Usually, we think of braces as a teenage memory: we recall schoolmates with that reluctant embarrassed look and a mouth full of wires and rubber bands. Luckily, that picture of braces is outdated, and so are those somewhat arbitrary age associations. Yes, braces are prevalent in adolescents. But it’s pretty common, today, for adults to try braces too.

Braces can interest adults because, in essence, your teeth are not static. As you get older, they can shift and transform. Because they are not confident with how their teeth look, many adults are turning to braces. Certainly, there are plenty of reasons why, even if you used to have perfect teeth, braces may still be a wise choice for you as an adult.

A Nice Smile is Just The Beginning

Straightening your teeth is the number one reason to invest in braces. This is usually an aesthetic conversation; a more ideal smile creates beauty on its own terms. But you can have benefits that go beyond aesthetics with braces. Braces might, for example:

  • Address discomfort. Sometimes, misaligned teeth can poke into your gums in unpleasant ways. Braces can decrease or alleviate that pain.
  • Help you clean the areas between your teeth more easily. This can minimize your chances of inflammation and gum disease.
  • Help slow tooth deterioration. It can be very difficult to counter the erosion that is caused by teeth rubbing against each other because of misalignment.

Naturally, the look of your smile will be improved with straighter teeth. But the additional oral hygiene advantages produce yet another reason for those adults who are considering getting braces.

Be Mindful of How Discreet Braces Have Become

Because they have historically been manufactured for function over form, braces haven’t always had a distinction for beauty. But braces have become more efficient and smaller over the last few years. As an adult, depending on how badly misaligned the teeth are, you might even be able to wear so-called “invisible” aligners.

In either case, modern braces are substantially less noticeable than their older counterparts. You may know someone with braces but you’ve never noticed them. That makes the potential drawbacks of braces, especially, the social drawbacks, much less potent. With less chance of social stigma, adult braces become a great deal more manageable and more attractive, particularly when the results are beneficial over time.

Your Bank Account Can Take it

Naturally, everybody has a different monetary situation. But two things commonly happen during adulthood that can make braces more practical. First of all, there becomes a possibility of a payment arrangement or insurance coverage decreasing total costs.

Second, you most likely earned less money when you were younger. This may actually be the first time in your life you can afford braces. And that can make it easier to see the value and make the investment in a better smile.

Two Years is A while, But Not That Long

For the best results, you’ll likely need to have braces for 18-24 months. When you’re in your teens, two years seems like a long time. And, if you really think about it, 24 months is a significant portion of a 16 year old life. But those two years can be put into context in a much more manageable way when you’re in your late twenties, thirties or even pushing 50.

In other words, you’ll be wearing braces for about two years, but those two years will go by in a flash. And when your braces are removed, you’ll experience many years of straight teeth, stunning smiles, and great oral hygiene. It doesn’t feel like 18-24 months is that long with that kind of payoff. Particularly when you’re an adult.

You Aren’t Alone

Not every adult will decide that braces are the right choice for them. But there are plenty of other adults who have taken the steps to an improved smile with braces. Over 1 million adults in the United States alone currently have braces in order to straighten their teeth.

More and more adults are finding stunning smiles as adult braces become increasingly common.