What You Should Know About Adult Braces

Braces are used as a tool to help straighten and align your teeth. Braces can also help fix any gaps in your teeth, an overbite or an underbite. More often than not, braces are most common in children and teenagers.

In fact, back in the early to mid-1990s, it was almost unheard of for adults to consider getting braces. Today, adults are considering braces to obtain the smile they have always wanted. Research has shown that adults feel more comfortable than ever getting braces, given the technology and advancement in orthodontics in the past decades.

Braces are an effective way to help gain back confidence in your appearance and smile. A smile can change everything. Studies have shown the heavy influence a smile can have on self-esteem and physical appearance. It is important to know all your options when thinking about getting braces, as there are advantages and disadvantages in adult braces. There are additional time considerations, financial considerations and different types of braces to choose from. Use this following sections to take a deep dive into the benefits of braces as an adult.

Adult Braces Options

There are several different types of braces for you to consider as an adult. Braces have evolved greatly over the years, as have the options available to you. The adult braces available include:

  • Conventional metal braces are the most traditional of the types of braces available today. When you think of braces, you are likely imagining this type. Modern metal braces no longer resemble what braces used to be like. Brackets are smaller and do not cover your entire tooth anymore, which is very convenient. The advantage of conventional metal braces is that they are usually the cheapest option for you to get straightened teeth in the quickest possible way. Adults with serious overbites or underbites should consider conventional metal braces. However, the disadvantage to these braces is that they are the most noticeable.
  • Ceramic braces are identical in shape and size to conventional metal braces. However, they have clear or tooth-colored brackets instead of metal brackets. This type of braces gives a subtle look to your mouth while working quicker than some other options, such as Invisalign. The downside is this option tends to cost more and breaks easily. Ceramic braces are also known to stain more easily than metal brackets due to the nature of the material.
  • Invisalign is the top brand of clear plastic aligners. Invisalign is a great option if you prefer to have a more aesthetically pleasing option and can sacrifice timeliness. With Invisalign, your orthodontist creates 18 to 30 plastic aligners similar to a mouth guard. You must switch out a new mouthpiece every couple of weeks. With this option, you can floss, brush your teeth and eat normally. The most compelling part of Invisalign for adults is the aligner is impossible to see. For severe cases, Invisalign is not recommended. Additionally, your clear aligners may be easy to misplace and very expensive to replace. The overall cost for Invisalign is well above the other options on this list.
  • Lingual braces are similar to conventional metal braces. The difference between them is that with lingual braces, the brackets and wires are applied to the back of your teeth instead of the front. This means that from the outside, no one can see your braces. Aesthetically, this is a plus. Unfortunately, lingual braces are hard to maintain and if you need any adjustments, they are strenuous and time consuming.

Life With Adult Braces

The average amount of time adults wear braces is between 12 to 20 months. The average cost is around $5,000. It is important to note most dental insurance companies will not cover the cost of braces if you are older than 18 years of age. There are financing plans and discount plans available through most dental offices to help you cover the cost of braces. Additionally, if you have dental and health insurance, you may be able to get your braces for less.

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Living with adult braces, you can expect some initial discomfort with any of the above options, especially if you need to get your braces adjusted for any reason. You may also have trouble speaking comfortably or eating at first. However, the discomfort should only last for a few days.

For the most effective and timely results, you must practice great oral hygiene and health. With conventional metal braces, it is likely you will find food build-up occasionally. It is essential to follow the orthodontist best practices for flossing and brushing. Limiting carbonated drinks, sugar and carbohydrates help to keep your mouth and braces healthy throughout this process. Keeping to a cleaning regimen can help you to avoid any tooth decay or spots once your braces are removed.

Benefits of Adult Braces

As you are straightening your teeth, you are contributing to their function and health. Straighter teeth are easier to clean with brushing and flossing, as opposed to unaligned teeth that gather plaque and build-up a lot easier. When your teeth are not overlapping, you are at less risk for gum disease, which has been proven to contribute to many other health issues. A healthy mouth can help with the health of your entire body.

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Using braces to align your teeth can prevent you from having to spend additional money on repairing them in the future. Braces help to align your teeth to stop breakage and wear from your teeth not striking properly within your mouth. Aligned teeth are hugely beneficial in other ways, too. As an adult, you likely experience many stresses in your day to day life which can affect your mouth. Stress on your jaw can appear in many forms, like grinding your teeth. Misaligned, crooked teeth create unnecessary stress on your jaw.

Your oral health is extremely important, as it affects your entire body. Dental providers are committed to helping more adults each year achieve their goal of having a confident smile. Over time, new technology and products will continue to emerge allowing more and more adults to move forward with the opportunity to explore the benefits of adult braces.

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