With advancements in orthodontic technology, braces aren’t just for children and teenagers anymore. People of all ages can now benefit from braces. From invisible braces to traditional metal braces, adults who want to straighten their teeth and improve their oral health and self-confidence have many options.
Read on to learn more about why adults may consider braces, the different types of braces available, common questions and concerns, the cost of braces for adults, how long they take, and where to find adult braces in the Philadelphia area.
Everything You Need To Know About Adult Braces
If you’re thinking about getting braces or your dentist has told you that you should consider it because of your situation, you’re not alone. Research by the American Association of Orthodontists shows that one in four orthodontic patients are adults. Knowing what to expect can make you feel more comfortable if you move forward with adult braces.
Why Do Adults Need Braces?
Adults choose to get braces to fix under or overbites and teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or crowded. These can cause:
- Difficulties in chewing and speaking.
- Suffering from headaches and jaw pain (including TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders).
- Experiencing gum disease.
- Feeling less confident when they smile.
Orthodontic treatment can correct crooked or crowded teeth, bite issues, and other dental imperfections that may have been caused by genetics or years of improper care. They are also a wise long-term investment because they can help improve oral health and give adults confidence when they smile.
What Type of Dentist Handles Adult Braces?
An orthodontist is a specialist trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat misaligned teeth and jaws. An orthodontist like the ones at Penn Dental Family Practice (PDFP) can help assess the situation and determine which type of braces will work best for you.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces apply constant pressure to your teeth, slowly moving them into a better alignment. The type of braces used will depend on the severity of the misalignment and your personal preferences.
What Kinds of Braces Are There for Adults?
Braces have evolved over the years, and many different types are available to adults, including:
- Traditional metal braces. These are still popular for their affordability and effectiveness in realigning teeth.
- Ceramic braces. These use clear brackets to blend into the natural color of teeth and are less noticeable than metal.
- Invisible braces for adults such as Invisalign. These straighten teeth without any metal wires or brackets. They work by gradually shifting the teeth into place using a series of custom-made, clear aligners that are changed every two weeks. Invisible braces are the more expensive option, but they are also the most discreet and comfortable.
- Lingual braces. These are a type of metal brace fitted to the back of the teeth where they can’t be seen when smiling. While more expensive than traditional braces, it can provide an even more discreet option for adults concerned about their appearance while straightening their teeth.
You can read more about your adult braces options in Philadelphia here. Once you choose the braces that best suit your needs, your orthodontist will create a treatment plan. This plan will include an estimate of how long it will take for your teeth to be corrected and what kind of follow-up appointments you should expect. During treatment, you may need to wear elastics or headgear and regularly visit your orthodontist to adjust your braces.
How Long Do Adult Braces Have To Be Worn?
The length of time that braces will need to be worn depends on the type of treatment and the severity of the misalignment. Generally, metal braces take between 18 and 24 months, while plastic aligners such as Invisalign can take less time. Your orthodontist will provide you with a timeline for your treatment plan so you know what to expect.
How Are Adult Braces Cared For?
Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is important to ensure the best results. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for preventing plaque buildup and tooth decay while wearing braces. It’s also important to avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the braces or cause them to become loose. Adults should also attend regular checkups with their orthodontist to ensure the braces function properly.
Can You Be Too Old for Braces?
Age may only become an issue if the patient requires extensive treatment, such as surgery or other complex procedures. In this case, the orthodontist takes the patient’s overall health into account before any treatment is prescribed. However, most adults can benefit from braces regardless of their age.
What Is the Cost of Braces for Adults?
The cost of adult braces will vary depending on the type of braces you choose and the severity of your case. On average, traditional metal braces cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, while clear plastic aligners such as Invisalign can cost $8,000 or more. In some cases, dental insurance may help cover the cost of braces or require you to pay a deductible before coverage begins, so it is best to double-check with your insurer in advance.
At PDFP, rest assured we work with our patients to find a treatment and budget plan that works for them, including financing options, because we know how critical this investment in oral health and self-confidence is to our patients.
Where To Find Adult Braces in Philadelphia
PDFP provides premier orthodontic care as an essential part of our full line of oral health services. Our experts teach the next generation of dentists and practice the leading techniques in patient care. Penn Dental includes practitioners who also serve at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. If you are considering adult braces, you owe it to yourself to talk to a PDFP orthodontist.