Can I get my teeth straightened at 60?

Many adults wonder if it’s too late to get their teeth straightened once they reach their 50s and 60s. While orthodontic treatment is most common among preteens and teenagers, advances in orthodontics now make it possible for adults of any age to improve the appearance and alignment of their teeth. There are several clear aligner and bracket options to suit different budgets and lifestyles. With some planning and commitment, straightening your teeth in your 60s can renew your smile and boost your confidence.

Is it too late to get braces at 60?

It’s never too late to get braces, even in your 60s. While there are additional considerations when it comes to adult braces compared to teenage braces, orthodontists can successfully and comfortably realign teeth at any age. Some of the most common reasons adults seek orthodontic treatment include:

  • Closing gaps in teeth
  • Straightening crooked or crowded teeth
  • Fixing an underbite or overbite
  • Realigning the jaw

The biological process of moving teeth with braces is the same at any age. With customized treatment plans and advances in orthodontic technology, straight teeth can be achieved with relatively short treatment times and minimal discomfort.

What are the different types of braces?

There are several different types of braces designed for adults:

Clear aligners

Clear aligners like Invisalign are removable plastic trays that incrementally move teeth into place over time. New aligners are worn every 1-2 weeks. Benefits include no food restrictions, easier cleaning, and less visibility. Treatment times range from 6-18 months.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces feature tooth-colored or clear ceramic brackets bonded to the teeth. A thin metal wire is threaded through the brackets and tightened at orthodontic appointments. Treatment length averages 1-2 years.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces have metal brackets bonded to the backside of teeth, making them less noticeable. They work similarly to traditional braces but can be more uncomfortable. Treatment can take over 2 years.

Traditional metal braces

Stainless steel brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth with metal wiring holding them in place. This is the most common and affordable option. Treatment times range from 1-3 years.


ClearCorrect aligners are nearly invisible, custom-fit, and removable plastic trays similar to Invisalign. They may achieve faster results than other clear aligner brands.

What are the steps for getting braces?

The general process for getting adult braces is:

  1. Orthodontic evaluation – Orthodontists take X-rays, molds, photos, and measurements of teeth and jaws to determine the optimal braces treatment.
  2. Custom treatment plan – A tailored treatment plan is mapped out detailing the expected timeline and braces system to be used.
  3. Bonding braces – Brackets are bonded to each tooth with dental cement. For clear aligners, impression molds are taken.
  4. Orthodontic adjustments – Adjustments are made to the wires and brackets to move teeth incrementally at follow-up appointments every 4-8 weeks.
  5. Removal – When treatment goals are achieved, the brackets are debonded and removed.
  6. Retention – A retainer is worn full-time then nightly to hold teeth in their corrected positions.

Total treatment time ranges from 12-36 months depending on the case. More complex cases with significant misalignment may take longer.

What are the costs of braces as an adult?

Braces for adults tend to cost more than they do for children and teens. On average, adult braces in the United States range between $5,000-$8,000 in total. However, prices vary considerably based on your specific orthodontic needs as well as insurance coverage and payment plans.

Some of the factors affecting overall braces costs include:

  • Extent of alignment needed – More severe cases cost more to treat.
  • Type of braces – Clear aligners are more expensive than basic metal braces.
  • Orthodontist experience – Orthodontists with decades of specialty experience charge more.
  • Treatment length – Longer treatment times increase fees.
  • Customizations – Specialty braces, rubber bands, or retainers add to costs.
  • Orthodontic office location – Braces in major metro areas are usually more expensive.
  • Dental insurance – Those with orthodontic coverage pay less out-of-pocket.

Many orthodontic offices offer no-interest payment plans to help defray the expense over time. Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can also be used.

What are the risks and side effects of braces at 60?

There are some unique risks and side effects associated with getting braces later in life:

Tooth roots

Adults have more established root structures. Moving teeth too quickly could lead to root resorption, where the roots shorten. Orthodontists take extra care in older patients.

Gum disease

Most adults have some degree of periodontal disease like gingivitis or receding gums. These issues should be fully addressed before braces to prevent further gum inflammation.

Bone loss

Over time, some diminishing bone density in the jaw occurs naturally. This can slow the pace of orthodontic treatment. In some cases, grafts are needed to stabilize bone.

Atypical dental anatomy

Adults are more likely to have existing dental work like implants, bridges, fillings, and crowns that must work in harmony with braces. Careful adjustment is required.


Teeth can be more prone to shifting back without diligent retainer wear in mature patients. Lifelong retention is often needed.

Tooth sensitivity

Some patients experience temporary tooth sensitivity to cold foods when getting braces later in life. Proper oral hygiene helps minimize discomfort.

Missing teeth

If teeth have been naturally lost over time, adjacent teeth may tilt into the empty space. Restorative work may be required for proper realignment.

Slower results

Mature gums and bone don’t respond to pressure as rapidly. Treatment progresses at a steadier pace for patient comfort and safety. Patience is required.

What are the benefits of getting your teeth straightened at 60?

Despite being more involved, getting braces in your 60s can offer several benefits:

Improved dental health

Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss properly. This reduces plaque buildup and decay risk. Orthodontics can also correct bite alignment that makes chewing difficult.

Confidence boost

A beautiful straightened smile can make you look years younger. This rejuvenation effect enhances self-esteem and self-image.

Clear speech

Corrected spacing or bite issues allow for clearer pronunciation and easier speaking.

Easier eating

Properly aligned teeth digest food more efficiently. Crooked teeth can lead to uncomfortable chewing and digestive problems.


A healthy, vibrant smile is an investment in your overall well-being and quality of life. Teeth shifting with age can lower your satisfaction and happiness.


Straight teeth are easier to maintain long-term. They are less prone to fractures, uneven wearing, and other orthodontic issues.

How long does it take to get braces off at 60?

Most adults wear braces for 12-24 months before the braces are removed. However, more complex cases can exceed three years of treatment time. Variables impacting overall timeline include:

  • Severity of alignment issues
  • Types of braces used
  • Supplementary appliances or techniques needed
  • How rapidly teeth move for a given patient
  • Diligence wearing braces and aligners as directed
  • Showing up consistently for all required adjustments
  • Oral health status and hygiene
  • If teeth were pre-aligned with clear aligners before braces

Your orthodontist will have the best sense of your prospective treatment duration after a thorough initial evaluation. Be prepared for the process to take longer than it may for a younger patient. Patience is critical when straightening teeth at an older age.

Can I get braces on my top teeth only?

It is possible to get braces on just your top or bottom teeth, but not ideal. Only addressing one dental arch can lead to problems down the road such as:

  • Jaw alignment issues
  • Altered bite relationship
  • Aesthetic imbalance
  • Lower arch crowding
  • Uncomfortable overbite or underbite
  • Grinding, TMJ, and chewing impairment
  • Accelerated lower tooth decay

Orthodontists rarely recommend treating only one jaw unless there are unusual circumstances. Proper bite alignment requires the upper and lower arches to be harmonized. Discuss your particular situation with your provider. In some cases, beginning with just top braces makes sense before doing the bottom later. But a full treatment plan is ideal in most situations for adults.

Can I get braces with dentures?

It is possible to get braces if you have a full upper or lower denture in place of natural teeth. The process involves:

  • Fitting the dentures for optimal comfort before braces are placed
  • Selecting adhesive braces that won’t damage or dislodge dentures
  • Being extremely careful removing dentures to avoid damaging brackets
  • Using small rubber bands to help anchors braces to remaining teeth
  • Paying special attention to oral hygiene
  • Expecting slightly longer total treatment time

The denture will need to be relined or recreated once braces are removed. Close coordination between your orthodontist and dentist is essential. For those missing all upper and lower teeth, options like clear aligners or lingual braces are not possible. Discuss the best approach for your specific situation.

Can I get my teeth straightened with Invisalign?

Invisalign clear aligners are a popular teeth straightening option for adults in their 60s. Benefits of Invisalign include:

  • Removable plastic trays for flexible wear
  • Nearly invisible appearance
  • Avoidance of food restrictions
  • Easier ability to brush and floss
  • Shortened treatment time (12-18 months on average)
  • Advanced 3D computer imaging technology
  • Smooth comfortable movement of teeth

Invisalign can work well for minor to moderate alignment issues. More severe crowding or bite problems may require braces and appliances. Talk to your orthodontist regarding whether Invisalign is suited to your case. An initial scan will determine your eligibility. If you have periodontal disease, Invisalign is less likely to be effective until those issues are corrected.

Can Invisalign work faster than braces at 60?

Treatment times are typically faster with Invisalign vs. traditional braces for adults in their 60s, for a few reasons:

  • Aligners move teeth more gently with sequential light force
  • No delays getting wires changed or adjusted
  • Aligners are worn 20-22 hours per day
  • New aligners every 1-2 weeks accelerate movement
  • No emergency visits for repairs like with braces
  • Invisalign’s SmartTrack material efficiently influences bone remodeling

However, Invisalign may not work faster than braces for more complex cases. Extensive use of attachments, bands, elastics or bite ramps can prolong Invisalign treatment time. Your orthodontist will advise you which option should work more quickly based on your individual mouth.

Some estimates for average treatment times are:

Braces: 18-24 months
Invisalign: 12-18 months

Invisalign typically works 1.5x to 2x faster than traditional braces for adults overall. But timelines are dependent on how rapidly your teeth respond.

Does insurance cover Invisalign at 60?

Many dental insurance plans that include orthodontic coverage will help pay a portion of Invisalign treatment costs for adults. Typical insurance discounts are:

  • 50% coverage for dependents under age 19
  • $1,000-$3,000 lifetime orthodontic benefit for adults

So for example, if Invisalign costs $6,000 total, insurance may reimburse $1,500. Tax-free medical accounts like FSAs can also be utilized. Talk to your orthodontist’s office to confirm your insurance details and out-of-pocket expenses.

Some factors affecting insurance coverage include:

  • Specific policy benefits and limitations
  • Yearly maximums and deductibles
  • Network Invisalign providers
  • Pre-approvals and pre-determinations
  • Claim submission procedures

Getting Invisalign later in life may mean paying more out-of-pocket compared to being a child. But any reimbursement can add up to significant savings off total fees.

What are the pros and cons of getting braces at 60?

There are both advantages and disadvantages of pursuing orthodontic treatment in your 60s:


  • Restores your smile and self-confidence
  • Enhances dental and digestive health
  • Makes your smile look more youthful
  • Allows clearer speech
  • Corrects bite issues that lead to pain or problems


  • Higher cost compared to younger patients
  • Results may take longer to achieve
  • Can be uncomfortable initially
  • Require special considerations due to oral health changes
  • Need for lifelong retainer wear to avoid relapse
  • Frequent orthodontic appointments

Proper oral hygiene and following your orthodontist’s instructions can help minimize cons and discomforts. Focus on the renewed smile and dental function you’ll enjoy.


Although orthodontic treatment is less common for older adults, current techniques make straightening teeth possible at any age. Evaluating different types of braces and aligners with an orthodontist allows you to choose the optimal method based on your dental needs, timeline, and budget.

While straightening teeth in your 60s does require careful planning and patience, the long-term benefits for your smile, self-image, and dental health make it a worthy investment. Using insurance and payment plans can help offset the higher costs often faced by mature patients pursuing orthodontics.

With a customized treatment plan and focus on oral health, modern orthodontics can help you achieve a revitalized, properly aligned smile in your 60s.

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