If you’re an adult dealing with crooked teeth or other orthodontic issues, you may be thinking: “What’s the point of getting my teeth fixed at my age?” Well, it’s never too late to seek orthodontic treatment, and for good reason: many orthodontic problems can lead to major issues later in life.
Types of Orthodontic Problems
Having so-called “bad teeth” means a lot of different things. At a certain age, a bit of discoloration or overlapping is common, but underbite, crossbite, deep bite, open bite, crowding, spacing and protrusion are cause for concern. These issues only get worse over time and will cause serious problems like gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and ear pain, as they progress. Advanced crowding and spacing make flossing and brushing less effective, which causes plaque and bacteria to build up more easily, thus quickening the decay of enamel. If your teeth seem bad now, they will be especially worse at the age of, say, 65 or 70. At that point, a common solution is pulling teeth or applying dentures.
Did You Say Dentures?
Dentures might seem like something only a geriatric person would need, but they are quite common. People who don’t take care of their teeth or seek orthodontic treatment at the right age (50 and younger) may require dentures sooner than expected. According to Oral B, both temporary and permanent dentures are implemented after a patient’s teeth are extracted. Impressions are made and dentures are created, usually out of porcelain and a metal framework. Dentures have to be removed and cleaned. Dentures must also be handled carefully, as they can be easily broken or lost. And dentures may make it more difficult to eat and enjoy certain foods.
Types of Braces for Adults
Teeth can move at any age, even if you had braces before. We have many braces for adults over 40 that can correct advanced orthodontic issues. With new technological advancements, braces can now treat issues more quickly. And when it comes to aesthetics, most braces are very subtle and hard to notice.
Here are five of the best braces for adults:
- In-Ovation X – A low-profile bracket with robust clips that are easy for the orthodontist to adjust.
- In-Ovation Mini – The smallest, most subtle brackets of all. They have easy-open clips for simpler bracket management.
- In-Ovation L – This is a completely undetectable treatment option using archwires and interactive spring clips. They are very easy to adjust and hard to notice.
- “No Trace” brackets – These are known as the “brace without a trace.” They’re used for very minor anterior misalignments in adult patients. “No trace” work behind the scenes to correct your smile. They are quick to install, simple to adjust, and can’t be seen.
- Ceramic braces – Just like metal braces in shape and size, but ceramics have clear or enamel-colored brackets to blend in with teeth.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces are one of many orthodontic appliances that apply pressure to certain teeth to shift them into the right place. Braces are held together using archwires, clips, and brackets. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that all sets of braces are affixed directly to teeth and must be adjusted over time to cause teeth to shift into the desired positions. While most braces go on the front of teeth, “lingual” braces go on the back of teeth, making them more subtle. Some braces use small, colored elastic bands to add more pressure to certain parts of the mouth (If you’re looking for a fashionable pop of color, this is the way to go). Other braces are “self-ligating” and don’t require ligatures to hold wires in place.
Why Should I Get Braces?
Aside from avoiding dentures (and having all of your teeth pulled out to wear them), braces can give you better overall health. Once braces shift your teeth back to desired positions, you will be able to clean and brush them more easily. This can better prevent discoloration, gum disease, (gingivitis) and cavities. A great smile builds confidence and elevated self-esteem. Being able to smile without feeling ashamed or embarrassed is entirely achievable through treatment.
Confidence While Wearing Braces
It’s understandable if you are hesitant to wear braces as an adult. You may think it’s more common to see braces on the grinning face of a kid or a teen, but not an adult. But, today’s orthodontic treatments are light years from braces of the past. Now there are lighter, less noticeable, more comfortable options available. Understand that 1) certain types of braces for adults over 50 can be very subtle and hard to notice and 2) even if your braces are easy to see, they are only temporary. Within 12-18 months you can have a healthy, beautiful smile. Getting braces now means great results later.
Here are a few things to remember for adults wearing braces:
Add personality to your braces using colored brackets or bands.
Remember that choosing braces equals self-improvement.
You’re not the only one wearing braces or trying to fix their teeth.
Cleaner braces are even harder to notice, so brush and floss them regularly.
Focus on the results: if braces are shaking your confidence, think about how nice your smile will be.
Cost of Adult Braces
Insurance coverage and individual budgets vary from patient to patient, but the average cost of braces is usually above $3,000. Oral B lists the average price of braces as:
$3,000 to $7,000 for Metal braces (traditional braces)
$4,000 to $8,000 for Ceramic braces
$8,000 to $10,000 for Lingual braces
Don’t let the cost of braces deter you from having the smile you want. Most orthodontic practices work to get you the best prices and offer great financing options. It is also best to consider braces as a necessary medical expense and not a cosmetic luxury. An investment into braces will pay off tenfold in health benefits and mental wellbeing.
Orthodontic Retention Phase
Once braces come off, patients enter the “retention” stage, in which removable retainers must be used to ensure that teeth stay in their new positions and that the treatment lasts. This phase can take a minimum of 24 months and requires a committed self-care routine. Remember that retainers must be cared for just like your braces. Without maintenance, they can become damaged and dirty. They can also be easily lost. Consider the retention phase and retainers when opting for braces. Both are a necessary part of any treatment plan.
Contact Prentice Orthodontics
At Prentice Orthodontics, we believe a great smile is a key to one’s ideal self. Contact us anytime and we can answer all of your questions about braces. We also offer FREE, NO COST consultations at our comfortable, centrally-located Broomfield office. We offer payment plans and will work with your insurance provider to get the best price for your treatment. If braces don’t seem right for you, look at our other treatment options, see our FAQ or read our blog for more information. We look forward to making you smile.