Are You Too Old for Braces?

By December 8, 2020Uncategorized

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When we think of braces, we often think of children or teens wearing braces. While childhood is the best time to get braces, many adults need braces but believe they are too old to get them. So, is there an age limit for braces?  No, there is not!   A child’s teeth move and adjust more easily, and so braces take less time to work. But an adult’s teeth, even if requiring more time than a child, can be straightened too. We have patients from the age of 6 to the age of 85!  We can assure you there is no age limit for braces!

Do You Need Braces?

There can be many reasons someone may need braces. For example, they may have crooked teeth, crowded smiles, or poorly aligned bites. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be challenging to clean because your brush can’t get into all the tight spaces. This makes tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Teeth that don’t come together properly when you close your jaws can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Poor tooth alignment can also make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds and can put excessive stress on the chewing muscles, causing facial pain. Such problems can also make a person feel embarrassed or self-conscious So, no matter how old you are, your dental health and life will be much better if you get these problems corrected.

How do Braces work?

The basic idea of how braces work is by placing pressure on the teeth to change their position. We do this by attaching mechanical devices, or appliances to the teeth to gently push them in the desired direction. When a tooth is subjected to pressure from one side, its root presses against the bone just underlying the root. Eventually, this force causes a portion of the bone next to the root to dissolve. The tooth can then move into that space. In other words, the tooth moves in the direction it is being pushed.   As the tooth moves in the direction we want, new bone builds up in the space vacated on the other side of the root. This prevents the tooth from moving back into its original position.

Types of Orthodontic Treatment

The two main types of orthodontic treatments are braces and aligners. Some patients that have an upper or lower jaw that sticks out and causes their bite to be uneven may need some surgery to improve the function and appearance of their bites.


Braces usually consist of small brackets temporarily cemented to your teeth which are connected by a wire or rubber bands. The wire is regularly tightened by the orthodontist to gradually shift your teeth and jaw. The brackets may be metal or tooth-colored.


Aligners are made of clear plastic or acrylic material and are worn over your teeth to straighten them. Each set of custom made aligners are worn for a few weeks to a month. Then you get a new set for the next stage of your treatment. This way, your teeth are gradually moved into the correct position according to your treatment plan.

Clear orthodontic aligners are typically used for patients who have mild or moderately crowded teeth or have minor spacing issues. Patients who have severe crowding or spacing problems — or severe underbites, overbites, or crossbites — may need more complex treatment.

Which Method is Right for You?

Here are some points to consider when weighing if you should get traditional braces or clear aligners.

  • Both metal braces and aligners apply a constant, yet gentle force to properly aligns your teeth.
  • Metal braces are very efficient at fixing complex tooth problems such as severe overcrowding.
  • Metal braces are less expensive than clear aligners.
  • Clear aligners are less conspicuous than metal braces.

To find out whether braces or aligners are best for you, you need a personal consultation.


We now offer SmileSnap as a virtual consultation tool designed for doing orthodontic consultations online. It is available for both new and existing patients. You simply fill out a form, take some selfie-photos of your teeth and send them to us. We can get back to you in a relatively short time and give you a consultation. That’s right; you can get an orthodontic consultation right in the safety of your own home! SmileSnap is the leading Smile Assessment and Virtual Consultation tool for the industry. You simply click the button and you will gain access to the tool.

To get started:

Go to our website home page. 

Scroll down the page until you see SmileSnap Virtual Consultation Now Available.

Then click on the box: Start Your Online Consultation

We would like to encourage you to give it a try!


Whether you come in for your orthodontic treatment or receive a virtual consultation, we are ready to service you. Giving you a beautiful and healthy smile is our passion. Stay safe and healthy!


Dr. David McDonough
McDonough Orthodontics

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