Can Adults Get Orthodontics?


With developments in orthodontics in recent years, more and more adults are seeking treatment for oral difficulties they’ve been experiencing since childhood.

Here are the key differences between orthodontics for adults and for younger patients:

Adult patients often have conditions younger patients don’t often suffer from, such as insufficient bone between the roots for adequate blood supply, mild gingivitis infections, and marginal bone loss.

These are known as biomechanical limitations, which can make tooth realignment a more involved process in adults than in younger patients.

By adulthood, a patient might also have worn some of his teeth down, which can make the overbite worse. Orthodontists refer to these problems as period-restorative issues, and typically focus on making the adult patient’s bite functional rather than perfect.

Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there’s no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Research has shown that the frequency of malocclusion (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) in adults is comparable to what we see in children and adolescents.

Perhaps as many as three-quarters of adults have some form of orthodontic problem — crowding of teeth or drifting of teeth after extractions, for example.

Some of the reasons adults are turning to orthodontics to help perfect their smile are:

1) To improve a selfie smile

2) For a boost in confidence

3) For better oral health

4) For an upcoming special event

Thankfully, orthodontic treatment has come a long way since the days of metal braces and the stigma once associated with braces is all but gone. There are significant differences between adult orthodontics and that of children and teens. However, it’s worth knowing what they are before making a decision to pursue treatment.

If you are interested in adult orthodontic options, contact us today. Our dentists offer invisible options, such as Invisalign in Ashburn, that won’t cramp your lifestyle. Our Ashburn, VA dental office is available with a convenient location and extended hours and will be happy to see you today!

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