Think braces are just for kids? Think again. These days, many adults are choosing orthodontic braces as a viable treatment option for correcting their crooked smiles. In fact, according to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), around one in five orthodontic patients in the U.S. today are adults. Older patients are choosing orthodontics in their fifties, sixties and beyond to achieve a beautiful, confident smile.

If you’re still on the fence about straightening your teeth, consider these five reasons for getting adult braces with an orthodontist in Charlotte:


  1. Enhance your appearance.
    Many older patients turn to orthodontic treatment because they are unhappy with the appearance of their smile. Crooked teeth can cause embarrassment and an overall lack of confidence in professional and social situations. Braces significantly improve the look of your teeth, giving you a smile that you can look and feel good about in all aspects of your life.
  2. Prevent dental issues.
    A straight smile isn’t just more attractive — it’s also easier to care for. Since straight teeth are easier to keep clean, patients are less prone to cavities and gum disease caused by misaligned teeth and an improper bite. Delaying orthodontic treatment when it is needed may lead to long-term dental health issues down the road.
  3. Improve oral function.
    Malocclusion, or an improper bite, can cause problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). As a result, older patients often complain of migraines, jaw pain, sleep disorders and ineffective chewing and speaking. Having teeth properly aligned with braces can alleviate pain caused by a bad bite and restore jaws to their proper position for optimal oral function and improved dental health.
  4. Enjoy shorter treatment time.
    Many older patients are surprised to learn that today’s orthodontic treatments can accomplish the same goals as traditional metal braces in half the time. For adults, this means less time spent wearing their orthodontic appliance and faster results.
  5. Choose from a wide range of treatment options.
    One of the biggest reasons adults avoid braces is because of the way they look. Fortunately, braces have evolved significantly from the unsightly metal wires and brackets you remember from your childhood. Instead, orthodontists today offer far more cosmetically pleasing alternatives that appeal to patients who prefer to straighten their smile quickly and discreetly.

Adult patients can choose from a variety of modern treatment options including:

  • Ceramic braces: Like traditional metal braces, ceramic braces are applied to the front of the teeth. Ceramic braces are more attractive, however, blending seamlessly with your natural teeth for a less obvious appearance.
  • Lingual braces: Also known as concealed braces, lingual braces have brackets that attach to the back of teeth, rather than the front like traditional braces. No one will notice you are wearing braces as they move teeth into their new position.
  • Invisible braces: Invisible braces, such as Invisalign, are a series of clear, custom-made aligners worn over the teeth. Because they are clear, no one will notice you are undergoing treatment. The added benefit of being able to remove the aligners gives you the freedom to eat what you want and continue oral hygiene as normal.
  • Six-month braces: This type of orthodontics is short-term and is used to correct the alignment of front teeth and lower teeth within a quick, six-month time period. The objective of this treatment is limited with the goal being to move the front teeth only and not change the overall bite.

If your teen years have long passed, and you are unhappy with your smile, rest assured that you haven’t missed the opportunity to correct your teeth with braces. From traditional metal brackets and concealed orthodontics to six-month braces, your Charlotte orthodontist can help find the right treatment plan for your lifestyle and needs.


Dr. Sam BurrowDr Sam Burrow D.D.S., D.M.D. – Dr. Burrow was born in Charlotte and moved to Charleston to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Biology at the College of Charleston. He graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and then stayed to earn a D.M.D. with honors at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Burrow completed his orthodontic residency at University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan and is now in practice with his father at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics in the Charlotte area.