Adult Braces: Everything You Need to Know

March 7, 2024

Braces aren't just for teens anymore. Many adults are now getting braces to improve their smiles and dental health. Thanks to dental technology advancements, there are many options for adult braces, catering to different needs and lifestyles. 

Getting braces as an adult can boost your confidence and quality of life, showing that it's never too late for personal improvement. The journey might have its challenges, like choosing the right braces and managing treatment, but the benefits— a better look and improved health—make it all worth it. 

So if you think about getting adult braces, this blog is for you. We tell you all you need to know about this orthodontic procedure.

Why Adults Get Braces

The decision to opt for adult braces is driven by a variety of compelling reasons, highlighting a shift towards prioritizing dental wellness and aesthetic refinement in adulthood. 

Unlike the common misconception that braces are just for cosmetic enhancement, many adults are seeking orthodontic treatment for health-related issues that, if left untreated, could lead to more serious dental problems down the line.

Health Benefits and Functional Improvement 

One of the primary motivations for adults considering braces is the significant health benefits. 

Misaligned teeth or a problematic bite can contribute to oral health issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and difficulties in chewing and speaking. 

Correcting these issues with braces not only improves oral health but also enhances the functionality of teeth, making everyday activities more comfortable and efficient.

Cosmetic Appeal and Confidence Boost 

In today's visually oriented society, having a confident smile plays a crucial role in personal and professional interactions. 

Adults are increasingly aware of how their smile can impact their confidence and social perceptions.

 Braces offer a pathway to achieving an aligned, attractive smile, thereby boosting self-esteem and improving one's quality of life.

Correcting Long-Standing Dental Issues 

Many adults did not have the opportunity to correct dental issues during their youth, whether due to financial constraints or other reasons. 

With increased financial stability in adulthood, they are now able to invest in orthodontic treatment to correct long-standing dental issues, leading to a healthier and more attractive smile.

Types of Braces Available for Adults

The landscape of adult orthodontics has significantly evolved, offering a plethora of braces options tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of adults. 

Here are the types of braces you can get as an adult:

1. Traditional Metal Braces

Once the only option available, traditional metal braces have come a long way in terms of comfort and appearance. They consist of high-grade stainless steel brackets and wires that are much smaller and less noticeable than in the past. 

Despite their visibility, they remain a favored choice for their effectiveness in treating a wide range of orthodontic issues.

2. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces offer a less conspicuous alternative to metal braces, with brackets made from a clear or tooth-colored ceramic material. 

They blend in with the teeth, making them a popular choice for adults concerned about the aesthetic impact of braces. 

Ceramic braces provide the same level of effectiveness as metal braces but require more attentive care to avoid staining.

3. Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, represent the forefront of orthodontic innovation, offering a virtually invisible way to straighten teeth. 

These custom-made, removable trays are worn over the teeth, gently moving them into the desired position over time. Clear aligners are favored for their aesthetics and the flexibility they offer, allowing patients to remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing.

Each type of braces comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, making it important for adults to consult with an orthodontist to determine the best option for their specific needs and lifestyle. 

The Process of Getting Braces

The journey towards a healthier, more aligned smile with adult braces involves several key steps. 

Initial Consultation

The first step in the process of getting adult braces begins with an initial consultation with an orthodontist. During this visit, the orthodontist conducts a thorough examination of your teeth, jaws, and oral health. 

This may include X-rays, photographs, and digital scans to create a detailed picture of your dental structure. The goal is to assess the specific needs and develop a personalized treatment plan that outlines the type of braces most suited for you and the estimated treatment duration.

Customization of Treatment Plan

Based on the initial assessment, the orthodontist customizes a treatment plan tailored to your unique dental needs. 

This plan considers the best type of braces for your situation, whether it's traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, or clear aligners. The plan also includes the length of treatment, which can vary depending on the complexity of the dental issues being addressed.

Placing the Braces

The next step is the placement of the braces. This procedure is typically painless and involves attaching the chosen type of braces to your teeth. For traditional braces, brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth, connected by a wire that is periodically adjusted to gently guide the teeth into alignment. 

For clear aligners, a series of custom-made, removable trays are provided, each to be worn for a specified period before moving on to the next in the series.

Regular Adjustments and Maintenance

Throughout the treatment, regular visits to the orthodontist are necessary for adjustments and to monitor progress. For traditional braces, this often involves tightening the wires or changing bands, which gradually move the teeth into the desired position. 

For those with clear aligners, these visits may involve transitioning to the next set of aligner trays in the series. Proper maintenance and hygiene practices are essential during this phase to ensure optimal results and maintain oral health.

Removal and Post-Treatment Care

Once the treatment is complete, and your teeth have reached the desired alignment, the braces are removed. This milestone is followed by a post-treatment phase, which typically involves wearing a retainer to maintain the new position of your teeth. 

The orthodontist will provide guidance on how long and how often to wear your retainer, ensuring that the beautiful results last a lifetime.

Life with Braces: Tips and Advice

Adapting to life with adult braces involves a few changes to daily routines, but with the right tips and advice, managing these adjustments can be straightforward and stress-free. Here’s a guide to help navigate the journey of orthodontic treatment, ensuring comfort and optimal results.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is paramount when wearing braces. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean around brackets and wires. 

Interdental brushes and floss threaders are invaluable tools for removing plaque and food particles from hard-to-reach areas, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Eating Habits

Adjusting your diet is necessary to protect your braces and facilitate a smooth treatment process.

Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage brackets and wires. Opting for softer foods, especially in the days following adjustments, can help manage discomfort.

Dealing with Discomfort

It’s normal to experience some discomfort after getting braces and following adjustment appointments. 

Over-the-counter pain relievers, oral anesthetics, and cold foods or beverages can provide relief. Applying orthodontic wax to areas where braces rub against the inside of your mouth can also prevent sores.

Regular Check-ups

Keeping up with regular check-ups is crucial for monitoring progress and addressing any issues promptly. 

These appointments allow your orthodontist to make necessary adjustments and provide guidance on care and maintenance.

Protecting Your Braces

For adults involved in sports or physical activities, wearing a mouthguard is essential to protect your braces and mouth from injury. 

Choose a mouthguard that fits comfortably over your braces, offering protection without impeding your orthodontic treatment.

Cost and Financing Options

Orthodontic treatment represents a significant investment in your dental health and self-esteem, so it's important to have a clear picture of the financial aspects involved. Here's a breakdown of what to expect and how to navigate the financial side of adult braces.

Cost of Adult Braces

The cost of adult braces can range significantly based on the treatment type and specifics. Generally, traditional metal braces might cost between $3,000 and $7,000. 

Ceramic braces, offering a more aesthetic appeal, can range from $4,000 to $8,000. For those opting for lingual braces, which are hidden behind the teeth, prices can go from $8,000 to $10,000. 

Clear aligners like Invisalign are another popular choice, with costs typically ranging from $4,000 to $7,500, depending on the complexity of the case and treatment duration.

Insurance Coverage

Many dental insurance plans offer partial coverage for orthodontic treatment, including braces for adults. It's essential to review your insurance policy or speak with your insurance provider to understand what portion of the treatment cost may be covered. 

Some policies have age restrictions or limits on the amount they will contribute towards orthodontic care, so obtaining this information early can help you plan financially.

Payment Plans and Financing Options

Most orthodontic clinics understand the financial commitment involved in braces and offer various payment plans and financing options to make treatment more accessible. 

These plans may allow you to spread the cost of treatment over several months or even years, with or without interest, depending on the provider. 

Additionally, third-party financing companies specialize in medical and dental care loans, offering flexible terms to fit different budget needs.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), you may be able to use these funds to pay for a portion of your orthodontic treatment. 

These accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical and dental expenses, providing a cost-effective way to cover out-of-pocket costs.

Get Braces Treatment in Springfield & Branson, MO

Choosing the right orthodontic practice for adult braces is a pivotal step in your journey to achieving the perfect smile, and our office in Springfield & Branson, MO, is here to guide you every step of the way. 

We pride ourselves on being the leading provider of adult braces in the area, offering a blend of expert care, personalized treatment plans, and the latest in orthodontic technology. Our experienced team understands the unique needs of adult patients and is committed to making your experience comfortable and effective.

Understanding the financial aspect of orthodontic treatment, we provide flexible financing options to ensure that achieving your dream smile is within reach, without the burden of financial stress. Our clinics in Springfield and Branson are conveniently located and designed with your comfort in mind, making your orthodontic journey as seamless as possible.

Take the first step towards a confident, radiant smile by trusting us for your adult braces treatment. Schedule your smile assessment today and discover why we are the best choice for adult braces in Springfield & Branson, MO.

Get in Touch!

(417) 888-3030

1524 E Bradford Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65804

(417) 337-8020

203-C Buccaneer Blvd. Branson, MO 65616

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