Orthodontic Treatments

Those researching orthodontics for themselves or their children may feel at a loss for information. They’ve heard it’s expensive, that metal braces are the only solution, and that orthodontics are just for children or teens. They’ve heard that you have to go back to the orthodontist often for regular treatments, that rubber bands pop off, that it’s hard to brush with braces and wonder if it’s all worth it.

Much of this type of information is either not true or only half true. Most people only know about orthodontics from their own experience or listening to others. A lot has changed in the past 20 or 30 years so it’s a good time to do more research for the best options.

No Age Limit

One of the biggest misconceptions is that adults are too old to get orthodontics. That simply isn’t true. There is no age limit to straightening your teeth and getting the perfect smile. In fact, more adults are seeking orthodontics for themselves than ever before. Humana insurance reports that around 1 million American adults are wearing braces or clear aligners.

The one consideration for adults seeking orthodontics is your overall oral health. Dentists will want to make sure other issues, like broken or decayed teeth, are fixed first. They will want to treat any gum issues too. The only requirements to get orthodontics are that you have permanent teeth and a solid jaw bone.

Orthodontics Goes Beyond Braces

Orthodontics includes more than braces. Fixed braces is an all-inclusive term that covers traditional metal braces, clear braces, and lingual braces, among other types of appliances. Orthodontics also includes using clear aligners like Invisalign, removable braces or retainers, functional appliances, and headgear like night guards or sports mouth guards.

Treatment Lengths

The length of orthodontic treatment depends on each case and how many teeth need straightening. Those who need only slight movement can be finished with orthodontics in as little as six to 12 months. However, those with complicated issues may take up to two years to achieve straight teeth.

The type of appliance you use will also factor into the time it takes to achieve straight teeth. Lingual braces will take longer to work than metal or ceramic braces. Clear aligners may take longer as well since you have to change out to a new tray every two weeks.

You will need to go back to the orthodontics for regular exams and, depending on the method you are using, the orthodontist may need to adjust your appliances or change out clear aligners.

There could be cases where you may need an orthodontist to handle immediate situations too. Those who experience an archwire breakage or who have a brace come off a tooth will need an appointment. Braces that get damaged will need replacement.

Alignment Aggravations

Installing dental appliances or wearing them isn’t painful. However, depending on the type of appliance you use, some can be more aggravating than others. Those with elastic bands can experience them coming off or breaking. Some appliances don’t use rubber bands.

Self-ligating braces don’t use elastic bands to work. They have a spring-loaded device securing the archwire, so no rubber bands are needed.

Another complaint is how to keep braces clean. It does take more time to brush your teeth around appliances to get food out of crevices. One way to eliminate this is to watch what you need. Chewy or “tacky” foods, foods with small seeds like strawberries, and chewy foods like steak cause the most problems for those with braces. Avoiding these foods will go a long way to eliminating these problems.

You will need to take more time to brush but that’s a small inconvenience. Those who don’t want to change their diets to accommodate braces can go with a different option like removable braces or clear aligners.

Orthodontics Cost

The cost of getting that gorgeous smile can vary depending on how extensive the treatments are. Statistics put the average cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Insurance will often pay for orthodontics for children but not all will pay for treatments for adults. The final cost will also depend on where you live.

The good news is many orthodontists have financing options that go beyond insurance. Some are no-interest options and office managers are also aware of various programs that could help families get the orthodontics they need.

It never hurts to ask. There could be a solution like interest-free payments or a financing option that will work for you.

The best thing to do for those seeking orthodontics and who are concerned about the cost is to call us and talk to one of our friendly staff members. We can provide you with information on the cost and our options after a consultation.

Book a consultation today and start the journey to a perfect smile!