Let’s get right to the point: No, it isn’t too late to consider braces no matter what age you are!
The majority of people with braces or aligners are indeed young people. Still, there is no dental reason that prevents adults from considering orthodontic treatment for crooked, crowded teeth, or bite problems. The belief that orthodontic treatment is just for kids is a common orthodontic myth.
In this article, we dig into the topic of orthodontic treatment for adults, including the advantages adults have in choosing orthodontic treatment. We will also discuss some things to consider if you choose braces in adulthood.
Adult Orthodontic Treatment Has Some Advantages
You may have missed out on having braces when you were younger but there is no reason not to consider it now. In fact, adults have some advantages:
There Are More Options Today
Braces looked the same for many years: Metal brackets, wires, and rubber bands. Then came bands in various colors, but the “metal mouth” look stayed the same for a long time. Today, however, there are several types of braces to consider.
One of your choices is ceramic braces that match the color of your teeth. There is also lingual braces, which are metal braces that do their work on the inside of the teeth where they are unseen. And the most dramatic change in teeth straightening has been the development of clear aligners, like Invisalign, that are practically invisible on your teeth.
None of these other kinds of braces were likely available when you were teenagers. You now have many more options today than you would have when you were younger.
Adults Are More Likely to Follow Instructions
There are several reasons for this. You are probably arranging payment for your braces, so you have a financial investment to protect. Adults also tend to follow their regular oral health routine more closely than teens or children. You understand its importance and have the life experience to know what happens if you don’t adhere to such a daily routine.
When you have braces, you know you must stay away from certain foods, like sticky and hard foods. You probably won’t have many broken wires or brackets. Or if you choose clear aligners you know that it’s critical to leave the aligners in unless you are eating, brushing, or cleaning them. You won’t be threatening your timetable for completion by taking the aligner out at night to sleep, for example.
Adults Are More Motivated to Reach Their Goals
Most adult patients are more likely to complete treatment successfully. Getting braces isn’t a decision being made for you by someone else. Maybe you are uncomfortable in social or business situations because of crooked teeth or a bite problem. The appearance of your smile may cause you to cover your mouth.
You are taking this step for some personal reason that is important, so you are more apt to follow through. You look forward to the day when you feel more confident with a new smile and will tolerate the braces to get there.
Adults Follow a Good Oral Health Routine Already
As an adult, you are likely to continue with a solid routine of daily brushing and flossing that has been in place for a long time. As mentioned above, you understand what can happen if you don’t follow a good dental routine every day.
The addition of wires and brackets will make this routine more challenging and it will take diligence to brush and floss around them. If you choose clear aligners, you will need to adhere to a schedule of taking them out to brush and floss, as well as taking the time to clean the aligners, too.
Your teeth are important aesthetically as well as being crucial to your overall health. Congratulations on taking this step to build a better smile!
Let’s take a look at what you can expect as you get started on your teeth-straightening adventure in adulthood.
7 Things to Consider As You Begin Your Journey With Braces or Clear Aligners
#1 – They May Be More Affordable Than You Think
The cost of braces or aligners is generally the first concern most people have. As with any other large purchase, do some research into the cost before making a decision. Ask a lot of questions. Take advantage of free consultations with orthodontists. Read reviews, both on providers’ websites, but also neutral online reviews. Take your time making this decision.
Take the time to research the costs for yourself and talk to a qualified orthodontist about what your treatment options may be. Remember, not everyone is a candidate for clear aligners.
There are dental insurance plans that cover some or all of the cost of braces for adults. You will pay less out of pocket with a dental insurance plan so look for one before you begin treatment. Ask the orthodontists you interview which plans they accept. Many orthodontists also have an in-house payment plan or can suggest a finance company they have a relationship with for their patients.
If you are considering braces or aligners for medical reasons or problems with speech, you are more likely to have the costs covered by your medical or dental insurance.
#2 – The Time Frame Is Probably Less Than You Think
No, your time with braces won’t be an extremely long-term commitment. The exact timeframe depends on the kind of braces you choose and the severity of the correction needed. But, technology today makes this a much shorter proposition than in the past. Plus, the technology continues to progress, so the time to completion continues to shrink.
The average time in braces for adults is between 14 and 26 months. Each case is unique, so there is some variation possible, but this gives you an idea of how long you may have braces. In the framework of your life, it is a small commitment to give you the smile you have wanted for many years!
#3 – There Are More Options for Types of Braces
As stated earlier, you will have more choices of braces. You can ask about the choices when you consult with the orthodontist and then work together to identify the type of braces or aligners that will work best for you.
Braces in general are also smaller than in the past. The wires are thinner and the metal brackets aren’t so wide on the teeth. Porcelain or ceramic braces are much less visible on the teeth and lingual braces fit on the backside of your teeth.
Clear aligners are made from durable, yet invisible, plastic and make straightening your teeth much less noticeable. You’ll receive all of the aligners you need at the beginning of your treatment plan, which means fewer visits to your orthodontist.
#4 – Your Overall Dental Health Will Improve
When your teeth are crooked or crowded, most people are only concerned about improving the appearance of their smile. It’s also important to note, though, that misaligned teeth put you at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Food hides between your teeth and is sometimes missed when brushing or even flossing. Straightening your teeth makes this less likely, so your overall dental health improves. Your teeth are easier to brush and floss, which means you will avoid the build-up of tartar and plaque.
There is even more at stake. Your dental health affects your overall health, too. Bacteria hiding between your teeth can get into your bloodstream and lead to heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases. If your teeth are straight and easy to clean, your dental health, overall health, and longevity are all impacted.
#5 – You’ll Enjoy Enhanced Confidence
Confidence matters. A positive self-image helps in all aspects of life, no matter your age. You will participate more in life when you feel comfortable talking with those around you. Without it, people will interact with you differently and generally not in a positive way. Avoiding eye contact and covering your mouth when laughing or talking sets the tone for how others treat you.
Investing in yourself by having your teeth straightened will pay off in increased confidence for the rest of your life.
#6 – It’s More Convenient Than You Think
Getting braces is more convenient than ever before. Orthodontic practices are equipped with the most advanced diagnostic/X-ray technology and treatment solutions. The 3-D digital technology used to create your braces and aligners offers precise measurements of your mouth so that your braces are right when you get them.
During your treatment plan, you only have to visit the orthodontist’s office every 4-8 weeks. The appointments to check on your progress can last around 20 minutes once your braces are in place. If you use clear aligners, the office visits are even fewer.
If you have questions or concerns about your braces, many orthodontists offer virtual appointments. This saves a great deal of time for both you and your orthodontist.
#7 – Get Ready For Your Great Smile
When the day comes to remove your braces, get ready to see your dazzling new smile! Even though the entire process has become much easier, you can still breathe easier now that it’s over. Even though you decided to get braces much later than many people, it will all be worth it and you will be happy that you did!
Start the Journey to Your New Smile Now, Even as an Adult!
It is never too late to get braces or clear aligners. In fact, there are some advantages for adults who decide to start the process later than most people. Plus, the technology for braces and aligners has improved significantly since you were a young person, so the entire experience will most likely be easier now.
White Plains Orthodontics is the trusted local orthodontic specialist. We help children, teens, and adults get a straight, healthy smile that they will be excited to show off. Let us show you what we can do for you.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!