You’re about to get braces and you’re worried. Because wearing braces at 14 is one thing, but who wears them at 30 or 40 or even 50?

Turns out, a lot of people do.

Up-to-date statistics are hard to come by, but in 2012 the American Association of Orthodontists reported that 1 million adults were seeing orthodontists. That number climbed to 1.4 million in 2014. Today, 1 in 3 patients visiting the orthodontist are over the age of 18.

So as an adult wearing braces, you have plenty of company. But there are other reasons wearing braces at 40 is easier than at 14.

Before we take a look at what they are, you should know that the most important thing about wearing braces, at any age, is having a good orthodontist. You’ll be visiting yours regularly for months, if not years, which is why it’s important to have one close to where you live or work. We can help you with that right now if you click here.

Otherwise, keep reading to know why having adult braces in some ways makes you luckier than having them as a confused, dependent adolescent.

There are better brace options than ever before. As an adult, you can probably afford them.

When you think of braces, images of teeth covered in clunky metal bands probably come to mind. But braces have come a long way. You don’t need to stick to traditional braces because there are far more discreet types available on the market now. (We’ve written a helpful article on them here.) Options like Invisalign, for instance, are practically invisible. They cost more, but as an adult, you’re not dependent on your parents for money, which means you have the freedom to choose the best braces for you.

Your peers have outgrown name-calling.

Children can be more cruel than adults. It’s one of the reasons a lot of people only start developing confidence after school – away from insensitive teasing, name-calling and bullying. You might be feeling self-conscious about wearing braces as an adult because most adults don’t tend to wear them – but those same adults will understand why you need braces, and not shame you for it.

You’re better equipped to handle wearing braces emotionally.

Confidence eludes many of us but it does tend to become easier to find as you grow older. People in their 30s and 40s are usually far more comfortable in their skin than when they were teenagers.

Also, as an adult, the decision to wear braces is solely yours – whether you need them for health reasons or aesthetic purposes, this goes a long way towards making you feel at ease while you’re wearing them. As we’ve already mentioned, visiting your orthodontist is an important part of maintaining your braces and overall oral health. Click here to find the best orthodontists in your neighborhood.