In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to have braces. Despite the cosmetic nature of the procedure, it’s almost as routine as getting a pair of glasses. However, braces are sometimes necessary for correcting poor bite alignment or fixing overlapping teeth, which can be hard to clean. While most people tend to have braces during their teen years, dentists are beginning to see more adults requesting the procedure. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over age 18.
If you want to align your teeth as an adult, here are five points to help guide you through the process.
1. Don’t be embarrassed. Plenty of adults wish they could have braces, but many will opt not to; not because of cost, but because of embarrassment. Although braces are typically a procedure completed during a person’s teen years, there is no rule preventing you from getting them later in life. In fact, you’ll most likely be more financially stable as an adult, and will be able to make the choice to purchase them for yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable with the appearance of wires on your teeth, ask us about invisible braces, Clear Correct. The clear, removable trays are custom to fit your teeth; they are switched every four to six weeks to alter your teeth’s alignment gradually.
2. Save up. Braces aren’t cheap, and more often than not, insurance won’t cover them. If you’re looking to align your teeth, you’ll need to start saving. Talk to a dental professional about the cost of the procedure; if it’s a bit out of your price range, ask about payment plans.
3. Get ready to wait. Braces usually take about one to two years to align teeth completely. However, this can vary based on a person’s case. If you’re not ready to make the time commitment (especially if you’ll be using removable Clear Correct trays), you may want to pass on the purchase.
4. Keep up care. Lots of people who get braces as teens tend to fall out of the practice of wearing their retainer. A retainer is a mold of your aligned, post-braces teeth which must regularly be worn (usually every night) to maintain your teeth’s new placement. Otherwise, the teeth might start to move back into their original places. Make sure you’re ready to keep up your teeth’s care, or you’ll end up wasting money on another set of braces!
5. Smile! Be prepared: You may not be able to help smiling at your newly aligned teeth!