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Why Get Braces as an Adult?

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Close up photo of happy girlfriend with dental braces looking at her unrecognizable boyfriend while sitting together in a living room.

Many adults opt to get braces to improve their smile and their dental health and smile. Misaligned teeth can lead to serious issues, such as uneven wear, difficulty in cleaning teeth properly, and even gum disease. Beyond the health implications, there’s also a significant confidence boost that comes with having a straighter, more appealing smile. As adults, we’re often in professional and social environments where appearances matter, and a great smile can make a positive impact.

How is orthodontic treatment different for adults?

Orthodontic treatment for adults can differ significantly from that for children or teenagers. Adults’ bones have stopped growing, which can make the treatment process slightly longer since the teeth are more firmly set in their structure. Additionally, adults are more likely to have conditions like diminished bone density, worn or missing teeth, or previous dental work such as crowns or bridges, which can complicate the movement of teeth. 

How can adults adjust quickly to braces?

Adjusting to braces as an adult can be challenging but manageable with the right strategies. Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial; this includes regular brushing and flossing around the braces to prevent food particles from accumulating. Using tools like water flossers and orthodontic brushes can help. Secondly, managing any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can alleviate soreness caused by the braces. Lastly, modifying diet to avoid hard and sticky foods will protect the braces and reduce discomfort.

What is the best type of braces for adults?

When it comes to choosing braces, adults have several options, each with its advantages. Your dentist will tell you which option/s are right for you:

  • Traditional metal braces are highly effective but are the most noticeable. 
  • Ceramic braces offer a less visible alternative as they blend in more with the natural color of the teeth.
  • Lingual braces, which are placed behind the teeth, are virtually invisible from the outside but can be more uncomfortable and difficult to clean. 
  • Clear aligners, like Invisalign, are a popular choice among adults due to their near invisibility and the convenience of being removable.

Is orthodontia for adults more expensive?

Generally, orthodontic treatment can be more expensive for adults than for children. Adults may require longer treatment times or more specialized care, both of which can increase costs. Additionally, adults are less likely to have orthodontic coverage in their dental insurance, potentially leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses. Other plan types, such as dental savings plan can reduce the cost of braces for adults (and children) and are worth looking into. 

See how much you can save with a dental savings plan.

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Are there cosmetic treatments that can replace the need for adult braces?

Talk to your dentist about veneers, thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth. Veneers can address minor misalignments, gaps, and uneven teeth shapes, offering a quick transformation to a perfect smile. Although they don’t correct the position of teeth like orthodontic treatments, veneers can be an excellent solution for adults looking for aesthetic improvements without the time commitment of braces.

Bonding is another simple procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to teeth to improve their appearance. It can be used to fill gaps, fix chips, or make teeth look more uniform. Unlike veneers, most bonding doesn’t alter the underlying tooth structure, but it can significantly enhance the smile’s appearance for adults considering cosmetic enhancements.

Does dental insurance usually cover adult orthodontia?

Coverage for adult orthodontics varies significantly between different dental insurance plans. Many plans do not include orthodontic treatment for adults as they consider it a cosmetic procedure. However, some insurance plans do offer partial coverage, which can reduce the financial burden. 

Do dental savings plans usually cover adult orthodontia?

Dental savings plans are a viable alternative to traditional dental insurance, especially for orthodontic treatment. You pay an annual fee to join a dental savings plan, and then gain access to discounts on virtually all dental services, often including braces for adults. Unlike insurance, there are no deductibles or maximum caps. Many adults find that dental savings plans provide substantial savings on orthodontic treatments – on average, orthodontia discounts can save plan members 20% off the usual cost of braces. 

There are plans that fit every dental care need and budget. The quickest way to find the perfect dental plan for your needs is with our online dental plan finder — just answer a few questions and you’ll receive a personalized plan recommendation in minutes. Want a quick peek at how much you can save on braces right now? Use our calculator below. 

Let’s see what you can save.

See how quickly your dental savings plan can pay for itself. We automatically add preventive care.

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