It seems nearly everyone is sporting colorful metal brackets on their teeth during their adolescence and teenage years. Most people don’t even think twice about a child or adult getting braces.
But experts are starting to worry, as new evidence shows that human jaws are slowly shrinking. This leads to a host of issues such as overcrowded teeth, malocclusions, and impacted wisdom teeth.
If you missed the fun of braces during your teenage years, you might wonder if invisible braces for adults are worth it. Bright metal brackets may look adorable on a twelve-year-old, but maybe not so much on a thirty-year-old.
Luckily, invisible braces are an option for you as an adult, and we are here to tell you more about them. In our article, we will go over two types of invisible braces and why you might need them!
What Are Invisible Braces for Adults?
There are two types of invisible braces:
- Clear ceramic braces
Most times, when orthodontists and dental experts refer to invisible braces, they are talking about the second option: Invisalign. Clear ceramic braces are another option for adult braces with clear brackets that make them almost imperceptible.
Since they are less noticeable than traditional metal brackets, many adults or teens self-conscious about braces may opt for this solution. Invisalign is a popular option for getting braces as an adult for a few reasons, such as:
- Less pain than traditional braces
- No brackets
- No food or drink limitations
- Advanced technology
- Reduced gum sensitivity
Instead of brackets glued to your enamel, Invisalign uses retainers customized to your teeth that you will change out approximately every one to two weeks. The steady changes make it less painful on your teeth than brackets.
Braces for Adults Cost
Both Invisalign and ceramic braces will be more costly than traditional braces. The downside of ceramic braces over Invisalign is that you will still deal with gum sensitivity, and people will notice the brackets if they are close enough.
Invisalign is gentler and ideal for clear braces for adults, but they can be more expensive. The keyword here is “can.”
Every dental clinic may have different prices, and insurance coverage can affect your out-of-pocket costs. On average, metal brackets cost $3,000 to $7,000 and often fix more severe bite issues.
For minor cosmetic or bite problems, Invisalign could be on the lower end of its average cost spectrum. Invisalign costs vary from $1,800 to $9,000.
Do You Need Adult Braces?
How can you tell if you need braces or if it is more of a luxury? First, you will want to schedule an appointment with a skilled orthodontist. A professional can perform in-depth imaging and assessment regarding your bite, smile, and chewing.
Many adults simply don’t like how their smile looks. Cosmetic orthodontics is a growing field, and there are plenty of invisible braces options for you to fix minor imperfections. However, insurance usually will not cover cosmetic procedures.
On the other end of the spectrum are adults who need braces because of a bigger issue at hand. Here are some common reasons you may need to get braces as an adult:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Difficulty with oral hygiene (e.g., brushing, flossing)
- Significant overbite or underbite
- Poor speech quality
- Clicking jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Ideally, seeing an orthodontist as a child or teenager prevents overcrowding or poor bite alignment as the jaw continues growing. That doesn’t mean it is too late to get braces! Seeing a dentist or orthodontist for invisible braces can improve:
- Oral health
It can also benefit your overall health. As you improve your teeth alignment and follow oral cleaning guidelines, you will reduce your chances of gingivitis and gum disease. Experts found a link between gum disease and your risk for cardiovascular disease.
How Long Will You Need Braces?
How long you need braces depends on the severity of your bite or teeth issues. For simple cosmetic fixes, you may only need clear braces for a few months. Bite or malocclusions take a bit longer.
On average, people wear braces for about two years. However, the length of time you wear braces fluctuates between six and 30 months.
Food and Drink Limitations
Another question that adult patients often have is whether they will have limitations with what they eat or drink. The answer depends on the type of braces you choose.
Ceramic brackets have the same restrictions as colored metal brackets. Here are some examples of foods to avoid while wearing ceramic braces:
- Gummy candy
- Hard fruit
- Chunky nuts and seeds
These foods can get caught in the wiring and brackets, causing them to break or make them more challenging to clean. One of the primary benefits of using Invisalign is eating or drinking whatever you want.
Yet, that doesn’t mean you eat and drink with your retainer. Most experts recommend wearing your retainer for 20 to 22 hours daily and only taking it out to eat, drink, or clean your teeth.
Because it is removable, you shouldn’t run into snags with what you eat. And you can still drink water with your Invisalign in, but take it out for coffee, tea, or other drinks.
Start Improving Your Smile
Whether you want invisible braces for adults for cosmetic or functional purposes, there are several innovative options out there for you to discuss with your orthodontist. Invisalign is arguably one of the best choices for clear braces that work for almost everyone!
You can start noticing results within months, and you don’t have to adapt your diet to your new braces. If you have malocclusions or severe overcrowding, you may also qualify for insurance coverage.
Are you interested in getting started? Contact All About Braces today and find a location nearest you to start improving your smile!