Adult Braces: What You Need to Know

Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo have orthodontic experts ready to help adults get adult braces. We offer Invisalign and traditional braces.

Here’s a trivia question for you:

What percentage of people who wear braces are adults?

If you guessed 1%, you would have been close in the 1990s. Today, however, the number of adults who wear braces has risen to 20%!

Why? Our guess is that the emergence of more subtle options like Invisalign Invisible Braces allow adults to address their orthodontic needs more discreetly than traditional metal braces.

Adults get braces for many different reasons, including:

  • To address the crooked teeth they’ve always had but never got fixed as children.

  • To address previously straight teeth that have shifted due to time or injury.

  • To improve their bite.

  • To improve their smile.  

Options for adult braces

The choices available for adults who need braces are the same as those for children. It comes down to two main options: clear aligners and traditional braces. Here is some basic information about both.

Invisalign Invisible Braces

Invisalign addresses orthodontic issues with a set of custom-made clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth. Every two weeks or so, you switch out one tray for the next in the set, and over time, your teeth are gently shifted to the correct place.

The Invisalign trays are removable and easy to clean, and should be worn for 22 hours a day.

Invisalign is best for shifting teeth only. For more complex orthodontic issues, they may not be the best solution.

Traditional braces

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets affixed to your teeth and connected by wire. Your orthodontist will tighten the wire every 4 to 6 weeks, slowly moving your teeth or jaw into place.

Although many adults prefer the clear Invisalign trays, traditional braces are a better solution for the following orthodontic issues:

  • Back teeth bite issues
  • Vertical tooth movement
  • Rotation of cylindrical teeth

If you require traditional braces but would like a less visible option, ask us about ceramic braces, which use brackets that are the color of your teeth. Or, you may consider the option of having the brackets attached to the backside of your teeth instead of the front.  

Which adult braces are best for me?

If your orthodontic needs allow you to make the choice between traditional braces and Invisalign, here are some additional advantages and disadvantages of each:

Invisalign Braces Traditional Braces
Advantages Transparent and nearly invisible
Easy to clean
Fewer lifestyle limitations (foods, sports)
No discomfort from wires
Impossible to lose
Better, more consistent results
Less expensive than Invisalign
No temptation to “skip a day”
Disadvantages More expensive
Easy to lose
Self-discipline required
Requires food restrictions
Wires may irritate soft tissue
Harder to clean
Contact sports not recommended

Think you need adult braces?

At Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, we offer orthodontic services right on site. That means you don’t have to drive across town to consult with an orthodontist. You can do it right here!

Our on-site specialist Dr. Sanner has more than 29 years of experience in the field of orthodontics, and he has treated thousands of children and adults with both traditional braces and clear aligners. He’ll be happy to talk to you about your options.

Give us a call to schedule your appointment today.

You’ll be in great hands with Dr. Sanner!