Can your teeth be straight­ened at any age?

This is a ques­tion we hear a lot in our den­tal prac­tice. There seems to be a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion around braces and teeth straight­en­ing that leads some peo­ple to believe only teenagers can enjoy this treat­ment plan.

If you’re wondering if you could enjoy orthodontic treatment beyond your teenage years, the short answer is yes. But not everyone is right for this treatment plan and there are lots of things to consider before you go down this path.

In this guide, we’re exploring what age is ideal for teeth straightening treatments and what factors influence your suitability for treatment. By the end of this article, you should have a much clearer idea about if orthodontic treatment could be right for you.

What age can you get braces?

You could be a candidate for braces at any age, provided you have all of your adult teeth and your teeth and gums are healthy enough to manage the treatment. Orthodontic treatment puts pressure on the teeth and manoeuvres them into the correct position, and this requires healthy teeth and gums to be effective.

Essentially, it’s not your age that is a factor in the success of your treatment, but rather your oral health. This is why we recommend a consultation before you start any orthodontic treatment. It’s also the reason that mail order orthodontics aren’t the best route, as you might not undergo a proper health check before starting treatment.

Is there a lower age limit for braces?

There isn’t a lower age limit, but generally your dentist will want you to wait until you have most of your adult teeth. This is because a lot can change in your mouth as your adult teeth emerge. Braces might be used earlier if your dentist anticipates issues and wants to keep space for your adult teeth to emerge correctly.

Is there an upper age limit for braces?

There also isn’t an upper age limit, and it will all be down to your oral health when you’re thinking about starting treatment. Your teeth need to be strong and free from decay, as they will be placed under pressure as they are moved into the correct position. Your gums and jawbone also need to be healthy.

Can I have braces if I’ve had them in the past?

Yes, it’s not at all uncommon for individuals to have orthodontic treatment as a teenager and then stop wearing their retainer in adulthood. After a while, you might notice your teeth drifting out of alignment. There is a common misconception that you can’t start treatment again and will have to live with the results. This isn’t true, and there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to correct your teeth alignment again. You’ll also be an expert on the treatment plan, so you’ll know exactly how to care for your teeth.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt more as an adult?

First things first, orthodontic treatment shouldn’t really hurt. You might experience discomfort, but you shouldn’t be in lots of pain. The amount of discomfort experienced tends to vary from one person to the next. Some people seem to breeze through their treatment, while others find it more challenging.

The only clinical difference is that your jaw is a lot more flexible when you are young, so this makes it easier to realign the teeth. That said, orthodontic treatment is still possible as an adult, so this isn’t a reason to avoid treatment.

What are the first steps?

If you’re curious about orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to get in touch – no matter your age! We can start with a full assessment to determine if this treatment might be right for you, or if we think another treatment would suit you better.

For example, if your teeth aren’t strong enough to manage orthodontic treatment, or if you have other restorations such as bridges that would make orthodontic treatment more difficult, you might consider a dental veneer to help you achieve the perfect smile makeover.

There are always treatment options available, and we would be happy to work with you to find the plan that works best for you. Get in touch today to book your initial consultation.

Con­tact our practice

The Implant and Cosmetic Smiles Clinic

27 Bed­ford Square,
Houghton Reg­is, 

Mon09:00 - 17:00
Tues09:00 - 17:00
Wed09:00 - 17:00
Thurs09:00 - 17:00
Fri09:00 - 16:00
The Implant And Cosmetic Smiles Clinic Reception area