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Braces serve as a rite of passage for many children, but adults are now also looking to get their own teeth fixed. This is commonly the result of skipping out on the metal trappings during their respective childhoods.

Adults seek the contraptions to fix their bites, straighten their teeth, and improve their overall smiles. Braces will, without doubt, follow form over function. Achieving a great smile, however, is more than just an aesthetic accomplishment. It’s easier to take care of your teeth when they’re well-aligned, especially if you don’t have those pesky nooks and crannies where bits of food always get stuck in.

These orthodontics benefits are what make braces popular among adults today, despite its rather stereotypical identity of being an aspect of childhood. If you’re looking to get braces, here’s a quick guide on what you should know.

Types of Braces

The main purpose of braces is to apply gentle but steady pressure around your mouth, which ultimately eases teeth crowding and moves them to desired places. Although there is a popular option that many people opt for, there are still other options from which you can choose:

  • Metal braces: These remain the most popular choice, especially for more complex cases. Seeing as they’re made with tiny stainless steel wires, they can fit into small areas where teeth are usually at their most crooked. For this reason, they’re more precise and can lead to better results.
  • Invisalign or clear aligners: Unlike metal braces, aligners are removable. Individuals are given the freedom to remove them as they wish, usually when it’s time to eat, brush, and floss. They need to be worn 20 to 22 hours a day, but most people opt for these contraptions as they are unnoticeable.
  • Clear or tooth-colored braces: Most commonly known as ceramic braces, these are essentially invisible, which makes them less intimidating for adults not fond of the idea of wearing braces. However, know that these tend to stain.
  • Lingual braces: Its name comes from how humans produce sound as they’re placed on the inner side of the teeth, right next to the tongue. This is best for patients who don’t wish to wear visible metal braces, but whose cases are complicated for more than just aligners.

Braces fall within the price range of $5,000 to $6,500 on average. Although pricey, in-house payment plans by your chosen provider will likely be made available, as well as possible discounts you can use. Dentists also encourage patients to check their health insurance, as orthodontic treatment is usually partially covered.

What to Expect

Due to the continuous breakthroughs in the healthcare industry, the traditional methods of orthodontics have shifted. Here are the key aspects you need to know:

1. Your gum health matters

Know that treatment through braces can be more difficult for adults. Children have thick and healthy gums, but they are compromised with age. Adults are more likely to suffer from bone loss or receding gums, so it’s crucial to have your gum health checked before starting with braces.

2. The process has evolved

The traditional mold-making process is different now, as digital x-ray technology offers a more advanced solution. The “goop” usually used to mold your teeth has been replaced and in its stead lies a technology-induced process that cuts back on radiation exposure, as well as the usual chemicals needed to make dental impressions.

3. Braces are now only worn for short periods

Wearing braces in the past lasted for years, but the average time for most cases now is just 17 months. For simple cases, such as eliminating small gaps in the upper teeth, it only requires as little as half a year. The complexity of the case drives the length of treatment, but the wear time has already been reduced.

Conclusion

It may seem a little too late for braces, but the adults benefitting from their effects beg to differ. As far as your health goes, it’s never too late to allow yourself to achieve that perfect smile. As long as your gums and bones remain healthy, your mouth will be able to withstand the effects and pressure of braces.

If you’re interested in receiving braces treatment, the professional staff of Dental House won’t let you down. Our local dentists in Ann Arbor provide patients with a safe and welcoming environment. Through our commitment and expertise, we’ll provide you with the best possible treatment for a perfect smile!

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