“I thought only kids needed braces” may be your first thought when you hear you need braces, but it is a common misperception that’s proving to be increasingly untrue. More adults are seeking out orthodontics to correct problems, such as crossbites, tooth gaps, and crowded teeth. If you are one of those adults, you undoubtedly have a list of questions about needing and wearing braces.
What types of braces are right for adults?
In general, there are four types of braces available to adults. Some of these braces are not suitable for all orthodontic issues; ask your dentist for your options for braces and what type of braces is right for your problem. For example, clear braces can correct minor alignment issues. Your dentist may also recommend other orthodontic appliances for treatment, such as an expander or retainer.
These braces are what most people picture when they think of braces. Metal braces are a series of stainless-steel brackets and rubber bands that correct issues by applying pressure. This process makes these braces an efficient option that can correct the issues faster than invisible braces. In contrast to traditional braces, modern metal braces are thinner than past braces versions. When wearing metal braces, you may need to avoid certain foods, such as popcorn and taffy.
Clear braces correct orthodontic problems with a series of customized removable clear trays that need to be worn for 20-22 hours a day. Unlike metal braces, clear braces can be removed. There are no food restrictions with clear braces, and brushing and flossing is normal. The trays may need to be cleaned; ask your dentist for information on cleaning the trays.
Ceramic braces also apply pressure, but are manufactured with a different material than the metal braces. These braces are made to blend in with your teeth and include white and clear bands. Ceramic braces may require more maintenance to ensure they do not discolor.
Lingual braces are installed on the back of teeth and are not a very common option for child or adult braces. Unlike other braces, lingual braces may take longer to install and can be difficult to clean.
How long do braces take to straighten teeth?
The amount of time needed to correct the issue depends on the degree of correction. Simply, it can take as little as 12 months to correct a minor issue or as many as 36 months for a more serious issue. In addition to braces, dentists may recommend other orthodontics (i.e. retainers, expanders, etc.) to correct issues. Contact an orthodontist to find out the extent of the issue and the recommended orthodontic solution.
How much do adult braces cost?
The cost of braces for adults varies and is dependent upon the treatment and the amount covered by insurance. Depending on the situation, the out-of-pocket costs can range from $3,000-10,000. It is always recommended to ask your dentist for a consultation to discuss your personal goals and options available to you.
How do I get adult braces?
Schedule an appointment with your dentist.
If you think you may need a correction, you may schedule a consultation or ask your dentist if orthodontics is needed at your next dental cleaning.
Get your new braces.
It’s exciting to start the journey towards a straighter smile! Since slight pressure is used to help the teeth shift, there may be a little discomfort with the addition of the braces. Before heading into the appointment, ask your dentist if you should expect any discomfort from the initial appointment. If so, he or she may recommend ways to ease it. Then, while at the appointment, you will find out how to clean and care for the orthodontics, as well as what foods to avoid.
Schedule maintenance appointments for orthodontics.
Ask the dentist how often you should come in for maintenance and follow-up appointments. There may also be orthodontics needed after the braces are removed. A retainer is typically made to be worn at night in order to maintain the correction.