It’s never too late in life to get the smile you’ve always wanted. Now, thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, it’s easier than ever for adults to shape their smiles without disrupting their lives. In fact, there are multiple options available for adults interested in braces, each of which has its own benefits.

Traditional Braces

When most people hear the term braces, they picture the classic, metal variety that has been successfully straightening teeth for decades. Traditional braces are made from three key parts:

1. Brackets, which are bonded to your teeth,
2. Archwires that are placed through the brackets, and
3. Elastic bands that hold the brackets and wires together. Over time, the wire is tightened, slowly moving your teeth into the perfect position.

Traditional braces are proven and reliable, but they don’t have to be old-fashioned. New technology has made traditional metal braces lighter, easier to clean, and less visible. You can even get brackets or bands in your favorite color.

Damon Braces

Similar to traditional braces, Damon braces eliminate the need for elastic bands with a patented slide mechanism. For many patients, Damon braces work more quickly than traditional ones and require fewer trips to the orthodontist for adjustments. Damon braces also cause and less friction in your mouth, which may make them more comfortable. Your orthodontist can explain the benefits and downsides to Damon braces, which may include a higher price tag than other options.

Lingual Braces

Another variation on traditional braces is lingual braces, which accomplish the same goal without the visibility. This is accomplished by securing the brackets to the back of each tooth so that no one can see them. Lingual braces can be more expensive than traditional braces, but the price may be worth it for people who don’t want their braces to be seen. Like other wire-based orthodontics, lingual braces will not affect your speech at all.

Invisalign Aligners

If you want to skip metal braces entirely, another option for adult orthodontics is Invisalign aligners. This method uses clear plastic trays, worn 22 hours every day, to press your teeth into their correct positions. Every several weeks, users switch to a new set of trays, further moving their teeth into place. Invisalign aligners are essentially invisible, though they may temporarily affect your speech when first placed in your mouth. You also must remove the aligners every time you eat or drink anything besides water. However, the effort may be worth it if you’re troubled by the aesthetics of traditional braces. Invisalign aligners cost about the same amount as other types of braces and work in about the same amount of time, though they may entail fewer trips to the orthodontist for adjustments.

Talk to your orthodontist about which options for adult orthodontics will work best for you. And, with a little time and effort, you’ll soon be smiling more beautifully than ever.