Braces: Age is No Barrier

Results of Braces Poll is Encouraging for Adults

In September 2006, we polled our readership to ask the ages of the adult readers in braces (some of our readership is under age 18, so this excluded them). We also asked people to comment about their orthodontic treatment. The results were quite enlightening!

Here are the results of the poll, which ran from Sept. 1st to Sept. 30th, 2006:

Here's another way to look at the results (with half-percents added and percentages rounded so the total equals 100%):

  • 52% of respondents were between ages 18 and 29

  • 42% were between ages 30 and 49

  • 6% were age 50 or older -- which is a lot, when you think about it! Perhaps now the older generation is opting for braces, not dentures!

  • The largest age group in braces is people between the ages of 22 and 29, with the age group of 30 to 39 coming in second.


More than 115 people added comments to the poll. Here they are:

Note: These comments have only been edited for grammar and spelling.

1. I ended up getting braced at 46. Originally went in when I was 25, but chickened out. Big regret. Oh... and the novelty of wearing braces has definitely worn off 18 months later.

2. The first ortho I consulted (aged 18) said there was nothing he could do for me. It took me another 35 years to figure out that he might be wrong.

3. I have not ever regretted making the decision to get braces. It took me about 3 months and 4 consultations to make my decision.

4. I was a true dental-phobe and finally decided to get it all done, correcting years of neglect and lots of gaps in my smile. Now, my husband is braced too!

5. At 32 it feels a little strange wearing braces, just keep saying the end results will be worth it!

6. Wearing braces isn't as bad I thought, just learning to floss all over again was a bummer.

7. I still can't believe I made this decision to wear braces. Pray that it's all worth it!

8. I started thinking about this about age 19 but it's taken until age 25 to finally get going - but I know I'll appreciate the results all the more now!

9. Impacted canine problem was not detected until my mid 20s.

10. I thought I was too old for braces- at 22!! I kept saying to myself, if I get them I will be 24, 25 before they are off. And then I realized... I will be 25 anyway! And made the best decision of my life!!

11. 23 was late for me when I've known for years I needed them and was supposed to do it at 11. I'm surprised to see how many more are in my age group though!

12. My teeth weren't as near as bad as my brother's, so he got braces first, and now that he is done, I get them, at age 20!

13. I just turned 20 and just got braces. I know the results outweigh this discomfort so I am positive and hopeful!

14. I was 54 when I finally braces I needed all my life...the 15 months became 28 months in treatment...The braces are off...and I couldn't be happier...if you're undecided on getting braces as an adult...go for it...It's not as bad as many younger people say it is...Well worth the time and money !!!

15. I was 56 when I got braces. Two years later and I am still waiting for all the teeth to get in the right places. I wish, oh how I wish, that I had done this when I was younger. Once they are off, I am going to smile for the rest of my life!

16. I am almost 50 and just got braces a week ago. Wish I had done this years ago - but am thankful my teeth are still healthy enough to do now. I hope to look back in two years from now with no regrets.

17. I was 20 when I got my braces in January 2004 - and I'm 23 now and I only have 2 more sleeps until they come off on the 6th of September!

18. I'm 26 and have hated my crooked teeth for over 10 years. I'm just now FINALLY doing something about it and I'm so excited to see how everything goes!!!

19. Hi, Iīm 29 now. Iīll get my fixed braces (ceramic -top and bottom) in about two weeks. I will have to wear them for two years. BTW - great website. It helped me a lot in making my decision.

20. I got braces when I was 32, and had spent 27 months in braces which was well worth the wait as my teeth look fantastic.

21. Got my braces the year I turned 40. Like another in the poll, I originally went in at 25 but chickened out because I didn't like the ortho or his info. Never occurred to me at the time to get a second opinion. This time, great ortho. Just that the "lines" on my teeth now make the lines on my 40-year-old face much more noticeable. Smiling will be an exercise in humiliation for the next 23 months, but after that I know it will be worth it.

22. I got my braces at 41 they will be off at age 43. I took over tens years to make the decision.

23. I got my braces the day after my 27th birthday, and I've had them for a little over 3 months now. My treatment time is supposed to be 18 months, but my fingers are crossed that it will be a little faster!

24. Got braces at age 26...Now 28 will be getting them off tomorrow! Can't wait!

25. I'm 20 now and I'm hopefully getting braces in October or November of this year. Can't wait to start fixing my teeth!!!

26. Overbite- started treatment at 21-22 years (including palatal expander- that sucked the most, but is not the end of the world)

27. I asked what age the expander wouldn't be a possibility. They said 30 and I said let's get started.

28. I got my braces at 40 because I finally finished all of the "necessary" dental work I needed and I needed braces before I get one dental implant which is the last step in my quest for healthy teeth.

29. I got braces at 23 to fix my bite and hopefully help with my TMJ issues

30. Got braced when I was 41 (am 43 now). I'm in the military and it took me much longer than I expected to get into their Orthodontic / Maxillofacial Surgical program.

31. I should have gotten braces when I was 12, but as many others my family could not afford them. As an adult I kept putting it off until the age of 38. I'm glad I did it. They should be off in approx. 10 more months.

32. Got braced at 41.In a way Iím glad Iím older when I did it because Iím much more serious about taking care of my teeth now than maybe I wouldíve been as a teen. Hopefully it will pay off.

33. I SO wish I had not waited till I was 47 to get braces! I always seemed to have an excuse to put it off, but now that I am close to the end of my treatment I am really glad I finally did it.

34. I got mine at 25 and I wish I hadn't waited that long! It has all been worth it though :)

35. I decided to take the plunge at 32 and wish I would have done it earlier, but we just couldn't afford it when I was a kid. Now I can!

36. I got braces at 23 because I was at a stage where I wasn't dependent on my parent's money and with no kids I wouldn't feel guilty about spending that much money on myself.

37. Had my top brace for 1 month,going to have the bottom one on next week,wish I done it years ago! I am 55 years old, being older I did wonder what people would think, but I have only had supportive and positive comments so far.

38. I got braces at age 32 am I am so happy I did, my teeth have improved so much and in just over a month they will be coming off! I'm glad I did this as an adult when I've come to take my oral health care much more serious!

39. I wish I had gotten braces when I was young. I'm 54 now. I got braces about 5 months ago and am waiting for the day that I will have a beautiful smile. Then it will all be worth it.

40. Got braced at age 50 as the first step in a mouth makeover. Am half way through a 7-month treatment with Invisalign, and am very anxious to get on to the rest of the cosmetic work. But my teeth look better already!

41. I got my braces at 31yrs and I'm so excited for the transformation. This is the first step, I also need Orthognathic surgery (Overjet). I put them on April of this year so I'm hoping by next spring I will be prepping for surgery.

42. I got braces at 49 and wish I couldíve had it done when I was much younger. I considered it jewelry for the mouth with a purpose. I look forward to the day when they are removed to see my new smile. With 19 months down and 7 to go.

43. I had my braces put on at 27. I will be almost 30 when they are removed! I sure hope that getting them off doesn't make me look that much older!!!!!

44. I got my braces at age 42! My smile makeover was long overdue and involved 3 phases: braces, whitening, and replacing a crown on a front tooth! Very glad Ii did it; wish I had done it 10 years earlier.

45. I am glad I waited to get braces at age 28 I am more responsible and I love how it is changing not just my smile but my confidence.

46. I wish I had started sooner, but itís never too late!

47. I got braces at 28 and I'm honestly having a pleasant experience. I wish I could have gotten them sooner but it's better late then never!

48. I got my braces one month short of my 19th birthday and I will be getting them off before Iím 21! which is great, wish Ii got them sooner though

49. I got my braces at 22 and am getting them off on sep 20th and I had a good experience.

50. This is my second time in braces. I got them when I was 16 (I tried to pay for them on my own) but I couldn't finish treatment. 20 years later, here I am!

51. Being braced at 35 has been a painful experience but I don't regret it because the end result will be straight, beautiful teeth! Only 4 months left in treatment!

52. If only I had the $$ to have it done sooner Ii would have been in my 20's instead of now. It's a shame there are so many children and adults not living to their potential because of their teeth....I know first hand how that can be!

53. I got my braces on 2 months before my 28th and I'm hoping to have them off by my 30th so I can have a big party to celebrate my birthday and my new straight smile!!

54. I finally had the courage to get my braces at 36! I wish I'd done it sooner so that it would be over with by now! It's only week one and my gums hurt a lot but I can't wait to see the end result.

55. Like others, this is my second time around with braces! I'd been putting off treatment for a few years but now at 25 and the help of linguals Iím hoping to get the teeth I want (give it 18 months!).

56. It has been 5 days since I got my braces put on. I wish I could have done this a long time ago but I am very happy to be getting my teeth straight.

57. I'm 29, and in my 30th year I will have a straight smile! Can't wait. Braces were put on 2 weeks ago and I've just seen the 1st bit of movement. Definitely worth it...

58. I finally got the guts at 27 and my teeth are so much straighter! Can't wait to see the final results!

59. I got it started just 2 months before my 30th b-day. My orthodontist told me when I was 22 that it had to be done before I was 30, just following orders.

60. Great site. I got my braces on today--2 months before my 32nd b-day. Iíve been told I needed them for about 4 years. I'm inspired by this site!

61. Did it @ 50, didn't think I could afford it till my late 40's, Took me another couple of years to get the courage to do it. The last 18 months have just flown by. I wish I had done it in my 20's

62. Have had them since March of 2006 (32 years old then, 33 now) got new wires earlier today and OW OW OW! Already my teeth are rather different and straighter than they used to be. I see a stranger in the mirror now. ;)

63. Got them in August 2005 and have just had a 1yr anniversary. 1yr 6mths to go!!!!Yipee

64. Started at 58...hope they're off before 60 :-)

65. I am getting my braces put on this week (have the spacers in now) and I turn 38 in a couple months. My 14 year old daughter told me I look like 25 so I can pass for being much younger! As she would say 'sweet'!

66. I started June '06, a couple months after turning 30. Every week there are noticeable changes... looking forward to the final results :D

67. I am 39 and decided to get braces after both of my children had them. I chose the ceramic braces for my top teeth...I thought that they wouldn't be as noticeable, but to me the braces make my teeth look like they're in 3-D. Not what I expected.. the braces really stand out from my teeth. I have seen other people with ceramics and their braces didn't look as noticeable in their mouths as mine do.

68. Finally did it at age 58 when gum problems started occurring. It's been a year and I'm counting the months. 8 more!! Big difference after just six months but now seems slower. Not that I'm anxious to get them off or anything!

69. I am 27 and I have had my braces on for 7 1/2 months. My top teeth is the reason why I never smile and I can't wait until I see nice major changes. Right now it's in the stage of looking worse before it gets better. My top teeth need a lot of work. My bottom teeth seem to be all done.

70. Just thought of putting this time with ďdo it now or neverĒ attitude.

71. Got them at 38 (should have been earlier, delay since pregnant then ill). They are great. Hopefully off soon after less than a year. Was worried initially since I am a Welsh speaker and my language has lots of dental consonants, but no problem.

72. I was 22 when I got them put on a year and a half ago. I never had a single regret and I'm actually very proud of them. Time flew, my teeth are already 100% better and they are not even done, yet! I must say my husband and I both think I am as beautiful as ever WITH my braces! ;o)

73. I got them on yesterday. Feels a bit uncomfortable but not as uncomfortable as my children feel. They are really embarrassed!

74. Got them at 43. After 3 months I can see nice changes. I can't wait until the spaces that were left by 4 pre-molars that were extracted are nicely filled.

75. I am 19, Ive had braces for about a month. Iím really looking forward to the end result, but arenít we all?

76. Braces at 50 & having a great experience!

77. I am 29 and I have had my braces on for about 2.5 months. I rarely smile because of teeth. My top teeth are ok, only minor problem with one tooth. But my bottom teeth are crowded. I went with the ceramic braces since I work in an office environment. I took everyone in my office by surprise when I showed up one day with the braces. It's not a bad surprise since I actually inspired some of my co-workers to get braces themselves.

78. I am 19 and got my braces almost 2 months ago, I'd been waiting so long to get them that I don't even pay attention to the pain. I'm constantly taking pictures of my teeth and examining them in the mirror to see changes.

79. Iím 24 and decided to get braces after the birth of my second child because they are both girls and I wanted to show them that it is important to take care of the way you look because that helps the way you feel. Braces go on in November 2006 and come off in 2008 I'm looking forward to seeing the change.

80. Braces at 51 with surgery coming in January! Very excited about the changes!

81. Got braces at 23, two months before my 24th birthday. Wanted braces since middle school, but parents didn't have money.

82. I am 29 (30 in December) and got my braces on August 31st 2006 - I can already see a bit of a difference, which is exciting. Am missing crusty bread and biscuits, but apart from that it's going well and I'm kicking myself for not taking the leap sooner.

83. I think I'm having a mid-life crisis ;) But at least braces are cheaper than a sports car. No, in truth, I do not feel old even though 40 is just over the horizon. But it did seem like an appropriate time to start to be a little bit more proactive about my health.

84. Hello, I am 36 yrs old and I get my new braces on in 3 weeks. I will need 3 wisdom teeth pulled during my treatment time. I am quite scared but very excited to finally have straight nice teeth. I have wanted braces since I was a child but my parents could not afford them...wish me luck. :O)

85. I am 26 and will be getting my braces tomorrow. My nerves are starting to get the best of me but, I can't wait until tomorrow.

86. 28 - Probably like everyone else, I wish I had them corrected sooner. However as they say, better late than never :)

87. I am 36 and had two teeth out to make room. Am wearing spacers now and get my braces next week.

88. Got my top banding last week and will have the bottom done in 2-3 months. I just turned 34 and finally have great dental coverage!!!

89. Hi! I am 34 and went to the dentist in August. After that were pulled two teeth out of my mouth, now I have in 6 teeth ceramic braces. The treatment will continue at Friday. 1,5-2 years will be the time for the treatment for my teeth, said the dentist.

90. Iím 18 and wish id never ripped my last braces off when I was 16 but hey. Just 2 yrs till the big op on them!

91. I've had braces for three weeks. I sometimes forget I have them on. One of the best decisions I've made.

92. I'm be turning 30 next month, got Damon braces this morning. Great site!

93. I have always wanted braces but my parents felt my teeth were 'perfect." I saved and now I WILL have perfect teeth for my standards.

94. I was exactly 40 yrs and 2 months and 10 days old when I started my current and only orthodontic treatment. I have always wanted to improve my appearance by improving my smile! My expected time of treatment will be 18-24 months.

95. I have just got braces at the age of 42 for a really severe over bite the braces on the bottom are not a problem but the biteplate i have had fixed in the top is a nightmare I am finding it very difficult to eat and to clean my teeth my ortho says I have got to keep it in for 6 months and them it will be time to put the top one on I hope I can last that long this is just the worse feeling ever.

96. I'm 33 and got my braces in April. I always feel out of place with the teenagers in their chairs. I talk "mom" talk to all of the techs!

97. Second time in braces for me (25).....wear your retainers!!

98. I got my braces 1 1/2 years ago. now I'm 24 and will be getting them off next month. I'm almost sad to see them go, they've been such a part of me!

99. I am 22 and I am getting clear on the top and metal on the bottom in a few days. This is a awesome site.

100. I got my braces on when I was 22 and they came off when I was 24.

101. Just last January I got my top and bottom expanders top is self adjusting and bottom is removable... I haven't worn the bottom one as much I should being it so darn awful to speak... June of this past year I had my FIVE wisdom teeth out, just this past Monday 18 of September, I got my top braces hurts like heck but I'm managing.. and I'm only 18

102. Age 63. Had a perfect bottom front tooth removed last week to make room for the others. Now I'm having braces to straighten up the other teeth.

103. Turn 25 last July. Treatment to last 22-24 months, just got the spacers in. Here we go! Great site and thanks for all the helpful info!

104. I wanted braces since I was in middle school but my parents could not afford it so I had to wait until I finished school and was able to make myself afford them. It is sad that perfect teeth are so important. But I am happy I have them. I got them on 2-15-06 and will have to wear them for 2 yrs. It has been 7 months and I see ALOT of improvements.

105. I'm 45. Our children are grown, it's our turn. I'm gettin` older but doin` it the best way I can. Now all I need is a sassy hair cut (now that I have time to keep up with it), perky breast lift and a little red mustang!! Dr. Belli in Kent, Ohio is a great Orthodontist!

106. I had wanted straight teeth for years, but didn't pursue it because of the cost. When I finally got a good job with excellent insurance, I went for it. Will be braced by the New Year, after wearing a pendulum for about 7 1/2 months!

107. Hey, Iím 23 will be 24 next month had braces since 11/ dentist said 5 more visits and I should be done...hooray for me!! LOL

108. I think getting braces are great investment that anyone can do for themselves!

109. Hey, Iím 18 and I just got my metal braces last month .I have to wear them for 3 years. I also have to wear headgear for 2 years to. I love this site!!

110. I've had mine on for 2 teeth feel all wobbly and the pain!! I know it will go though, my gosh will it be worth it!!!

111. Got braces at 30 years of age to remedy TMJ related problems due to a 100% overbite and my upper teeth tipping inwards causing my lower jaw to have to essentially dislocate so I could chew. I begged the parents to take me to an orthodontist as a kid and they refused so now I get to suffer through the ordeal as a 30 year old instead of a 13 year old. I gotta say that I'm tired of having a sore mouth but it's nothing compared to the pain of having your jaw lock and then forcing your jaw closed.

112. Best decision I ever made! Wish was able to do it sooner.

113. I am 39 and had braces when I was a kid. Now my lower teeth have gone crooked again and are so sharp that they hurt kissing. Got to do something about that. I am just starting to find out about the right treatment for me.

114.  My teeth weren't horribly crooked and no dentist ever even suggested I needed braces until my children started seeing an ortho...and his first comment was that I would need two teeth pulled (maybe four) and probably two years in braces.  Yikes!  The pulling teeth part just  stopped me cold.  I'm such a chicken.  Plus, I work in the news media and was very concerned about how my speech and appearance would be if I had  a mouth full of metal.  Anyway, ever since the ortho called it to my attention I was always studying my teeth, wondering if they looked THAT bad... and then I saw some unflattering pictures of me smiling, and stopped smiling "with teeth" as they say.    Eventually, I found this website, lurked for a few months.  I also felt empowered seeing all the other adults who took the plunge.  I snooped around some more, and then, without warning, I got laid off from my job and saw it ! As my opportunity to get serious about my teeth.  I had consults with three orthos...and within two weeks had a tooth pulled and was in braces...ten years after the first ortho suggested it.  I was 48.

115. I think that dentists should refer all patients to an orthodontist for an evaluation...I read that only 10-15% of people naturally have "perfect dentition."

116. Thanks for the site! I don't know what I would have done with you and the other members!

117. I was having a lot of mouth pain and discovered there were two teeth one in the top jaw line and one in the bottom jaw line that were turned horizontally below the root. They unfortunately required surgery for removal. the space left by their removal required braces to re-align my teeth and close the huge gap left by the tooth removal.


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