Am I Too Old For Braces?

Movies and television can be great, but they have a bad habit. Typically, when you see braces on screen, they are almost always adorned by a kid riding their bike or a teen slamming their locker. But orthodontic issues don’t stop when you hit thirteen or twenty!

So, you might be asking yourself, “Am I too old for braces?” The answer is no! Dr. Pakravan and his excellent team take pride in providing you with your braces at any age—and will now help you answer some pressing questions you might have!

Why Get Braces (Ever)?

Regardless of age, a number of orthodontic issues can constitute braces. These can be for functionality or aesthetic purposes, but usually are due to the following problems:

  • Orthodontic issues: There’s a whole lot that can go wrong with our teeth that make braces the best treatment plan. Some of the common ones include crowded teeth, spacing problems, or problems with your bite. 
  • Health Benefits: When your teeth are aligned properly, you often see results in your overall oral health. Teeth are easily cleaned when they’re straight, and tooth decay and gum disease are less likely to occur due to a thorough cleaning!
  • Cosmetic Concerns: A lovely smile is ageless! As you get older, you might want to resolve issues with the appearance of your smile. This can do absolute wonders for your self-confidence!


In any case of braces, our team at Windy City Orthodontics will customize a treatment plan (a layout of your treatment process, follow-ups, and recovery) to your specific needs and wants for braces. And moreover, ensure that you feel confident in taking this step for your oral health.

How Age Can Affect Your Journey with Braces 

There are going to be some variables for the whys and hows of braces, depending on your age. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick to comparing children and adults on a number of topics that may fluctuate due to age. That way, you’ll know both ends of the spectrum, even if you fall squarely in the middle! 

1. Treatment Objectives

Children: For children, orthodontic treatment is formative. The intention is to properly guide the development and growth of the jaw, as well as incoming or erupted permanent teeth. Braces at an early age are considered interceptive treatment. It is beneficial in that crowding and bite problems can sometimes be caught before they are too burdensome.

Adults: Naturally, the adult in this scenario will have had their teeth for longer! They may wish to address long-standing aesthetic or orthodontic issues. Since all of the teeth are permanent, braces will focus on aligning the existing teeth. 

2. Orthodontic Options

  • Children:  Traditional metal braces are almost always the go-to treatment for kids. They are extremely effective and address a variety of issues. But your doctor might also think clear braces or aligners are appropriate based on the treatment at hand. 
  • Adults: Typically for adults, they’ll opt for clear aligners or ceramic braces because they have a more seamless appearance. This is a matter of both the case at hand and the preferences of the patient.


Am I Too Old For Braces?

3. Psychosocial Effects

  • Children: For children, braces can, unfortunately, be a source of confidence issues. They might be concerned with their appearance throughout treatment or how their peers perceive them.
  • Adults: Grown-ups also have these considerations—however, they can have a different perspective. They might be more willing to consider the benefits of braces long-term.

4. Challenges with Treatment

  • Children: A child will have adaptable tissues and jawbones, which can lead to easier solutions in some procedures. But on the other hand, they might be a little less eager to comply and cooperate with treatment!
  • Adults: A hurdle for adults can be existing dental treatments like fillings, crowns, or bridges to maintain in addition to their braces. They also have fully developed jaws, which can eliminate a few treatment options.

5. Oral Health and Compliance

  • Children: Usually, children need to be supervised and guided to ensure they follow proper oral hygiene and dietary restrictions with their set of braces. Should they be neglectful of these healthy habits, it can be an obstacle in completing their treatment strongly. 
  • Adults: Adults are (generally) better at maintaining their smile, which can mean more successful results and fewer complications throughout the process.

Am I Too Old For Braces?

Windy City Ortho Serves Everyone!

So, whether you’re a child, teen, or adult facing a dental problem, you are perfectly entitled to ask about braces! Our entire Windy City Orthodontics team provides outstanding service to our patients! We have two offices committed to serving the public of Chicago, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and neighboring communities. You can book a free exam online with us or give us a call at 773-207-3305.