If you did not have braces as a child, you probably felt that you were getting away with something big. After all, braces are one of the most universally embarrassing parts of being a teenager, and nearly everyone remembers at least one instance of being teased or taunted for being a "metal mouth." However, as an adult, you may feel differently. Not getting braces early in life can lead to seriously crooked teeth which grow worse as you age. Fortunately, it is not too late. Adult braces are an option for anyone, but you need to understand all the ramifications of this type of adult orthodontic treatment before you invest in it.
Adult braces, just like juvenile braces, are designed to straighten and align teeth. Teeth need to be straight so that you can clean them properly and so that your gums will remain healthy. Adult braces correct misaligned teeth and can also repair spreading between the teeth that has occurred over the years.
Adult braces take longer to work because your mouth is no longer growing. As a result, your maintenance fees will be higher than they would be for a child or teen getting braces because you will require more office visits. However, you will probably also get better results than most young people who often neglect to wear their retainers and do other things that make the cosmetic and medical results of braces permanent. Generally, you will need to wear the braces for several years and go in for numerous checkups.
When you are thinking about getting adult braces, be sure to factor in the cost of any preparatory surgery that may be involved. Most children do not need this procedure because their mouths and jaws are flexible. As a result, if they do not have enough room for their teeth, a dentist can stretch their jaw so that it will accommodate them. However, adults' jaw cannot be stretched like this, so you may need to have teeth removed or have your jaw surgically altered, which can add several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of your braces, depending on your personal oral situation.
Many adults think that getting braces is no longer an option for them. They think that by neglecting the care of their teeth the first time around, they no longer have the option for a beautiful smile. However, people as old as 90 get braces and benefit from them immensely, as they are able to chew their food better and may even experience less indigestion.
One of the best things about adult braces is that they really do not have to be that expensive. If you have a relatively uncomplicated mouth, your braces could cost around $3,000. However, it is very important to get every single factor possible worked into that equation, and you also need to be prepared for emergencies. Work with your dentist to make sure that adult braces will work for you financially as well as cosmetically and medically.
Braces are a type of surgical procedure, although they take more time than most medical procedures. As with any medical operation, if you follow the directions of your doctor carefully, you are less likely to experience problematic complications. However, you must be financially prepared to deal with potential problems. If you cannot afford for anything to go wrong, then you cannot afford braces at this time.