Oct 13, 2023
Adult Braces: What You Need to Know
In recent years, a growing number of adults have been choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment and get dental braces. While traditionally associated with adolescents, braces are now becoming a popular option for adults looking to improve their dental health and enhance their smiles. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about getting dental braces as an adult, from the reasons behind this trend to the types of braces available, the consultation process, maintenance, and much more.
Reasons Adults Consider Braces
- Cosmetic Reasons
Many adults consider braces primarily for cosmetic purposes. A straighter smile can boost self-confidence and improve overall aesthetics. Whether you’re preparing for a big presentation at work or simply want to feel more confident in social situations, braces can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
- Functional Reasons
Beyond aesthetics, braces serve functional purposes. They can correct misalignment issues, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, and crowded teeth. By addressing these problems, braces can prevent future dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even jaw pain.
Types of Braces Available
Adults have several options when it comes to choosing the type of braces that best suit their needs.
- Traditional Metal Braces
These are the most common and recognisable type of braces. They consist of metal brackets and wires and are highly effective in correcting dental misalignment.
- Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are less noticeable than traditional metal braces because they blend in with your natural tooth colour. They offer a discreet option for adults who prefer a more subtle appearance.
- Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are attached to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front. They are a great choice for adults who want effective treatment without the appearance of braces.
- Invisalign Aligners
Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces. These clear, removable aligners gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. They are convenient and virtually invisible, making them a popular choice among adults.
The Consultation Process
Before beginning any orthodontic treatment, it’s crucial to find the right orthodontist. Here’s an overview of the consultation process:
- Initial Consultation and Assessment
During your first visit, the orthodontist will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your dental health. They will discuss your goals, take X-rays, and create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
- Customised Treatment Plan
Your orthodontist will explain the recommended treatment options, including the type of braces that would be most effective for you. They will also provide a timeline for your treatment.
- Cost Estimation and Insurance Considerations
Understanding the financial aspect of orthodontic treatment is crucial. Your orthodontist will provide a cost estimate, and it’s essential to discuss insurance coverage and explore financing options.
Preparing for Braces
Before your braces are installed, there are some important steps to take. It’s essential to start with a clean slate. Practise good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing regularly. Your orthodontist may recommend a professional cleaning before braces installation.
Be prepared to make dietary adjustments during your treatment. Avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods that can damage braces. Opt for softer foods and maintain a balanced diet for overall dental health.
It’s common to experience some discomfort or soreness after braces are installed. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help alleviate discomfort.
The Braces Installation Process
Once you’re prepared, it’s time for the braces installation. The orthodontist will carefully attach the brackets to your teeth and thread the wires through them. They will secure everything in place and adjust the tension to start the alignment process.
As mentioned earlier, some discomfort is normal after installation. It’s temporary and usually subsides within a few days. Cold compresses and soft foods can help ease the discomfort.
Your orthodontist will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your braces. This includes information on brushing and flossing, as well as what to do in case of emergencies like broken brackets or wires.
Adjustments and Maintenance
Regular orthodontic appointments are a crucial part of your treatment. You’ll need to see your orthodontist for adjustments and progress checks. These appointments are essential for ensuring that your braces are working effectively.
Over the course of your treatment, your orthodontist will tighten and adjust your braces to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. This process is typically painless and helps you progress toward your goal.
Occasionally, you may encounter issues like broken brackets or wires. It’s important to contact your orthodontist for repairs promptly. Ignoring these issues can prolong your treatment.
Braces may impact your daily life in various ways. While braces are relatively unobtrusive, they can take some getting used to. You may find that certain activities, such as playing musical instruments or contact sports, require some adjustment.
If you lead an active lifestyle, discuss your activities with your orthodontist. They can provide guidance on how to protect your braces during physical activities.
In professional or social situations, braces should not be a cause for concern. They are becoming more common among adults, and most people won’t notice them.
Duration of Treatment
The average timeline for adult braces treatment can vary. Typically, adult orthodontic treatment can last anywhere from 18 months to three years. The duration depends on the complexity of your case and the type of braces you choose.
Various factors can affect how long your treatment takes, including the severity of your dental issues and your adherence to orthodontic instructions.
Understanding the financial aspect of adult braces is crucial: The cost of adult braces varies depending on factors like the type of braces, the complexity of the case, and your location. On average, you can expect to invest between $3,000 and $7,000.
Check with your dental insurance provider to see if they cover orthodontic treatment for adults. Additionally, many orthodontists offer financing options to help spread the cost over time.
Getting dental braces as an adult is a significant decision that can positively impact your dental health, confidence, and overall well-being. By understanding the reasons behind this trend, the types of braces available, the consultation process, and the necessary maintenance, you can embark on your journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile with confidence. Remember, your orthodontist is there to guide you every step of the way, ensuring you achieve the best results possible.