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Orthodontics for Adults - The Pros and Cons

Updated on November 30, 2012
Braces | Source

It is never too late to have braces as long as you are willing to pay the price, which includes the money you need to pay for your dental insurance and your orthodontist, the pain and discomfort, the inconvenience and your time. Yes, you will feel the pain. But the level of pain depends on each individual's teeth condition. If there isn't any tooth extraction involved, you would deal with less pain. If you can hang in there for about two to four years, and in return you will have your teeth straight and more beautiful. I had my braces when I was 40 and wished I had done it earlier. Here are the pros and cons you should know before considering getting your braces if you are an adult. Click here to watch a video on how an orthodontist put braces on teeth.

Before and After Braces

Overcrowded Teeth before and after braces
Overcrowded Teeth before and after braces | Source

The Pros of orthodontis for adults

Here are the pros of orthodontics for adults:

  • Teeth straightening - the croaked teeth will be corrected. Extra teeth will be removed. Empty space will be filled with artificial teeth.
  • More confidence with showing your smile - No need to worry about people seeing those overcrowded, croaked, and/or empty space in your mouth when you smile.
  • Easier to clean your teeth - No more hard to reach spot when you brush/floss your teeth.
  • Reduce the chance of getting gum diseases - less chance of trapping food in between teeth means less chance for bacterias to form and you will have healthier gums.

Wearing clear retainers after braces.
Wearing clear retainers after braces. | Source
Bone lost in teeth after braces resulting big gaps between teeth.
Bone lost in teeth after braces resulting big gaps between teeth. | Source

The Cons of Orthodontics for Adults

Here are the cons of orthodontics for adults:

  • It is costly if you don't have orthodontic insurance. The dental insurance that we have only cover the braces for kids, not for adults. So I had to pay out of my own pocket.
  • It hurts more than it does for kids and it also takes longer to correct the teeth especially during the first week of wearing braces. You will find your inner sides of your mouth to be sore and additionally having sore gums. Every 4 - 6 weeks you will need to check in with your orthodontist to replace the old wire which will make your gum sore again. Therefore it is a good idea to eat soft food such as porridge for the next couple days.
  • It requires years of wearing the retainers after you have removed the braces in order to keep the teeth from shifting back to their old positions. I have been wearing the retainers for almost two years now, and every time I forget wear them for more than two days I would feel the retainers are very tight when I put them on.
  • If you have your braces after age 40, the chance that your teeth might suffer bone lost is a lot higher than you would if you were to have it done at a younger age. You might see gaps in between your teeth toward the gums while the top of teeth are very tight already. Therefore, if you are planning on doing the braces, you should do it sooner rather than later.

Orthodontic Insurance

It will help a lot if you have orthodontic insurance because the cost of braces begins in the thousands. So even if you had orthodontic insurance which covers part of the cost, any portion paid by insurance will help. So please check with your dental insurance for braces or you will have to pay out of your own pocket. Some orthodontists allow you to pay in installments which can ease your burden a bit. You have to make sure that you shop around before committing to an orthodontist because there isn't a fix rate on how much an orthodontist can charge you for correcting your teeth. It takes some time to shop for affordable braces. But you might save yourself hundreds of dollars just by doing so. I had overcrowded lower jaw and two croaked teeth on my upper jaw. The quotes that I got range from $3,500 to $5,000.


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    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thanks for the vote up, carol777. Having braces is quite painful at the beginning. I lost a lot of sleep the first week I had my braces because my mouth was terribly sore and I had to eat soft food only. Luckily everything was better after two weeks.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      You did a great job of the presenting both sides of the story. it is a painful experience so I am told. However it is a personal decision. After 40 I am not sure about that. Voted UP+++