The Most Popular Adult Braces Options Explained

adult braces options

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Adult braces are becoming increasingly more popular. As we age, our teeth tend to shift, even for those who had braces as a child or a teen. If you are looking to straighten your teeth as an adult, you are in luck. There are plenty of options available in adult orthodontics now.

Here, we’ll explore just what those options are so you can choose the best one for you.

Types of Adult Braces

Metal Braces

This option is the one that comes to mind for most people when they think of braces. These braces are adhered right to your teeth and they can only be removed by an orthodontist when the treatment is complete. To make the teeth shift using metal braces, the orthodontist tightens the wires around the braces. This forces the teeth to shift.

There are a few restrictions when it comes to foods and drinks that can be consumed when using metal braces. You don’t want anything to get stuck to the braces. Even worse, you don’t want anything to break them off and you also need to be careful how you clean underneath them. In addition, they usually need to be worn for 3 years or even more depending on the designated treatment plan.

These are pretty universal in that most cases related to tooth alignment or bite can be treated using metal braces. In addition, many children and teens really like this option because they allow you to switch out the rubber bands for braces with a variety of colors when they get tightened. Adults may or may not enjoy that customization. Either way, this is a viable option in straightening teeth and it works for nearly every situation.

Clear Braces

These braces are invisible, making them a pretty popular choice for adults. The braces can be made from a clear plastic, porcelain, or ceramic. When wearing them, it is nearly impossible for anyone to even notice them.

These braces are permanently attached to the teeth and must be removed by an orthodontist once treatment is complete. This is similar to how metal braces are attached. Another similarity is that clear braces also have wires that are tightened by an orthodontist during an appointment. There are also some drink and food restrictions when using clear braces. Most importantly, you need to remain mindful of potential food stains.


Most people have heard of Invisalign braces by now, as this option has gotten very popular in recent years, particularly with adults. This treatment option uses plastic aligners that are clear and discreet. They can be removed easily by the person wearing them and don’t require the assistance of an orthodontist in order to do so. In fact, they can be removed to eat or to floss and brush your teeth.

The aligners are usually switched out every two weeks or so as the teeth shift. They are switched according to the progress made and the overall treatment plan. Invisalign is a pretty universal option and can handle even some of the more complicated cases in orthodontics.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are a kind of hybrid choice when it comes to adult braces options. They are a combination of clear ceramic brackets and wires. They are put together in an attempt to make the braces less conspicuous while also maintaining some of the attributes of the more traditional braces. This essentially creates a set of braces that work similar to the most traditional ones but that are not quite as noticeable.

These are a great option for adults who want something that is less noticeable but who also likes the reliability of traditional braces. With ceramic braces, food and beverage stains are far more likely. So, this option does come with restrictions and requires you to be diligent about cleaning and watching what you regularly consume.


The field of orthodontics is always growing and progressing, as documented by the options available in accelerated orthodonotics. Propel Orthodontics is one of those options and serves as proof of the increase in adult braces options. This system uses Alveocentesis™, which promotes bone growth as the teeth are shifted. In most instances, this is a quicker way to straighten your teeth.

An orthodontist in Philadelphia PA can work with you on developing a treatment plan using this accelerated option.


Another unique advancement in orthodontics is the AcceleDent System. This system uses gentle microvibrations to accelerate bone remodeling. In turn, treatment is sped up and teeth are straightened much faster than with the more traditional options available.

Not Getting Braces

We’ve reviewed the most popular options for adult braces currently available. Of course, the final option is to forego getting braces at all. However, this comes with several drawbacks and isn’t suggested.

Having teeth that are straight is not only cosmetic but can also have a huge impact on your overall health. Teeth that are straight are much easier to get and keep clean, which in turn helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. That gum disease is actually tied to a number of really serious, negative health conditions including strokes and heart disease, to name a few. There is a significant link between oral health and overall health.

There really is no legitimate reason to skip having your teeth straightened, if they need it. If cost is the biggest worry, many insurance companies now cover orthodontic work, even for adults. If its convenience you’re concerned with, the concern is legitimate. While children and teens can easily make it to regular orthodontist appointments, it can be far more challenging for adults to do so. You may be juggling work and a family. However, many of the options currently available do not actually require you to visit the orthodontist all that frequently.

Finally, if the reason relates to vanity, there are several adult braces options now available that are not even noticeable. While metal braces are still a viable option for many, for any adult that would prefer a less noticeable option, there are plenty of alternatives available.

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