Up to what age can braces be placed?


Orthodontic occlusion correction with braces is an effective method of treating teeth crookedness in children and adults. The correction is carried out by changing the position of the teeth to the anatomical norm. The more responsive the tissues of the dentition, the faster the result is achieved.

Therefore, dentists recommend putting on braces at the age of 12-14. However, this does not mean that it is no longer possible for adults to correct the pathological situation. Modern orthodontic constructions solve the problem of pathological occlusion in a given case at almost any age and give self-confidence for many years.

What are Braces?

Braces are complex orthodontic constructions for eliminating the teeth crookedness, pathologies of the upper and lower jaws. The corrective system consists of a metal arch, locks, and staples. Each structural element performs its function. There is a specific bracket for each tooth. A metal arc is passed through the brace, fixed on each tooth, under a certain tension. At the same time, the level of pressure on one jaw arch can be different. During the entire period, the tension is increased or decreased.

Braces are required for any bite anomalies. If not long ago, the braces were only metal, fixed from the dentition’s outer surface; today, the variety strikes the imagination. Now patients can choose not only metal braces but also ceramic or sapphire ones. Braces are also classified according to attachment: vestibular (from the outer teeth of the enamel) and lingual (from the inner side of the tooth). By the fastening mechanism, there are ligature and non-ligature braces (self-ligating).

Sometimes, the dental arch does not correspond to the teeth’ number and size, then their crowding occurs. In this case, it is possible to make orthognathic surgery, extraction of individual teeth. The surgery today is performed according to specific indications and allows solving several problems. Orthodontic treatment can help fight snore and slurred speech; it is also essential for chewing skills and oral hygiene. Combined therapy with removable or non-removable devices for expanding dental arches is also used.

Best Age: When Treatment is Fast and Effective

Answering the question of if there is an age limit to put braces, experts recommend speeding up the treatment process. The optimal time for fixing braces is adolescence (12-14 years of age). During this period, the permanent teeth fill the jaw rows, and the dentition can quickly and effectively respond to therapeutic correction. In the course of treatment, the alveoli’s walls change, the jawbones are rebuilt, develop due to the whole organism’s active growth in adolescence, the teeth take the correct position in the row.

The main indication for earlier orthodontic treatment at the age of 7-8 is severe jaw pathologies that disrupt the quality of life, interfere with adequate speech, cause salivation, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and contribute to facial asymmetry. If there are no severe problems, then it is not advisable to put on braces before 12 years old.

The duration of treatment at the age of 10-14 years is 1.5-2 years. When fixing structures for patients over 16 years old, treatment reaches 2-2.5 years. The timing of treatment varies and depends on multiple aspects. Dentists warn that the earlier treatment is started, the better the results. 25-year-olds and older may require more time and additional treatment such as orthodontic aligners, trainers, and other orthodontic appliances.

Getting Braces as an Adult (over 20-25 years old): Special Aspects

There are no fundamental grounds for refusing to use braces in older patients. Experts recommend starting treatment as early as possible. The complexity of treatment for adults lies in several aspects:

  • despite wearing braces over a long period, a relapse may occur if you do not wear an occlusal guard at night;
  • compromise treatment (when it is not possible to achieve ideal parameters, but the improved situation suit the patient.

Besides, most adults already have a whole range of dental problems associated with cavities, tooth erosion. Many teeth have already undergone restoration and have crowns. These factors can cause difficulties in orthodontic treatment.

Adult braces

In the Clinic of Aesthetic Dentistry in Kyiv, children and adults can get braces. Older patients get a range of diagnostic tests before treatment, including the medical history and the full mouth debridement and professional cleaning of the enamel. If a tooth or few are lost, implantation is required. Correctly selected braces accelerate the therapeutic process and reduce the risk of recurrence in the future. Braces differ in material, mechanism, and method of fixation. All these criteria determine the final cost of orthodontic treatment.

Lingual Braces

These are the invisible structures with a fixation on the inner surface of the teeth. Outwardly, the pieces are invisible to others; therefore, they are popular with adults. Children cannot get this type because of: friction of the tongue, the difficulty of care, a long period of adaptation. But lingual braces were initially designed for adolescents since the outside enamel was often damaged due to poor hygiene.

Adults with short teeth cannot get lingual braces. The duration of the treatment is two years.

 Vestibular (External)

Vestibular braces are a traditional orthodontic treatment option. They are attached to the outer surface of the teeth and are visible to others. There are several options for vestibular braces:

  1. Metallic. The most durable structures at an affordable price, but with low aesthetic characteristics. Sometimes metal braces rub, oxidize, damage tooth enamel. Suitable for pathologies of any severity. The average time of treatment in braces is 1-2 years.
  2. Sapphire. Transparent invisible braces with high aesthetics. Despite the fragility, the pieces are exceptionally durable and suitable for almost all types of bites. Sapphire braces are several times more expensive than metal braces; they do not damage enamel. The average time of treatment is up to 2 years, depending on the degree of pathology.
  3. Ceramic. Durable aesthetic braces for sophisticated patients. The material does not cause allergies, does not stain with food dyes. The term of treatment does not depend on the material of the brace.

Each type of braces has some pros and cons. The doctor will consider the dentition’s peculiarities and help determine the orthodontic product, not only according to the wishes of the patient but also the pathology of the bite.

Almost every patient over 25-30 years old focuses on the treatment duration much more than aesthetic characteristics and cost. Hygienic care is also taken into account. Some models require more thorough cleaning.

Common Contraindications for Orthodontic Treatment: 

Before installing the correcting mechanisms, it is necessary to undergo a comprehensive examination. The doctor examines the condition of the root system, bone mass, and dentition readiness for orthodontic treatment. Sometimes the installation of braces is not only ineffective but can lead to even more significant complications.

Main Precautions:

  • Implants. The braces’ attachment is possible if the bite pathology is insignificant, and implants are installed at a distance from the correction area. Otherwise, the tension of the metal arch and the dentition mobility leads to destabilization of the titanium rod.
  • The absence of several teeth in a row. In this case, it isn’t easy to securely fix the structure of the dentition. Besides, large edentulous defects will still lead to relapse. After treatment with braces, it is necessary to the implant immediately.
  • Pulpless teeth without crowns. If such teeth are filled or restored with a composite material, they can collapse or the bracket may come off when the metal arch is pulled.
  • Diseases of the gums and periodontal tissues. After the braces are fixed, the teeth need careful oral hygiene. The problem will only worsen with inflammatory diseases of the mucous membranes. First, the doctor recommends curing the infectious and destructive process. If the treatment for gingivitis, periodontitis, or periodontal disease has been effective, the patient is ready to get braces.

Braces are installed with caution in diabetes mellitus, immunodeficiency, organ failure, natural subtlety, and enamel fragility, hyperpigmentation. In some dentition pathologies, a change in the teeth’ position can lead to a deterioration in chewing function, pain in the jawbones due to muscle overstrain.

The quality of treatment with braces directly depends on pathological occlusion, enamel condition, and the patient’s age. Ideally, the structures will be installed at the age of 11-14 years after permanent teeth eruption. Long-term corrective therapy in this case rarely exceeds two years; the result lasts for life. In other cases, it will take longer to wear braces; there is a risk of relapse.