Orthodontics as an Adult – it isn’t like highschool.

by | Aug 12, 2021 | Orthodontics for Adults

Orthodontics as an Adult, it’s not like Highschool

Braces used to be just for teenagers and orthodontic treatment was viewed in the past as dental care only for kids and teens only. But times have changed a lot, and Orthodontics as an Adult is IN!

An increasing number of adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, hoping to achieve that perfect smile and aligned bite. As technology continues to advance and orthodontic treatment becomes more affordable, adults are choosing to invest in a healthy and beautiful smile. Today there are discreet and esthetic treatment options, such as clear braces, back-of-the-teeth lingual braces and clear aligners – Invisalign.

While the principles of moving and straightening teeth are pretty much the same at any age, adults should be aware of possible complications. Decades of dental work, uneven wear of teeth, periodontal concerns can make it harder for the orthodontist to achieve the desired results.

Orthodontics as an AdultDr. Dina Sanchez, Board Certified Orthodontist and Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland says that patients seeking orthodontic care are getting older. “They want to be healthier, their dental IQ is a lot higher and they’re interested in having their teeth for the rest of their life.”

Research demonstrated that over 70 percent of adults could benefit from orthodontic correction. Statistic from the American Association of Orthodontics reveal that 1 out of every 4 patients in the average orthodontist’s office are now over the age of 21. That is more than 1.5 million adults that are receiving orthodontic treatment by an AAO certified orthodontic specialist every year.

The principal difference between treating adults and adolescents is that the jaws of young people are still growing, which can be helpful in treatment, says Dr. Dina Sanchez. “We can take advantage of this growth and try to achieve growth modification.”

This is not the case with adults, whose bone and craniofacial structures are done growing and do not undergo growth spurt changes.

Adults must also ensure to clear up any gum or periodontal disease before getting orthodontic treatment, or risk additional bone and soft tissue loss. Children and teenagers are less prone to gum disease than adults.

“Orthodontic treatment is only possible if the periodontium (gums and bone) is healthy and stable,” says Dr. Sanchez.

There is no longer such a thing as “being too old for orthodontics.” Having aligned teeth and a good bite has many advantages in addition to esthetics. It is easier to maintain good oral hygiene with straight teeth, which in turn is beneficial for gum health and can prevent pesky nooks which are hard to keep clean and free from subsequent cavities.

Technological advances in orthodontic treatment and modern science offers new and improved treatment techniques, which are more pleasant than ever before. Today getting that beautiful smile can be done with virtually invisible options, comfortable to wear and convenient. For instance, busy parents, professionals and people with high octane schedules have little time to go to frequent orthodontic adjustment visits. With Invisalign treatment patients can be seen every 10-14 weeks. Now this is not what it used to be like back in the days.

Orthodontists regularly treat patients in their 40′s, 50′s, and older!


So many Options

Today, adults have so many orthodontic options available to choose from.  Depending on lifestyle and the scale of the treatment needs, adults can choose from aligners, In-Ovation braces, clear braces, and traditional braces.  There are also modern methods to accelerate the movement of teeth that decreases overall treatment time.


Invisible aligners are a popular option for adults because they are practically invisible and removable.  Aligners such as Invisalign are popular among adults because they consist of clear plastic trays that are virtually undetectable when inserted over the teeth. Most adults state that “no one even knows that I am getting orthodontics.” This helps patients avoid some of the stigmas and stereotypes associated with traditional braces.  Aligners are also more comfortable since there are no poking wires and no uncomfortable wire tightening appointments.  The removable aspect of aligners is also appealing to adults, as they can eat what they want and maintain great oral hygiene.  Over the course of treatment, new sets of custom clear aligners are worn that gradually straighten your teeth.

Reduction of oral health issues

The main reason why Dr. Dina Sanchez recommends you fix the alignment of your teeth, is to improve your overall dental health.  Misalignments are often not just a result of crooked teeth that do not fit properly. Individuals with malocclusion are more at risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, cracked or chipped teeth, and periodontal issues. Some of these problems are caused by the uneven wear and pressure placed upon the teeth, while others focus on the physical discomfort of crooked teeth.

Beautiful Smiles – Boost of Self-Confidence

Besides the practical oral health concerns, one of the most common reasons why adults choose to get Invisalign, is because they want to change their appearance and boost their self-confidence.  Studies have proven that individuals with crooked smiles, overbites, and underbites are less likely to be social, smile in public, or take pictures. They also expressed lower self-confidence than other individuals with straight teeth.


Finally, the affordability of orthodontic treatment has led to an increase in adults seeking orthodontics across the country.  Payment plans make treatment very manageable.  Since every smile is very unique, so is every orthodontic treatment plan.  The cost of adult orthodontics is determined by the severity of the malocclusion and subsequent treatment length and the modality of treatment.

East payment plans make treatment more manageable.  Many dental benefits from insurance make the cost of adult braces more affordable by offering orthodontic coverage.  Roland Park Orthodontics offers many different payment plans based on your needs.

Your smile is your best investment, you carry it for the rest of your life.

It’s all about your smile 410-296-4400

Dr. Dina Sanchez

Dr. Dina Sanchez

Board Certified Orthodontist

Dr. Dina Sanchez is a board certified orthodontist, mom, published author, wife, University of Maryland clinical professor, abstract artist, tooth fairy, and accidental lacrosse superfan. Learn more about Dr. D here.