An Extensive Guide on Adult Braces (No You’re Not too Old)

Do you have gaps between your teeth or crowded teeth? Do you have an underbite or overbite that seems to be worsening? Believe it or not, there are a number of advantages to investing in adult braces. A straighter smile, improved oral health, and better speech are all benefits you can look forward to when your treatment is completed. Here’s an extensive guide on what to expect.

1. Types of Braces

Adults who know they need braces can tend to avoid an initial orthodontic consultation because of the image they bring to mind.  You know you’re a long way removed from a teenager with a mouth full of gear.

Yet today’s orthodontic world offers so much more than the traditional metal braces option. These do, however, remain a popular choice as they’re the least expensive braces type. They are also one of the shortest treatments available.

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional braces in that they require brackets and wires. Yet they are often clear or tooth-colored, so it won’t be as obvious that you’re wearing them. Ceramic braces are a bit more expensive than traditional metal options, and they may require a bit more cleaning because food that gets stuck can be quite visible.

Many of today’s adults also appreciate the magic of Invisalign. These clear plastic aligners get changed out every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift into place.

Invisalign is more expensive than metal options. Many adults, however, enjoy the fact that they can eat and drink almost anything because aligners can be removed.

Lingual braces are the most expensive option. These brackets get placed on the inside of the teeth. They are almost invisible braces type but they could cause temporary speech problems.

2. Cost of Braces

The cost of braces can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll probably have the option of paying them off a little each month as you would any other necessary budget item.

Generally, traditional metal braces cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000. Ceramic braces can cost anywhere between $4,000 and $8,000, and Invisalign can cost between $4,000 and $7,400. Finally, an entire lingual braces treatment can cost as much as $10,000.

The actual overall cost of your braces to you will depend upon your insurance benefits, as well as the amount of time you’ll need to wear them. You’ll also pay more in urban areas than you will in rural neighborhoods.

3. Making Braces Affordable

The price of braces can seem overwhelming at first. With a little homework, however, you may be surprised at how you can make them fit into your budget.

Ask your dentist about 0% interest options if you finance your braces with their office. You may be able to pay them off a little each month. Or your orthodontist may give you a discount for paying for your entire treatment upfront.

If you’re a veteran, firefighter, or police officer, see if you can find an office that will give you an extra discount.

While your health insurance probably won’t pay for adult braces, your dental insurance may be able to pay for at least some of the cost. If you aren’t insured for dental work, check with your HR or benefits department to see if there’s an option available. Many dental insurance options will cover part of the downpayment as well as some of the treatment costs.

4. HSAs and FSAs

Some people also make orthodontic work affordable through Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s.)

An HSA is usually owned by your employer and works as part of your overall insurance plan. It allows you to put aside a certain amount from your paycheck each month, thus increasing your take-home pay. The funds can be used to pay for health needs that include cosmetic dentistry, vision needs, and co-pays.

An FSA is sometimes offered by employers who don’t have HSA options. These are similar to HSAs in that you’ll be able to put aside tax-sheltered money each month that can get used for paying your braces.

FSA accounts, however, do not have the same flexibility as HSAs. If you don’t use your funds in a year, you’ll lose them. With an HSA, you’re allowed to roll over unused monies from year to year.

The Benefits of Adult Braces

Adult braces may seem like a big investment, but their advantages make them well worth it.

Your straight smile and healthy-looking teeth could make the difference between feeling confident and feeling embarrassed. A straight, well-cared-for smile could be the thing that boosts your self-esteem and inspires you to live a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, braces can improve your oral health. Straighter teeth with fewer gaps will be easier to clean and less likely to have dirt and food trapped between them. This could lead to fewer cavities, as well as a lower risk of periodontal disease such as gingivitis.

Other patients find that braces helped to correct their speech impediments or reduce their grinding problems.

The benefits of braces extend far beyond your physical appearance. If you’re ready to get serious about your oral health, adult braces are an attractive investment.

An Extensive Guide and a Little Research

By now you’ve realized that adult braces may not be as difficult to wear or afford as you thought. With a little help from our extensive guide, you can begin your search for the right orthodontist in your area. Your smile will be thanking you for decades!

Don’t stop getting smart about your smile now. For more information on quality orthodontic care for adults, contact us today.