Are You Too Old To Wear Metal Braces?

Traditionally nicknamed ‘‘train-track’’ braces, modern metal braces are now smaller than ever before and more comfortable with strong adhesives too – they are the traditional, durable and affordable way to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.  But the question we get asked a lot is ‘‘are metal braces just for kids?’’ and ‘‘am I too old to wear metal braces?’’  Here’s what we tell our patients…

It is never too late to get your smile straight! 

Whether you’re 7 or 77 years of age, our friendly, experienced and approachable consultants have one goal in mind which is to support you on your journey to straighter teeth.

In fact, more than 60% of our patient-base are adults (over the age of 18) and orthodontists’ up and down the country have reported an increase in adult brace wearers, proving that braces aren’t just for kids anymore.  Plus, metal braces are an effective orthodontic treatment option for almost all case types, so not only is there no age limit to worry about, but there’s a very good chance metal braces will work for you whether you have spacing, crowding or crossbite misalignment issues!

Metal Braces for Adults – How Do They Work?

Now that we know there isn’t an age limit on metal braces, how do they actually work?  Good question!  

Metal braces are very small and thin, easy to keep clean, very robust and incredibly durable as they are made from high-grade stainless steel that straighten your teeth with brackets and arch wires.  The metal brackets are fitted to the front surface of the teeth with bonding ‘‘glue’’ and a thin metal wire runs across each bracket.  The brackets push the teeth into the desired position by the consistent, but gentle pressure of the wire. 

Some adult brace wearers will also need orthodontic elastic bands adding to their metal brace to help improve the alignment of their bite, but this isn’t the case for all patients (your Orthodontist will confirm at your complimentary consultation with Orthodontics For You).  The bands are very small and act as an additional pressure to help move the teeth to the corrected position, hooking onto the brace from the top teeth down to the bottom.

We can fit clear/tooth-coloured brackets to your teeth (as opposed to a more colourful and subsequently less discreet option), perfect for patients wanting a subtle brace.

Treatment times vary on the severity of the misalignment, but it can take up to 18 months. During this time patients will need to have their braces adjusted every 6–8 weeks by an Orthodontist who will monitor the progress your teeth are making and, if necessary, adjust the brace to ensure it continues to exert the right amount of pressure to move the teeth to their new position.

Fitting and removing metal braces for adults is a straightforward process; your Orthodontist will use a specialist metal device to loosen each of the brackets which will pop the braces off in one piece (both the brackets and the arch wire).

Metal Braces for Adults – The Aftercare

Once your adult metal brace is removed, your dentist may fit a retainer to help keep your teeth in their new position after treatment.  Some adult patients are required to wear their retainer for a set period of time both during the day and whilst sleeping, others just need to wear retainers at night – your Orthodontist will explain what is recommended for you.

It’s no secret that maintaining good oral hygiene is essential, that’s why throughout your treatment it is recommended that patients brush their teeth after every meal and avoid sugary drinks and crunchy/chewy foods that could damage the brace.  And after treatment (once the modern metal brace is removed), patients are advised to continue brushing their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day too in order to keep their teeth clean, healthy and to remove any food debris that may have got stuck in their mouths.

Metal Braces for Adults – The Cost: 

Our goal is to deliver the smile we know you deserve and to ensure you receive high standards of care, treated by the very best Orthodontists.  Our private adult patients can spread the cost of their metal brace treatment over a period of time by taking advantage of our payment plans (click here to take a look at our finance page for all you need to know about financing your smile with metal braces for adults).

Metal braces for adults are our most inexpensive orthodontic option and are typically recommended for patients with moderate to severely misaligned teeth.  With Orthodontics For You, our metal braces start from £2,150 per arch (your top row of teeth is one arch, and your bottom row of teeth is another arch; if you want braces on both arches then the cost will be higher, but not usually double).  

Metal Braces for Adults – Additional Info

It’s quite common for adults with crooked teeth to feel self-conscious about their smile and the temptation to hide their teeth or even avoid social activities becomes all too easy.  But did you know that straightening your teeth with metal braces not only improves the appearance of your smile and your inner confidence as a result, but your digestion, speech and oral hygiene too?

  • Chewing is a crucial step in the digestive process and poorly aligned teeth can make it harder to break the food down, causing us to swallow large chunks of food at a time which can feel very uncomfortable as it puts a heavier burden on the rest of the digestive system.
  • An incorrect bite or jaw alignment can cause speech impediments including lisps, whistling or even word slurring.  Our lips, tongue and teeth all work together to form words by controlling the airflow out of our mouths.  With straight teeth, we’re able to speak more clearly and enunciate our words, and with the ability to speak correctly naturally comes a certain degree of confidence.
  • Patients with misaligned teeth are at a higher risk of developing oral health problems such as gum disease or tooth decay because their teeth are harder to clean and can soon become a breeding ground for bacteria – if you cannot reach every surface of every tooth with the bristles of your toothbrush, then how can you be sure your teeth are clean?

We all know what it feels like to have insecurities or parts of our bodies we’re not completely happy with, and we hear from our patients all too often that they feel reluctant to smile because they’re not satisfied with the alignment of their teeth.  It is therefore not surprising that every year more and more adults opt to undergo orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of their smile in order to help themselves feel more confident.  And metal braces, often thought of as expensive and ‘‘just for teenagers,’’ have hugely developed over the years and are now affordable and more discreet than ever before, perfect for adults searching for a subtle teeth-straightening solution, no matter their age!

If you’re considering adult metal braces and would like to talk to us, click here to register for your complimentary consultation.  Or call us on 0121 401 1268 (OFY Solihull dental practice) or 01527 309509 (OFY Bromsgrove dental practice).


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