Why are orthodontists seeing more adult patients than ever before?

Something strange is happening in the world of orthodontics. In the past, only children and young adults with severely crooked teeth would fill orthodontists’ appointment schedules. But in the 2020s (and the 2010s) for that matter, the patient profile of the typical orthodontist looks curiously different. There are dramatically more full-grown adults and far fewer young people arriving for treatment. British Orthodontic Society members say that more than four out of five practitioners are seeing more private adult patients. 

The question for keen observers of the sector is: why is this happening? It seems like we are moving from a situation where adult braces are rare to one in which they are the norm. 

Improved Aesthetics 

For many, adult orthodontics are an aesthetic choice. People just want to look better. 

But the reasons for getting braces aren’t random. Many patients are doing so because of major life events. For instance, around 80 per cent of adult braces patients are women seeking treatment in advance of weddings. They see orthodontics as a way to present the best versions of themselves on their wedding day so that they can look back on photos with joy. 

Many patients are also seeking orthodontic treatment in response to professional opportunities. Public-facing professionals, such as influencers, coaches, teachers and lawyers are looking for ways to improve their appearance to make themselves more attractive to their audiences. They hope that enhanced aesthetics will grant them more career success. 

Even people working in non-customer-facing roles are seeing the benefits of orthodontic treatments. Improvements in their smile may provide a kind of career advantage and increase the respect they receive from their peers. 

Higher Earnings

Despite all the doom and gloom about the economy, material conditions for the average person have improved considerably over the past 20 years. The Office for National Statistics reports that weekly pay rose from £307 per week in 2000 to more than £571 per week by the close of 2020.

Furthermore, the cost of orthodontic treatments is also declining in real terms, thanks to improvements in technology and scale effects. Innovations, such as Invisalign, and changes to the way orthodontists manufacture retainers means that prices are deflating prices in the sector. Today, nearly 80 per cent of orthodontists supply clear aligners. 

Combined, these economic effects mean that patients are finding it easier than ever to afford orthodontic treatments. The industry is transitioning from something very niche into something far more mainstream. 

Wide Range Of Treatment Options

We’ve also seen the flourishing of different kinds of orthodontic treatment over recent years. In the past, patients had little choice besides metal braces. But today there are many more options available, offering considerable aesthetic improvements over prior solutions. 

Ceramic braces, for instance, replace the highly-conspicuous metal fittings on traditional braces. Instead, they match the natural enamel colour of the teeth. 

Invisalign also moved the field forwards considerably. Orthodontists could provide their patients with graduated retainers that they could remove at their discretion, providing them with more control over the tooth alignment process. 

There are aesthetic benefits to Invisalign too. Retainers are translucent, again reducing their conspicuousness. 

Another category of prosthetic – hidden lingual braces – allowed patients to go fully incognito. Instead of placing posts on the exterior-facing sides of teeth, these put the prosthetic between the tongue and inside surface of the dentition, dragging the teeth into alignment from within. 

These new options attracted a new class of patients who didn’t want to wear traditional braces because of the perceived aesthetic costs. Ceramic, lingual and Invisalign solutions made it possible to get tooth alignment without having to spend up to eighteen months wearing a highly conspicuous prosthetic. Individuals could finally do it discreetly while maintaining their appearance. Any changes to their smile occurred slowly and subtly over time. 


We understand that you don’t really want a brace – you want straight teeth. That’s why we offer a variety of solutions to fit your lifestyle and your aesthetic requirements. 

The purpose of this post is to highlight the fact that you no longer have to make compromises as you did in the past. Correcting crooked teeth is more affordable and discreet than ever – and that gives you options.

We offer a range of affordable and discreet solutions to give you the smile of your dreams. It’s so easy, why not get started today?


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