Having adult braces results in many inconveniences but there are ways to avoid some of the biggest ones. Braces are painful at any age but they can be especially embarrassing as an adult. They can affect your professional goals as well as your love life. Although it is preferable to get the process over as an adolescent, there are many people who end up getting braces later in life.
There are many benefits of having braces, from biomechanical advantages to cosmetic reasons. However, this doesn’t change the fact that they are expensive, painful, and not very attractive. The good news is that they don’t stay on forever and there are ways to cut down on their inconveniences.
The expense of Adult Braces
One of the biggest inconveniences of adult braces is the cost. Depending on the type you get, the amount of time they are kept on, and other factors, WebMD reports that braces can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $5,500.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not cover braces. Although some will cover them for those under the age of 18, most will not provide any coverage for adult braces. This means that, in order to get them, you must pay for them out of your own pocket. A lot of the time, this can mean borrowing money via personal loans or credit cards, or by using money you’ve saved up on your own.
Many orthodontists will be willing to set up a payment plan so that you don’t have to pay for the braces in one large sum. One of the best options, if you are able to do so, is to use your flexible spending plan. An FSA, also known as a flexible spending arrangement, has a number of benefits, according to the Internal Revenue Service. These include no taxes on the contributions to or withdrawals from the account.
If your employer offers an FSA and you are planning on getting braces over the next couple of years, increase your contribution to the estimated amount for care or to the maximum amount allowed. This will help decrease the cost a little bit.
If your employer does not have an FSA option or you are self-employed, Kids Health recommends checking out a local dental school that teaches orthodontics. Yes, you will be taken care of by a student, but that student is also supervised by a licensed orthodontist and the care is substantially discounted.
The unattractiveness of Adult Braces
Everyone who has braces is embarrassed of how their teeth and mouth look, no matter what age they are. However, because it is generally thought to be more of an adolescent thing, adults tend to be even more embarrassed about wearing them. This results in them trying to avoid photos, as well as avoiding smiling and laughing. This is especially troublesome for adults whose job require them to be around people.
When people think of braces, many first think of the traditional stainless steel braces. These are the most noticeable but are also the least expensive. For those who are willing to spend more money, there are more choices that are not as noticeable.
Ceramic braces are clear so they are preferred more by adults who don’t want them to show as much. They come with their own inconveniences as they are more likely to break.
Lingual braces are rarer and they are very expensive but they don’t show at all. They are fitted at the back of the teeth. Their downfalls are that they are difficult to adjust, can cause problems with speech, and cause tongue damage.
Invisalign braces have become very popular over the years, especially for adults. These are the best choices for those who don’t need complicated care. They are essentially invisible and make oral hygiene and eating easy.
Eating with Adult Braces
Eating with braces can be a challenge. When braces are first tightened, your teeth are tender, which makes it uncomfortable to eat. During this time soft foods are the best choice. Hard food should always be avoided as it can do damage to the braces themselves.
Food can get caught in between the brackets and wires, which is hard to remove and leads to embarrassment. Avoid this by cutting or tearing off small pieces that are manageable to eat. With invisalign braces you can actually take them out to eat, which takes care of the eating issue.
Oral Hygiene of Adult Braces
One inconvenience of having braces is the oral upkeep that it requires. You need to brush every time after eating, whether it is a snack or a meal. You also need to floss daily. Because of the mechanics of most braces, these tasks are difficult and complicated.
Braces also create numerous places for food to become stuck. This can lead to infections or cavities that are especially difficult to take care of with a mouthful of braces. In order to prevent these from occurring, you need to practice fastidious care of your teeth and mouth. If you have Invisalign braces, you can avoid a lot of these inconveniences as they can be removed for brushing and flossing and there are fewer places where food can get stuck.
Having adult braces is not very fun but the majority of people are happy with the results. Although inconvenient, there are multiple things that you can do to make the experience less painful.