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How Braces for Adults Are Different from Braces for Children

Braces aren't just for kids, but if you're planning on getting them as an adult, you can expect a very different process. You'll still have a selection of different types of braces and have to deal with some of the same aches and pains, but while your braces will provide a positive change to your appearance, they will also serve to help prevent a number of long-term problems as well.


The older you are when you get your braces, the longer you can expect the straightening process to take. While children are still growing, you no longer are, and your teeth have been set in their permanent positions for quite some time. It will be a little more challenging to move them, and as such, you may spend more time with your braces on than you would if you were younger.

Preventative vs. Reparative Treatment

When you get braces as a child, it's often to set your teeth straight for the rest of your life while you are still growing and your teeth are still shifting. If you're getting braces as an adult, it's likely because of issues that you have had for some time.

However, while braces can help fix your smile at any age, braces for adults have the added benefit of helping a number of oral health problems:

  • Straightening your teeth leaves fewer places for plaque to build up and can help prevent gum disease.
  • Correcting your bite can help you avoid jaw problems; an uneven bite can cause jaw strain and bone problems.
  • Correcting your bite also helps reduce the wear on the surfaces of your teeth.

These problems start to become more serious as you get older, so getting braces can help prevent or even correct many common dental and jaw problems for adults.

Tooth Removal

Many children need to have teeth removed in order to make room in their mouths for their teeth to shift properly. This is because many children haven't had their wisdom teeth removed, and some still have some baby teeth left.

Adults generally don't need to undergo such procedures before getting braces because their mouths aren't as crowded. If you're wondering what the criteria for braces are as an adult, the biggest factor is the strength of your teeth and previous dental work, such as bondings and veneers. If your teeth are strong enough to handle braces, you will probably be a good candidate for them.

Medical Concerns

Another factor that plays into whether you can get braces or not -- or which can affect which braces would suit you -- are various health issues that tend to occur mostly in adults. For example, if you have any current oral health problems like gum disease or tooth decay, that will need to be fixed first. If you have something like arthritis or osteoporosis and take medication for it, that medication could make moving your teeth a little more difficult.

Finally, if you have a bleeding disorder, leukemia, or severe diabetes, you may need to consult your doctor before you get braces. If you get approval, or treatment that will allow you to get braces, you will probably qualify. For more information, talk to a professional like Braces Inc.