Braces are for teens, right? Wrong! More and more people are getting braces in adulthood. After all, people of all ages want a beautiful, healthy smile. So to honor Self-Improvement Month all September, today we’re talking about adult orthodontics. If you’re past adolescence but aren’t 100% happy with your smile, here are some things to consider about getting braces as an adult.
It’s Okay to Take Your Time
Often times, adults are uncertain about whether they want to go all in with orthodontic treatment. It can take time to warm up to the idea.
For example, one of our adult patients, Eric, thought about it for quite a long time before taking the plunge. He had been bringing his daughter Marlowe in for her treatment and one time asked what I thought about his teeth, which showed crowding. I said I thought that correcting them could be pretty involved and might take up to 18 months to fully correct. That was too long, he said, and he dropped the subject.
But over the next few visits with his daughter, he asked more and more questions, slowly warming up to the idea. It wasn’t until the fifth time that he finally decided to do it. As it turned out, he was so motivated and came for checkups so often (every three weeks) that his treatment only lasted nine months!
If you’re not happy with the way your teeth look, start by asking questions and gathering information. There’s no need to make a decision right away. It’s normal to take your time when considering something that’s as much of an investment – in terms of time, money, and commitment – as getting braces.
What Adult Braces Entails
Time: For most adult cases, treatment lasts somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. Of course, this can vary widely depending on what needs to be done. If you’ve never had any treatment and have significant jaw and teeth issues to correct, treatment will be on the longer side. If you’ve had treatment in the past and just need to fix one or two teeth that have come out of alignment, you may be looking at just a few months. It really depends.
Money: Just as treatment times vary, treatment costs vary, too. The average retail price for a course of braces (both traditional braces and clear aligners, like Invisalign) is around $5,000. You may end up paying less if you have dental insurance that covers orthodontic treatment or if your orthodontist offers discounts for paying in full, which some do.
Commitment: Whether you end up getting traditional braces, Invisalign, or some other kind of appliance to correct your issues, you will need to commit to taking care of it and to being a responsible patient. That means showing up for all your appointments and following your orthodontist’s instructions for wear and care.
Discussing Your Options
If the idea of braces or other adult orthodontic treatment has crossed your mind, go and talk to an orthodontist. You owe it to yourself to find out what your options are. Many orthodontists offer a free initial consultation – we do – so you have absolutely nothing to lose. Every person at every age can reap the benefits of an incredible smile, and you can, too.