It is not uncommon to see children with braces, but what about getting braces as an adult? Maybe you put off getting braces as a child, did not have the opportunity, or you need a second round. But at what point are you too old for braces?
Over 4 million people under 18 are wearing braces in the US. While there can be self-image reservations during the grip of adolescence, teenagers are certainly not alone when getting braces. But adult braces feel like a lonely affair, and it is tempting to cast aside the opportunity.
The good news is you do not have to give up. Read on for everything you need to know about braces for adults.
Age Limit for Braces
The short answer is that there is no age limit for braces. Adult braces are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, including in the US. 25% of orthodontic patients today are adults, and that number continues to grow.
Adult Braces Conditions
Although you cannot be too old for braces, you need to meet several conditions. One of the most important factors is that you have a strong jaw and teeth, so getting braces does not cause further damage. You are at risk of additional jaw issues, tooth decay, or gum disease if you have pre-existing conditions that will not tolerate adult braces.
You should also have permanent teeth. You will learn whether you meet these conditions at your adult braces consultation.
You may also have to get other dental treatments first before you can get your braces. For example, you might need a filling, wisdom tooth removal, or root canal before a dentist can install braces. Although this may feel like an inconvenience, it will increase the chance of successful treatment.
On occasion, people need surgery before getting braces, but teenagers and children are not exempt from this, either. Sometimes misalignments are complicated, so you need more than braces to achieve your desired results.
Reasons to Get Braces
There are many reasons to get braces, no matter how old you are. Some of the top reasons include:
- Crowded and misaligned teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Misaligned bite
- Pain or pressure due to misaligned teeth
Everyone deserves to smile with confidence. Although everyone has a beautiful smile, straight teeth can help you feel more confident. Plus, braces can contribute to better overall oral health.
Why Some Adults Skip Braces
You may be wondering why you do not see more adults with braces. Several factors cause people to skip getting braces. It is essential to consider these factors to help inform your own decision.
Some people have reservations about making adaptions to their lifestyle. You have to avoid certain foods if you have braces, such as popcorn, as there is a risk they will break the braces. You also should avoid certain drinks, as they can stain your teeth.
However, once you have adult braces, you become accustomed to changes quickly. You will only miss out on certain foods while wearing braces, but you will have the added benefit of straight teeth. It can also be a helpful way to make diet changes, such as reducing your coffee intake.
Length of Time
On average, braces take longer for adults than children. Specific time lengths depend on the extent of the problem, but some adult braces last for two years.
However, if you follow your dental plan, such as wearing elastics and avoiding certain foods, you can avoid wearing braces longer than expected. For many adults, straight teeth have been a dream for some time. So to wait a little longer with braces is only a slight inconvenience.
Plus, you quickly get used to braces, even if it feels weird at first.
Physical and Social Factors
There can be some discomfort with braces, especially when you first get them. Some adults also feel pain about wearing braces. While you are not too old for braces, braces can certainly make you look younger.
However, you will have the teeth you dream about by the end of treatment! Plus, there are many different adult braces options now, which are less uncomfortable and noticeable.
Options for Braces as an Adult
There are several options for braces as an adult. However, sometimes you have to get a specific type of braces to fix your orthodontic issues.
Some common types of adult braces include:
Metal braces are the traditional braces, but they can also be tooth-colored ceramic. However, they have come a long way since their origins.
Usually, you have metal or elastic bands on the teeth to connect the brackets. Metal and ceramic braces offer some of the quickest treatment times, but they are more noticeable.
You may have heard about Invalisign. It is a popular option as you can remove the trays when eating. Plus, the trays are barely noticeable.
There are also other clear aligner options, too.
Lingual braces are like traditional braces but are attached to the back of your teeth. This option is not noticeable, but it is not always an option, especially if you have a complex orthodontic issue. Lingual braces can also be more costly.
Cost of Braces for Adults
The cost of adult braces depends on several factors, such as the type of braces you have and the length of treatment. Typically, these are the cost breakdowns of different types of adult braces:
- Metal or ceramic braces: $4,000-$8,000
- Clear braces: $4,000-$7,000
- Lingual braces: $8,000-$10,000
On average, you can expect to pay a minimum of $5,000. However, costs can reach $10,000 or above. You may also find cheaper options, but always use a reputable orthodontist. Otherwise, you could end up with more costly issues.
Getting Braces as an Adult
Now you know there is no age limit for braces as an adult. If you are willing to invest time and money, getting braces as an adult can be extremely rewarding and life-changing. The next step is to find a reputable orthodontist to assess and plan your treatment.
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