How old is “too old” to get braces?

More adults than ever before are seeking orthodontic treatment, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. In fact, one in four orthodontic patients in the United States is over the age of 18.

Why is this?

The reasons vary, of course, and can be deeply personal.

Some adult patients didn’t have braces as kids and are at a point in their lives where they want the confidence that having a straightened smile can bring, both socially and professionally.

Others had braces when they were younger but saw a regression in treatment once the braces came off and as the years progressed.

Still others are exploring the option of braces to help relieve other medical problems, such as jaw pain or the inability to keep certain areas of the mouth clean and free from harmful bacteria.

So how old is too old?

There is no absolute age that is “too old’ to get braces — some people get them well into their 60s!

The first step to determining whether braces — or other orthodontic treatments, such as clear aligners — are an option for you is to have a free consultation at Bluffton Orthodontics.

To schedule your first visit, call us at 843-815-2521.

5 misconceptions about adult braces and why you shouldn’t let them hold you back

There are a lot of reasons braces can be necessary past the teenage years, but only one reason to avoid them: unfounded fear.

If you are a candidate for braces — whether for the first time ever or because your teeth have shifted over time — and you’re still on the fence about them, allow us to clear up a few of the misconceptions that might be holding you back.

  1. “I’m the only one who needs braces at this age …”: We promise you, you’re not. Adult braces are far more common than you might think. In fact, about one orthodontic patient in four is an adult, according to the American Association of Orthodontics. Also, two words: Faith Hill. The country musician impressed many a fan in 2013 when she attended the Grammys wearing braces — and not just as an ironic accessory.
  2. Going to the orthodontist is akin to going to a pediatrician: At Bluffton Orthodontics, we have a long list of patients who are far past their teenage years, and our state-of-the-art office includes space for those who aren’t squeezing in appointments between soccer and piano lessons.
  3. Having braces as an adult will make me unattractive: Not even close. Orthodontic treatments have come a long way; even traditional metal braces are more inconspicuous than they once were. Depending on your treatment needs, there are a number of options to minimize any facial changes. At Bluffton Orthodontics we offer clear braces, ClearCorrect clear aligners and ForeverGold gold braces, all of which have become go-to choices for adults in recent years.
  4. It’s not worth the effort. Braces will not only straighten your smile, they can improve your overall health. Your orthodontist might recommend braces to help alleviate headaches by aligning your bite or to promote better oral hygiene by making it much easier to brush and floss formerly crooked teeth. Braces can also help you speak more clearly and improve your ability to chew and digest food.
  5. They won’t make that big of a difference in the end: One of the biggest changes patients notice after getting their braces taken off is how much self-confidence they now have. It’s amazing how having a ready and open smile can change so much in your life. Ask any adult who had been holding herself or himself back personally or professionally because they were self-conscious about having crooked teeth whether they noticed a difference when the braces come off and you will likely hear a unanimous chorus of “Absolutely!”

If you have any questions about getting braces as an adult or if you would like to schedule a free consultation with Bluffton Orthodontics, call us at 843-970-9316.

Is Your Teen Begging You for Clear Aligners? Here’s Why You Should Consider Saying Yes.

If your child is a good candidate for aligner therapy — and not everyone is — then having them enter into the braces phase of their life a little less reluctantly can make a big difference in their overall attitude and compliance during treatment and with retainers.

Simply put, clear aligners do the trick. They straighten teeth by using a series of thin, clear acrylic plates to slowly move teeth into place. And they are more comfortable than traditional metal braces; more specifically, they don’t cause that inner-lip soreness you might remember from back in the day. Read More

Bluffton Orthodontics Announces Winner of Free Braces Contest

McCracken Middle School Student Wins “New Smile for a New School Year” Contest, and Receives Free Set of Braces

For kids throughout the Lowcountry, the recent start of the new school year has meant new teachers, new school supplies and the onset of new school schedules and activities.  For one lucky 13 year old in Bluffton though, the new school year has also brought with it the opportunity to get the smile she has always wanted – making this school year probably the best one yet thanks to a contest created by Bluffton Orthodontics.

Bluffton Orthodontics, a new orthodontic practice that opened this summer at Buckwalter Place and headed by well-known orthodontist Dr. Bob Garrison, has announced that 13 year old Brianna Davis, a 7th grader at McCracken Middle School, was chosen as the winner of the “New Smile for a New School Year”contest.  The contest, which took place from August 1st through September 12th, generated dozens of entries, encouraged families to submit a contest entry form on the Bluffton Orthodontics Facebook page, with a winner being selected at random for the grand prize of a free set of braces (valued at approximately $5,000.)

“We have wanted to get Brianna braces for a few years, so when we heard about this contest it was the perfect opportunity for us,” said her mom Leea Davis.  “Brianna has always been hesitant about smiling because she wasn’t happy with her teeth.   I know that having a better smile with straight teeth will really increase her self-confidence, and we are thrilled for this opportunity to work with Dr. Garrison to give her the smile she’s always dreamed about.

Brianna, who loves science and art, spending time with her rescue dog Lulu and who wants to be a veterinarian, is excited to begin treatment with Dr. Garrison and Bluffton Orthodontics – as well as excited for the opportunity to wear pink rubber bands on her new set of braces.  In fact, mom Leah notes that the last time her daughter felt self-confident was a few years ago when she gave her permission to dye her hair bright pink – and both mother and daughter (as well as Dr. Garrison) are excited about the new self-confidence that she expects will result from the new smile made possible through Bluffton Orthodontics and this contest.

Bluffton Orthodontics, located at 337 Buckwalter Place Boulevard at Buckwalter Place (adjacent to Station 300) offers a full array of the latest advances in orthodontic care, including traditional metal braces, clear braces and clear aligners.  For more information about Bluffton Orthodontics, including a complete listing of treatments and innovations in orthodontics, visit or call 843-970-9316.

Tips for Child Braces Preparation

There are several areas of child dentistry that can lead to anxiety for children, and braces for kids represents one of the primary areas here. At Bluffton Orthodontics, our orthodontists are well trained in practices that can help keep your child comfortable and without stress before receiving braces.

As a parent, you can also be of great help here. Here are a few simple tips we generally offer to involve your child in the conversation and help prepare them for receiving braces.


Whether or not your orthodontist is present, discuss your child’s treatment options with them beforehand. In many cases, they will have multiple braces options, or perhaps even other alternatives. Giving your child a voice in this conversation will help give them ownership over it, something you can remind them of down the line.

Positive Expectations

Explain to your child why braces are important for them – this understanding will help them during periods of anxiety or sadness about the appearance of their mouth. Also remind them that the actual procedure for having braces attached to the teeth is easy and won’t hurt at all. From here, ask your child if they have any questions, and discuss reasonable expectations, Include a significant look toward how much this will help them down the line.

Soft Foods

Prepare your child for the reality that they’ll have to tweak their diet a tad in the first few days after getting braces. This can be fun, though – let them choose soft foods to stock up on, and allow them rewards like ice cream that can be eaten without damaging braces.

Dental Wax

Another preparation item to get your child ready for is dental wax, or orthodontic wax. This is a basic cream you apply with your fingers to help brackets stop from rubbing onto teeth. If children are at the right age, you can involve them in this process and allow them to apply their own wax.

Want to learn more about preparing your child for braces, or any of our other orthodontic services? Speak to the friendly staff at Bluffton Orthodontics today.

Bluffton Orthodontics to Open in Buckwalter Place in July

New State-of-the-Art Orthodontic Practice Comes to Bluffton, featuring One of South Carolina’s Most Established Orthodontists

During his long career as one of Lexington, SC’s most well-known orthodontists, Dr. Robert Garrison has expertly put braces on more than 10,000 patients throughout the Columbia region – including the daughter of Former Governor of South Carolina and current United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.  Now Dr. Garrison is bringing his expertise and innovation in orthodontics to the Lowcountry with the launch of his new state-of-the-art orthodontic practice located right in the heart of Bluffton – bringing smiles to countless local residents and their families with the launch of Bluffton Orthodontics – a unique orthodontic practice dedicated to helping families “EmBrace the Journey and Leave Smiling.”

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