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Why is adult orthodontics so popular?

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin) Specialist Orthodontist and Clinical Lecturer at Guy's Hospital, London.


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by Holland Park Dental Centre on Dental Health, Orthodontics,  Invisalign and General Dentistry

Orthodontic treatment has long been seen as a staple of being a child and teenager. Almost 1 in 4 children require braces and other orthodontic appliances, and the number continues to increase every year. However, it’s now far more socially acceptable to have adult orthodontics. Whether it’s re-treatment from relapsed treatment or it wasn’t an issue or an option when they were younger – we treat almost as many adults as we do children at Holland Park Dental Centre for braces.

So, why is Adult Orthodontics so popular?

As technology continues to advance and orthodontic treatment becomes more affordable and more invisible more individuals are choosing to invest in adult orthodontics. Adult orthodontics are appliances made for individuals who are over 18, and they are excellent at addressing long-standing issues like overbites, underbites, and crowded and crooked teeth.


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There are more options

The simplest answer, there are far more aesthetic brace options available nowadays. Traditional braces were big, chunky and a were associated with being a teenager. Older braces were uncomfortable, time-consuming, and involved a lot of metal, wires, and similar hardware. Unlucky individuals  may even have had to wear headgear to push their teeth back into alignment.

In the present, adults can choose from traditional braces, which have improved significantly in size, performance and aesthetics or from one of the invisible brace options; Invisalign or Lingual braces being the most popular adult orthodontic options.

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Clear Aligner Braces are extremely popular among adults because they consist of clear, custom fit, plastic aligners that are difficult to detect when placed over the teeth. This helps older patients avoid some of the stigmas and stereotypes that may be associated with braces.

Invisible aligners are also far more comfortable since there are no wire tightening appointments and no harsh brackets or wires for the soft tissues to get used to. And they offer the freedom to eat and drink and to brush your teeth as you usually would. (Because they’re removed for all of these!). Clear aligners can also be removed for important events like meetings or weddings and other special occasions. Providing they are worn for as close to 22 hours as day as possible – the patient is in control of the wear time. (Which can also be a downside…)

If an adult opts for traditional braces or isn’t suitable for Invisalign; they can choose from a number of tooth coloured, or completely invisible brace which are fitted to the back of their teeth.

They Reduce Oral Health Problems

A popular reason for adult orthodontics is the long term health of their teeth.  Extremely crooked teeth can cause embarrassment and an overjet might affect your self-confidence, such misalignments can be a risk factor for other dental health issues as well.

Individuals with any type of misalignment are more at risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, cracked or chipped teeth, and gum trauma. Patients who have teeth that overlap are more prone to decay and gum disease because it is difficult to effectively remove plaque and food particles. Sometimes even flossing is impossible.

The decision to have adult orthodontics may be a slow one, and one that is discussed at routine exams and oral hygiene visits. If you have severely crooked teeth your treating clinician will often say “You could consider a short course of orthodontics to remove this high risk of decay and gum disease”. Many adults then realise investing in one’s overall dental health is important. For this reason, more and more people over the age of 18 are choosing to wear adult orthodontics to ensure they can keep their natural smiles for as long as possible.

They Boost Self-Confidence

Besides the practical concerns, one of the most common reasons why adults choose to get orthodontic treatment is because they’ve wanted it for a while, but haven’t every quite found the time or justified it to themselves. Many patients are embarrassed of their smile and they want to change their appearance and boost their self-confidence.

Many adults could not afford orthodontic treatment as children and teenagers, so it makes sense they would like to make a change as adults. In fact, we must admit, we LOVE  treating adult patients because it often means so much more to them and they’re always incredibly thrilled with their results!

How do you start orthodontic treatment?

We have a number of avenues into orthodontic treatment; one to suit each stage of your decision making process. We understand that it can be quite a commitment and it can sometimes take weeks or months to full commit to treatment. Therefore, you can submit your photos for a specialist opinion, have a free iTero scan to see your predicted results, or jump right in to a specialist orthodontic consultation to discuss your options, our payment plans and what your treatment will include.

If you have any questions at all the orthodontic team at Holland Park Dental Centre will be delighted to help and go through it all with you!

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