Teeth Straightening: Adult User Journey

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Teeth Straightening: Adult User Journey

Adults of all ages often decide to get braces in the future as a means to improve their appearance and also fix "long-standing dental issues." Teeth straightening is common among adults aged between 20 and 30 years, and extends to some adults in their 40s and beyond. A higher percentage of adults prefer to visit the office of an orthodontist for teeth alignment when compared to direct-to-consumer service providers.


  • Adults in their 20s and 30s are turning to braces and other means of teeth straightening. Some adults aged up to 50 years are also visiting orthodontists for teeth straightening.
  • Adults are conscious of the role of the appearance of their teeth regarding their personality. About 25% of some 15,000 surveyed adults disclosed that they have avoided smiling recently due to "their teeth’s appearance." This has prompted many adults to seek teeth alignment services.
  • Some adults often have their teeth straightening process delayed due to the diagnosis of gum disease. Some studies disclose that about half of teeth straitening clients aged over 30 have gum disease.
  • The social media play a vital role in customer decision to straighten their teeth. Social media makes the teeth alignment trend more acceptable. Adults who post photos of their new braces, often encourage others to get theirs.
  • Some adult customers go for teeth straightening after experiencing one or more issues caused by crooked teeth. These issues include the adverse impact on their ability to chew food which causes pain every time they eat. Some self-conscious consumers opt for teeth alignment after experiencing negative social situations.
  • Some adults decide based on the availability of funds to carry out the procedure. It is also common for adults to opt for teeth alignment after experiencing health issues which "also factor into" their decisions.


  • No two straightening cases are precisely the same. Some individual treatments are easier and involve a shorter period than others.
  • The time required to wear braces is often short (a few months) when fixing an underlying problem such as a "crooked tooth or spacing issue."
  • Complex solutions can take up to 36 months and are used to correct crooked teeth, bone and gum loss, unusual wear of tooth enamel, jaw pain, headaches, and tooth decay.


  • The various paths consumers tow when opting for teeth straightening include visiting an orthodontist, a general dentist, or a direct-to-consumer teeth aligner.
  • Among adults who portray the highest interest level in seeking treatment, 50% intend to visit an orthodontist. About 27% prefer the services of direct-to-consumer (DTC) teeth aligners.
  • ADA adopted a policy regarding do-it-yourself teeth straightening in 2017. The policy states the ADA's position on "self-directed orthodontic treatment." The ADA discourages the use of direct to the consumer dental laboratory services due to their potential to cause irreversible harm to patients.
  • Consumers who opt for DTC alignment service do so mainly due to its perceived convenience and cost. The quality of treatment among DTC service providers influences some adults to choose other options like visiting an orthodontist. For adults who have children, 34% decide to visit DTC aligners for their treatment, and about 16% opt for DTC teeth alignment services for their children.
  • A survey recently studied the general preference (channel of treatment) for teeth alignment. About 43.8% of adults prefer services offered through an orthodontist. Some 34.1% prefer services from DTC channels, and 22.1% prefer dental alignment services channeled via a general dentist.


  • Braces (curly brackets) are among the teeth straightening techniques that have become common among adults aged between 20 and 50 years. Brackets are one of the most essential orthodontic appliances, and they are often used in the ligation-mode.
  • Orthodontists (83%) utilize clear aligners to treat their patients. General dentists (965%) also use clear aligners.
  • The trend involving the use of clear-aligner in teeth alignment has persisted "for the past 5 years." The above statistics are from data collected by the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA, USA.
  • The trend involving the use of clear aligner in teeth alignment has persisted "for the past 5 years."
  • About 35% of general dentists are not using clear aligners (CA). This statistic signifies the proportion of general dentists with less confidence in the use of clear aligners, a technique which is different from multi-bracket, which they consider "conventional"/traditional. For long, the reliability of treatment outcomes using brackets as well as patient compliance has been demonstrated in literary publications.
  • Self-ligating brackets are also used by teeth straightening professionals.

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