favorite foods, like popcorn or hard candy. Even biting into an apple becomes off limits to avoid breaking a bracket or bending a wire.

It’s also a hassle to properly brush and floss between every nook and cranny in your mouth when you have braces. At the end of the day though, putting up with these small hassles is minor because you are one step closer to getting the smile of your dreams.

Final Thoughts

While getting braces as an adult certainly involves quite a bit of time and money, it’s a great way to improve your overall appearance and long-term oral health.

Understanding what to know before getting braces and what to expect throughout the process will set you up for success in achieving your dream smile.

Learn more about Invisalign for adults!