We’ve seen an increase in adults coming in for orthodontic treatment. There are many reasons why people choose to get braces in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond…
Maybe it’s the never-ending quest for self-improvement…the desire to invest in themselves to feel good about themselves. Maybe they want to look younger or better groomed for a new job or career opportunity. Or maybe they just want to improve their appearance – period! Whatever the reason, there is no “right” age (nor wrong age) when you decide that now is the right time for you to do something positive for yourself!!
Here you can learn when braces for adults makes sense. Everything about the different variants and their costs. Also: these alternatives are available for straight & beautiful teeth.
Our teeth reveal much more about us than we can imagine.
With just a few glances, things like age, attractiveness, or general health can be read.
So it’s no wonder that more and more adults want straight, beautiful, healthy teeth – especially if they’ve struggled with crooked teeth as adults.
But is it worth it? The concerns at an advanced age to wear braces again are often great.
Why a tooth correction pays off in any case, you can find out here.
Reasons for braces in adults
Do you know this? Every time you look in the mirror and take a photo, the first thing you do is critically examine your smile for your teeth
Even teeth exude attractiveness – but they also possess health benefits.
If you are an adult suffering from crooked teeth, then you should at least seek advice on the various methods of straightening your teeth.
The benefits of braces treatments are clear:
- The teeth simply look much more even and make a healthy impression.
- For the most part, however, the benefits of straightening teeth go far beyond mere vanity.
The fact is: Crooked teeth, improper jaw positioning or an incorrect bite can cause a myriad of problems.
That’s why investing in braces is not only a contribution to the health of your mouth, but also a provision for your future.
Of course, appearance plays the most important role
We all know people with beautiful and less beautiful teeth. The effect that the appearance of our teeth has on other people is usually greater than we realize
Clean, healthy teeth not only contribute to our well-being, but also show the outside world that we are healthy and eating well.
Interesting: Scientific studies also show that your teeth significantly affect your self-confidence and physical attractiveness.
Why adult braces also affect health
While aesthetic reasons for braces are obviously not negligible, health benefits often have a far greater impact
- Some adults would have needed braces as children – however, families often could not afford this investment.
- Others have developed misalignments over the years, which can only be improved by correction.
Tooths sometimes still move with age. The natural growth of the chin or the removal of wisdom teeth can also lead to positioning problems.
Whatever your reasons for waiting so long, no one can actually afford to let dental and orthodontic problems go untreated!
Possible consequences of untreated crooked teeth
What many don’t know: The incidence of misalignment is just as high in adults as it is in children.
Some of the health risks that can result from crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or jaw misalignment are:
- Headaches and earaches
- Problems with chewing, speaking or biting to TMJ disorders
- Increased susceptibility to tooth decay and periodontal disease and bone erosion
When you consider all of these risks, you’re sure to quickly realize: Braces represent a valuable investment in long-term health – which is exactly why you shouldn’t hesitate to consider straightening your teeth.
Tooth misalignments often cause pain throughout the mouth.
These types of braces are available
One of the reasons braces are so popular among adults today is that dental technology has improved tremendously in recent years
You now have the option of choosing from several alternatives, whereas 20 years ago, uncomfortable metal braces were the only option.
You can find out which braces are particularly recommended and affordable below.
To correct malocclusions or gaps between teeth, there are many braces, which are permanently fixed. These include, for example, the well-known brackets.
- These are small metallic plates, which are glued to the surface of the tooth and then fixed with wires.
- This allows the teeth to be moved in one direction over a long period of time.
With the lingual technique, the dentist attaches the braces not on the outside, but on the inside. Thus, the braces are not visible to other people (invisible braces).
However, it is not uncommon for patients to complain of problems with speech during the initial period.
What to look out for?
Fixed braces are used quite often with adults, because this allows fixations to be precisely dosed and sometimes applied only to certain areas.
- This type of braces works very effectively because no removal is possible.
- So the effect is present on 24 hours a day!
Also here you should pay attention to an exact oral hygiene: Something can easily get caught in the fixed wires and brackets and lead to tartar.
Tip: A sonic toothbrush or ultrasonic toothbrush makes brushing much easier. Instead of flossing, you can also rely on an oral irrigator to rinse out food debris.
Braces that are fixed to the teeth used to be very expensive. Today, there are already some affordable options in this area. You can read more about the costs below.
Duration of application
For the most part, treatment with fixed braces takes less time than with the removable alternative.
On average, you can plan for about 2-3 years for the tooth adjustment. However, this also depends to a large extent on the degree of malocclusion.
- Positive to mention here are the fast treatment and the good results.
- At the same time, however, fixed braces are very noticeable and cause restrictions in oral hygiene and eating.
- The dental care usually takes a long time (at least if you do not have any of the above-mentioned aids.
For many, removable braces are the best option in teeth straightening. These braces can be removed while eating, drinking, or performing oral care.
- The teeth are moved in the desired direction by applying slight pressure.
- But this gentle method also requires prolonged use.
Until the teeth have shifted sufficiently and are halfway fixed, some time may pass. This often takes months or even years.
Don’t forget: Your dentist can tell you about all the types & exact costs of adult braces.
What to consider
A brace that can be removed, you must wear daily: because only regular use brings the desired result!
In addition, it is necessary to make adjustments to the brace at regular check-up appointments.
Tip: Even this form of braces does not come without sufficient care. However, it is practical that you can simply remove the frame from your mouth.
Removable braces are especially popular with adults. They are more inconspicuous and, for the most part, the less expensive alternative
Since braces can be removed and reinserted by the patient himself, the duration of use depends heavily on personal factors
- Generally, there is an active phase here, during which the alignment of the teeth changes
- and a retention phase of about 1 to 2 years, during which teeth should be kept in place.
Some models you only need to wear overnight. In general, however, the longer the daily wearing time, the better!
Advantages or disadvantages
- The practical thing about removable braces is that you do not have to reckon with any restrictions in oral care or eating.
- In addition, it allows treatments at a young age, for example, for the milk teeth.
- Unfortunately, however, this alternative requires longer treatment times and is sometimes heavily dependent on the assistance of the patient.
Which material to use for braces depends on the condition of your teeth, as well as the cost.
These dental regulators are also known as multi-band braces. Colloquially, you may know this form as brackets. For many, this is what the nightmare of any brace looks like
- Braces made of metal are mainly used in the treatment of very crooked teeth and severe malocclusions their application.
- Today, the brackets are much smaller and no longer enclose the entire tooth with wire.
Although today the color of many components of the brackets can be customized to your own liking, this method still remains one of the most noticeable.
Often, these braces made of ceramic do not differ much from the models made of metal.
- They have transparent or even tooth-colored brackets. Even the wires you can customize the color.
- The great advantage of these ceramic braces is also that they are much more inconspicuous in everyday life than metal braces.
The frames in the mouth are not so eye-catching, because they resemble the natural tooth color and can be seen only at 2nd glance.
This is reflected in the price for this.
In this form of fixed braces, the metal clasps can be attached to the inside rather than the outside.
- Of course, the advantage here is that no one can tell that you are wearing braces.
- Also, the lingual braces are more likely to be classified among the costly alternatives.
In addition, the wires and brackets are not so easy to clean because of the non-insight location. Many patients complain of pain during the initial period.
Tip: Here you can learn how to optimally clean the interdental area.
Clear plastic aligners (Invisalign)
These newfangled braces are among the clear braces, which is why they are especially popular with adults. Unfortunately, these benefits come at a higher cost.7
How it works: The doctor initially attaches several fitted, clear plastic braces. Every few weeks, patients receive a new, modified mouthpiece that aligns their teeth.
This is how it works.
What does health insurance pay?
Mostly the statutory insurance does not cover the treatment with braces for adults. Therefore, it may pay to take out supplementary insurance.
Generally, the cost of braces is based on the individual case:
- The duration and expense of the treatment
are taken into account.
- And also what materials find their application.
If a treatment of the complete dentition is necessary, the process can take two to three years and cost several thousand euros. Here, a personal conversation with the dentist will help.
Additional dental insurance
As with most insurance policies, the following also applies when taking out supplementary dental insurance: the younger the insured, the cheaper the tariff.
How high the price actually is often depends on the included benefits. Many adults are primarily concerned with coverage for the following:
- Services for orthodontics
- Costs for dentures
Nothing is as expensive (and annoying) as replacing a tooth that has suddenly fallen out. Treatments of this kind are often associated with complicated and lengthy measures.
This quickly results in very high costs for you as a patient.
Thanks to a supplementary insurance, the co-payment can at least be reduced (and in some cases completely avoided).
Alternative to braces for adults
Basically, it is not possible to influence the growth of your teeth to any great extent (at least with natural methods)
The position of your teeth depends on many things, which cannot be easily changed as an adult: such as genes, but also childhood behaviors (thumb sucking).
Tip: You can read detailed information about other alternatives here: Straight teeth without braces. Below I briefly summarize the most important.
- The only option, which always offers itself to protect your teeth, is to take good precautions.
- This begins in childhood – and with the dental care or oral care of your baby.
There are also a few other measures you can take:
White teeth removed in a timely manner!
In adulthood, wisdom teeth in particular also have a strong influence on changes in the mouth.
When they fight their way to the surface, they can shift the other teeth in the mud.
Tip: Especially if wisdom teeth are growing crooked or across, you should talk to your dentist. Early x-rays can also give you clarity.
If it is then so far that the wisdom teeth appear, do not put off the removal for too long! This way, unnecessary pain and other complications can be avoided in advance.
Cosmetic tooth correction
Another option for irregular teeth can be a cosmetic treatment of the teeth with the help of veneers.
- These are small plastic trays that are attached to the front of the teeth and provide that famous Hollywood smile.
- Veneers not only improve the shape of teeth, but also make them look brighter. They are therefore a popular way to get white teeth.
However, this form of tooth correction is only suitable for less pronounced problems and slight misalignments.
- Hereby, parts of the enamel can be ground off or rebuilt by means of a tooth-colored resin.
- This treatment is generally only considered for adult patients, as the growth of the teeth must be completed.
In addition, the Venners are not a permanent solution! You may need to repeat treatments from time to time as the venners wear down over the years.
Summary: Adult braces
The preconception that only children and adolescents need braces has persisted
- Many adults live with crooked teeth and uncomfortable misalignments – and often even though they wore braces when they were younger.
- It is best to contact your dentist if you have a problem with the appearance of your teeth. The can almost always help you with reliable advice.
Besides the apparent aesthetic reasons and health benefits, however, there are other reasons why braces can be a good decision:
We live longer
Life expectancy in German-speaking countries remains very high.
- In 2010, it averaged 77 years for men and 82 years for women.
- With certainty, you would also like to keep your teeth in the best case until old age.
That’s why it makes sense to straighten crooked teeth and especially malocclusions not to take lightly. So you can still enjoy a healthy bite and good teeth in old age
Today’s braces are simply better!
Braces themselves have also evolved and improved over the years
Today, getting your teeth straightened no longer means living with an inhuman amount of metal in your mouth.
- The braces are smaller, more inconspicuously applied and more comfortable.
- Ceramic braces are preferred because of their cosmetic aspects.
- Plastics trays (Invisalign) are also particularly popular among adults.
These transparent braces are made of plastic and can be easily put over the teeth. There are no restrictions on cleaning or eating.
In short: Thus, it is less painful to wear braces (and often cheaper as well)
Because you can better afford it today
Maybe your parents simply couldn’t afford to straighten your teeth when you were a child – despite bad teeth.
In all likelihood, you yourself find this easier to do at certain points in your life.
As mentioned earlier, braces are not that expensive these days – if only because there are several alternatives available.
Tip: Many dentists offer special financing options or advise their patients regarding insurance.
- Don’t hesitate to contact a professional for malocclusions and seek professional help.
- The sooner they ensure straight teeth, the less expensive (and painless) the treatment usually is.
- Untreated crooked teeth can namely lead to all kinds of problems such as tooth decay & tooth cavities.
In addition, periodontal disease or gingivitis can occur more easily. It’s best to start doing something good for your teeth today
Tip: In addition to visits to the dentist, you can also spruce up your teeth with proper dental care.
Just browse this page to learn more about the right electric toothbrush, mouth rinses, floss, or just the right toothpaste.