Many of us associate braces with kids; we think about issues like braces pain, making sure that children follow the rules in terms of the types of food they’re allowed to eat, and choosing the right orthodontic specialists for shifting adolescent teeth. However, adults can get braces too — in fact, people of any age can get braces, with adults making up about 20% of braces recipients each year. Many people aren’t given the orthodontic care they need as children, but still require that care as adults. Braces aren’t always used to mend purely aesthetic issues, after all. The problems that needed to be solved when you were a child will likely persist into adulthood — they don’t usually resolve themselves. Nonetheless, getting braces as an adult can be a bigger decision than you might think, and many people struggle over it. However, there are many more choices when it comes to braces than there were a few decades ago, which makes it easier to find the options that fit your particular needs and lifestyle. You don’t have to get the types of braces you might have imagined as a child; in fact, you don’t even have to look as if you’re wearing braces! Let’s look into your options.
Are Braces Right For You?
Adults don’t always need braces due to an issue being ignored during childhood. Some people need braces to correct new problems that have arisen due to trauma or certain lifestyle habits. Braces are essentially used to shift and realign the teeth, which can close gaps and also modify teeth that are overly crowded. Some orthodontists also use braces to shift the teeth in preparation for some sort of oral surgery. With that being said, there can be a difference in the results and process when braces are applied to children versus adults. Children are still growing, and it can be easier for braces to do their job for children versus adults. This doesn’t mean that adults can’t achieve the necessary results — it just might take longer. With that being said, generally speaking, it takes less time for people to achieve the results they need with braces than it did years ago. This is due to the fact that there are more options on the market than ever before.
What Are My Options?
There are so many different options on the market for those seeking braces — thanks to the advent of Invisalign aligners, metal braces are no longer the first choice for a lot of adult patients. While metal braces are smaller and may still be the best option for those with complex issues — due to their preciseness — Invisalign aligners have the advantage of being clear. If you’re worried about people staring at your braces, these aligners solve the problem. These can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing as well, as they’re worn for 20 to 22 hours per day versus all day long. However, aligners can be problematic for those who snack throughout the day. A compromise can be clear ceramic braces, which are still visible but much less so than metal braces. Of course, there is also the option of lingual braces, which are placed to face the tongue. You’ll still feel them and wear them all day, but they’ll be far less visible. Your choices will likely be dependent not only on what you want but what your specialist recommends and what your wallet can accommodate.
How Do I Cover The Costs?
The costs of your braces will depend in part, of course, on the specialist you work with. Usually, they’ll be between $5,000 and $6,500. Some of it may be covered by your insurance plan. If not, your orthodontic specialist will probably offer some kind of payment plan, so that you can pay for them over time. Either way, you can make the costs work for your budget.
Getting braces as an adult may seem frustrating — but ultimately, you’ll be much more confident with the results.