I Didn’t Get Braces When I Was Younger: Now What?

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Feb 25, 2015 | Cosmetic Dentistry, Invisalign Clear Braces, Orthodontics
I Didn’t Get Braces When I Was Younger: Now What?

(updated March 2024)

You didn’t get braces when you were younger. And now, you’re not happy with your mouth. Maybe your teeth are crowded or crooked, or you have an over- or under-bite, incorrect jaw positioning, or some other problem making your mouth less attractive and possibly even painful.

Do you have to live this way? I mean, don’t you have to be in middle school to get braces?

Many people think this way. They think their teeth can no longer be fixed, that if they didn’t get braces when they were young, it’s too late to get them as an adult. But the truth is, people of any age can get braces, even older adults.

At our Alpharetta, GA dentist office, we fit teens for braces almost every day, yet we also see many adult patients who want/need braces to align and straighten their teeth to improve their overall dental health.

In fact, the majority of our orthodontic patients are adults. So, if you didn’t get braces when you were younger, we’re here to tell you: You do have options as an adult!

What are my options if I didn’t get braces when I was younger?

Think you’ll have to be a “metal mouth” if you get braces? Think again. If you’re wondering about the differences and similarities between Invisalign vs traditional braces, keep reading, or call our office if you’re interested!

Traditional metal braces are no longer the only option. With some braces options today, people won’t even know you have something on your teeth.

Metal braces. Yes, metal braces are still an option as an adult. Many people choose this effective option because they are cheaper. Today, metal braces look better than ones in the past.

Invisalign®Invisalign is a clear braces system. This option is virtually invisible to see and can be removed at any time, making it possible to drink and eat the foods you want.

Wearing Invisalign trays, except to eat and drink, is highly effective and can help shift your teeth into place quickly.

Veneers aren’t a “teeth straightening” solution per se, but if you only have a few flaws you’d like to disguise, porcelain veneers are customizable and cover your tooth to transform your tooth’s appearance. They cover many types of flaws including chips, cracks, gaps, teeth that are too small, or teeth that are misshapen.


What will be different getting braces as an adult?

If you choose to get braces as an adult, your treatment will likely take a little longer than the time it takes adolescents to get their teeth and mouths fixed with braces.

As an adult, your jaw is completely formed. Your teeth have stopped moving and are in their final spaces. Growing up, your teeth were pretty loose, but now, the roots are secure. Therefore, correcting a tooth’s position becomes more difficult.

But the time you’ll need to wear braces really isn’t that long. Most people wear them for only about one to three years.

Maybe your parents couldn’t afford braces when you were younger, or you didn’t want to wear them because you were afraid of surgery or didn’t like the idea of something in your mouth.

Maybe you need braces again because your teeth shifted or you had an injury.

Whatever your reason for not getting braces when you were younger, braces might be right for you as an adult.

Why should I get braces as an adult?

You may think you can live with crooked teeth or that it’s really not worth it to get braces if you didn’t get them as a youth. Well, consider the health reasons for getting braces:

  • Less pain. Correcting the bite fixes many structural problems, which may reduce jaw pain and make chewing less painful.

  • Less chance of gum disease. With teeth that are misaligned or have a cross bite, plaque has an increased chance of building up and causing periodontal and gum disease.

  • Less chance of gastrointestinal problems. Chewing food improperly, even if you don’t realize it, can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

  • Less chance of tooth decay. Straighter teeth are easier to clean, reducing tooth decay and gingivitis.

  • More self-confidence. Life is too short to be afraid to smile and show off your teeth to others.

Is Invisalign Right for You as an Adult?

While a consultation with our qualified cosmetic dentists is the definitive way to determine your suitability for Invisalign clear braces, here’s a general overview of who might benefit:

  • Crowding and Misalignment: If your teeth are crowded or crooked, Invisalign’s clear aligners can gently shift them into a more ideal position.
  • Overbite and Underbite: Invisalign can effectively address both overbites (upper teeth protruding over the lower teeth) and underbites (lower teeth protruding over the upper teeth).
  • Gap Closure: Spaces between your teeth are another common dental issue that Invisalign can successfully address.

It’s important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list. Invisalign can address a wide range of orthodontic concerns. However, a thorough examination by one of our cosmetic dentists is crucial to confirm your candidacy for treatment.

The Allure of Invisalign: Advantages Over Traditional Braces

Invisalign boasts several advantages over traditional braces, making it a compelling choice for many adults:

  • Discreet Appearance: One of the most significant benefits of Invisalign is its nearly invisible nature. The clear plastic aligners are virtually undetectable when worn, allowing you to discreetly straighten your teeth without compromising your smile’s aesthetics.
  • Removable Comfort: Unlike traditional braces with fixed brackets and wires, Invisalign aligners are removable. This allows you to take them out for meals, brushing, and flossing, enhancing comfort and oral hygiene maintenance.
  • Customized Treatment: Every two weeks, you’ll receive a new set of custom-made aligners that gradually shift your teeth closer to their ideal positions. This tailored approach ensures a comfortable and controlled straightening process.

The Perks of Convenience: Invisalign’s Added Benefits

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Invisalign offers a level of convenience unmatched by traditional braces:

  • Reduced Appointments: Invisalign eliminates the need for frequent adjustments involving tightening wires and rods. The pre-programmed aligners gradually move your teeth without requiring constant in-office visits. Regular check-ins with your dentist are still necessary to monitor progress and ensure optimal results.
  • Dietary Freedom: Traditional braces often necessitate dietary restrictions due to the challenges of cleaning around brackets and wires. Invisalign allows you to enjoy all your favorite foods without limitations. Simply remove the aligners before eating and reinsert them after brushing.

Invisalign empowers you to maintain your lifestyle without significant modifications. You can continue enjoying your favorite foods and beverages while working towards a more confident smile.

Ultimately, the decision between Invisalign and traditional braces depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consulting with one of our qualified dentists will help you determine the most suitable option for achieving your dream smile.

What should I do now?

Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is committed to delivering high-quality dental services with state-of-the-art techniques and high-tech dental equipment.

We strive to make you as comfortable as possible and offer many amenities to help you do so, from heated and massage chairs to nitrous oxide and noise-canceling headphones.

We can help you, as an adult, if you think you might need or want braces or other orthodontic treatment options. We would be happy to discuss your options and help you decide what the best option is for your mouth. You deserve a healthy, beautiful smile — and we can help you achieve the look you’ve been wanting.

Call 678.389.9000 today to discuss options for correcting your teeth.