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Adult Braces: How to Decide if They’re Worth It

Adult Braces: How to Decide if They're Worth It

Adult Braces: How to Decide if They’re Worth It

Around one million adults wear braces in the U.S. and Canada. And that number continues to climb as advances in braces make it easier for adults to straighten their teeth.

If you’ve always wondered about getting braces as an adult, read on.

We’ll look at the many reasons — including health reasons — why getting adult braces is a smart idea.

Braces Improve More Than Your Smile

A lot of people believe that straight teeth are a cosmetic luxury that doesn’t have any medical merit. That just isn’t true. The state of your teeth is directly connected to a person’s health.

When people have crooked or misaligned teeth, there are more crevices where food and plague can gather. Plague is the leading cause of gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to diabetes and heart disease.

The good news is, there are many treatment options for gum disease. But, you don’t want to be in the position of needing treatment.

Straight teeth are easier to clean and have fewer spaces where plaque can build up. In other words, straight teeth lower your risk of gum disease.

Misaligned teeth can also lead to gastrointestinal issues. When people are not able to chew their food properly due to an improper bite or missing teeth, they may end up swallowing food that has not been properly masticated.

You might be surprised to learn that a sore jaw and constant headaches could be caused by misaligned teeth. A chronic condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) occurs when crooked teeth place pressure on the joints in the jaw.

As a result, these jaw joints turn swollen and painful. Having braces as an adult fixes or prevents TMJ.

Having Crooked Teeth Is Linked to Lack of Confidence

The psychological effects of having crooked teeth run deep. A recent study involving 1,140 youth found that problems with a teen’s teeth led to certain psychosocial behavior that affected an individual’s self-esteem.

But that lack of confidence doesn’t go away when those teens reach adulthood.

Research shows that people with misaligned teeth smile less than those with a straight smile. Many are so self-conscious about their teeth that they avoid social interactions, public speaking and even avoid talking to other people.

If you feel self-conscious about the way your smile looks, having braces as an adult can give you new-found confidence that will last the rest of your life.

A Perfect Smile Improves How People Perceive You

Not only does the state of your smile affect your self-confidence, but it also plays a big role in how other people see you.

One study looked at people’s perception of men and women with straight and crooked teeth. During this study, participants were presented with images of various people. They were asked to state their opinion of each person.

The findings of this study were that those with a perfect set of teeth were seen as 45% more likely to get a job. This group of people was also seen as 58% more likely to be wealthy and just as likely to be successful.

Other research shows that almost a third of Americans say that a person’s smile is the first thing they notice about someone’s face. In fact, 38% of Americans would not go on a second date with a person who has crooked teeth. That’s a bigger percentage than those who wouldn’t consider dating someone who lives with his or her parents!

From making good first impressions to getting more dates, a smile full of straight teeth makes a big difference.

Braces Are More Affordable Than Ever

One of the biggest deterrent adults have for not fixing their misaligned teeth is fear of the cost. Especially if these individuals did not get braces as teens because their parents couldn’t afford them. But now you can!

These days, braces are more affordable than ever before. Many more medical and dental insurance plans pay partial costs of having braces. And, all orthodontic offices offer payment plans that make paying for your braces possible.

In fact, having braces could actually be less expensive than dealing with the consequences of misaligned teeth. The cost to have teeth extracted, fix cavities, fix cracked or chipped teeth, and fix gum disease can far outweigh the cost of braces.

All of these are less likely to occur in a mouth of straight teeth. If you have spent quite a lot of money on dental treatments as an adult, you may be surprised at the money you can save by fixing your teeth once and for all.

If you are a parent whose child also needs braces, you might save more by getting a bundle deal.

People Are Living Longer and Keeping Their Teeth for Life

Global average life expectancy went up by over five years from 2000 to 2016. This was the fastest life increase since the ’60s, according to the World Health Organization.

More people are living longer as a result of more people living in good health. It is not uncommon to see elderly people with all of their teeth.

Even seniors are opting to get braces later in life. The American Association of Orthodontists reports that there has been a rise of people who are in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s having braces.

Because people are expected to live longer, many adults and seniors are choosing to invest in a perfect smile and enjoy it for the rest of their lives.

Braces Are Less Noticeable Than Ever Before

There have been many advances in braces technology in the last several decades. Gone are the big, clunky metal brackets that you recall from your childhood friends.

Many options such as ceramic braces are hardly noticeable. Invisalign is a type of orthodontic treatment that is virtually invisible and is removable.

Now, we’ll cover the various types of braces in more detail.

Types of Braces

We already mentioned that there have been advances in the types of braces that are available. Now let’s look at each type of braces on the market so you can make an informed decision about which type would work for you.

Metal Braces

These days, there are still traditional metal brackets with wires. However, the brackets are now much smaller and less invasive than they were in the past.

These traditional style of braces are cost effective and get the job done.

Individual metal brackets are glued to each tooth and set by a UV light. A wire is strung across each bracket and tighten to pull or push the teeth into proper alignment by the orthodontist.

Each patient is different so there is no way to list a set amount of time that will be needed to correct your teeth. Your orthodontist may be able to give you an estimate.

Clear (Ceramic) Braces

Clear braces work in the same way as metal braces. The only difference is that instead of a metal bracket, each tooth has a clear or tooth-colored ceramic bracket.

From across the room and in photos, the braces are barely visible. This is a good choice for adults who are worried about drawing attention to their mouths while they have orthodontic work done.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are one of the newest types of braces that are not visible when you smile.

Lingual brackets are attached to the back of the tooth instead of the front as with traditional braces. This type of braces has been growing in popularity in the past few years.

When you smile or talk, the braces are invisible to anyone facing you. If someone stood over you to look into your open mouth, they would be able to see the lingual braces, but, why would anyone need to do that?

These braces work just like traditional braces with brackets and wires, yet lingual braces are smaller and custom-fit to your teeth. While traditional brackets are all the same size, lingual brackets are uniquely fitted to the size of your teeth.

People who wear lingual braces report that there is a short adjustment period during which you get used to having brackets touching your tongue. However, after a few days, most people don’t notice they are there.

Your orthodontist will give you wax that you can use on top of the brackets to protect your delicate cheeks and tongue from getting cut on the metal.

These types of braces require a little more maintenance because it is harder to see if there is food stuck in your braces. That’s why this option is often better for adults than younger patients.


Invisalign treatments use clear trays to slowly adjust your teeth. The trays are created out of a clear plastic that matches your teeth exactly. Each new set of trays shift your teeth as you swap out the trays.

People often use one set of trays for around three weeks before moving on to the next series of trays. These trays need to be in the mouth for 22 hours to be effective.

The good news is that you can remove them to eat so that you don’t have to deal with food stuck in your braces. This is the most popular choice for adult braces.

Understand the main differences between choosing metal braces and Invisalign by visiting the website for Kuperman Orthodontics.

Bottom Line on Adult Braces

We hope this article provided you with several good reasons why getting adult braces is a smart move.

Talk to your orthodontist to discuss costs and treatment options. You might be surprised to learn that in just a few months, you could have the radiant, confident smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Next, learn about the connection between nutrition and oral health.


10 Reasons You Should Consider Getting Braces

10 Reasons You Should Consider Getting Braces

10 Reasons You Should Consider Getting Braces

For many of us, the thought of getting braces for the first time invites feelings of pure dread rather than excitement.

Maybe you don’t want to dish out $3k-$7k for the treatment. Or maybe you agree with 92% of kids without braces who think a “brace face” will prevent them from fitting in.

While everyone knows the main purpose of the treatment is to straighten teeth, there are many other valid reasons to get braces. If you learn what these are, you might end up finding out that the benefits severely outweigh the costs.

For example, did you know having straight teeth comes with unexpected social perks? Or that braces could help you prevent dangerous health problems?

If you’re on the fence about getting braces, and you need some convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should run to the orthodontist right now!

1. Avoid Serious Health Issues

There are many different types of misaligned teeth, from underbite to crowding.

Most of them seem harmless, but they make it more difficult to clean your teeth properly. This leads to greater plaque buildup, which can eventually lead to gum disease. And gum disease could increase your risk for heart disease, the number one killer in the US.

If you want to make it easier to keep your teeth free from plaque, correct your bite with braces.

2. More Adults Are Getting Them

As an adult, you may stay away from braces due to the fear of how other people will perceive you.

That said, over 1.2 million American adults now get braces each year, nearly a 40% increase since the late 90’s. So you can rest assured that most people won’t consider you a weirdo for wearing them after high school.

Unlike when you get braces as a teenager, however, your jaw is no longer growing. As a result, jaw surgery may be necessary to fix severe malocclusions.

3. Nobody Has to Know

The stigma of wearing braces as adults is all but gone. But even still, you may not be too happy with how you look with fixed braces.

However, the good news is that Invisalign braces offer a way for you to keep your “brace face” a secret. Not only are they see-through, but they’re removable too.

Invisalign may seem like the perfect option, but prepare to fork over more cash for them. If you can’t decide between Invisalign and traditional braces, read more here before making your final decision.

4. Kickstart Your Self-Confidence

It’s not uncommon for people with crooked teeth to go out of their way to hide them. After all, you wouldn’t want anyone to catch a glimpse of your less-than-stellar smile, would you?

Whether you realize it or not, this mentality puts a damper on your self-confidence. Being self-conscious impacts almost every aspect of your life.

For example, did you know self-confidence is positively correlated with earnings?

If your teeth are at the root of your self-esteem issues, you can grow more confident by getting orthodontic treatment.

5. Take Advantage of Social Perks

Believe it or not, people are 38% more likely to view you as intelligent if you have straight teeth. Imagine how this can impact a job interview, for instance

By simply fixing our smile, we can get a bit of a boost in every interaction we have with others.

6. Improve Your Success in the Dating World

Today’s dating world can be challenging for some of us to navigate. Dating apps provide us with seemingly unlimited options. But this also means you have to compete against more people.

Both sexes admit that nice teeth are the number one characteristic they look for in a partner. So if you want to maximize your dating success, don’t just hit the gym. Visit the orthodontist as well.

7. Payment Plans Make It Easier on Your Wallet

Unfortunately, many dental insurance plans don’t cover braces. Not to mention, the average American doesn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on their smile.

But you shouldn’t let money prevent you from taking advantage of the benefits of braces.

Inform your orthodontist about any concerns you have regarding the cost of braces. They’ll be more than happy to sit down and discuss payment plans and treatment options with you.

8. Save More Money in the Long Run

Braces may seem expensive now, but imagine how much you’ll end up paying in the future if you fail to straighten your teeth.

Misaligned teeth can eventually cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. Both are costly to treat. In the end, you’ll most likely save more money if you get braces now.

9. Prepare to Live Longer

Thanks to medical progress, the average lifespan in the US continues to increase. Americans today can expect to live about 3 more years than in the 90’s.

Since you’re going to be around longer, you’ll need to make sure you take better care of your teeth in the meantime. The inconvenience of dentures and the pain of dental implants are two more reasons to get braces.

10. A Crooked Bite Can Cause TMJ Disorder

Do you ever feel pain around your jaw area or notice a popping sound when you chew?

If so, you may be suffering from TMJ disorder. In some cases, TMJ can lead to tinnitus or even recurring migraines.

Thankfully, orthodontists can use braces to treat TMJ caused by misalignment. This type of treatment may ease your symptoms.

Final Thoughts on Reasons to Get Braces

Remember that misaligned teeth can lead to both minor and major health issues. If nothing else, put this at the top of your personal list of reasons to get braces.

Once you get braces, you won’t notice any funny looks from others, as it’s no longer uncommon for adults to have them. But if you’re really worried, opt for Invisalign to go about your daily business without drawing attention to your teeth.

At the end of the treatment, not only will you have more confidence, but people will see you as more competent. Plus, you can expect to have more dating prospects as well.

If you made it this far into the article, chances are that you’re the type of person who puts their health above everything else. So be sure to head over to the health section of our blog for regular health-related updates!