Do you need braces? Ask your dentist these 6 questions first

Braces used to be a thing only kids and teenagers had, but straightening your teeth with braces can both improve the health of your teeth — and your self-confidence — no matter your age.

20 to 25 percent of orthodontic patients are adults who want healthier, straighter teeth. And treatment is faster and less painful than ever before.

According to the Seton Hall University Center for Orthodontics, 20 to 25 percent of orthodontic patients are adults who want healthier, straighter teeth. And treatment is faster — and less painful — than ever before.

Not sure what you need to ask your dentist about braces? We’ve rounded up a few of the questions we get about braces all the time — and they’re all important things to know before signing up for treatment.

Which Type of Braces is Best For Me?

What do you think of when you think of braces?

Chances are, you imagine the traditional stainless-steel brackets that are easy for others to see. Those are still a viable — and sometimes necessary — option, but there are other types of brackets and aligners to choose from, like clear ceramic brackets. These brackets work much like traditional metal ones, but are less noticeable to others.

Another popular option: Clear aligner trays, like Invisalign, that don’t require you to wear brackets on your teeth. Invisalign works by using a series of custom-made trays that gently shift your teeth into the right position over a period of months. They’re a clinically proven way to give you straighter teeth — and smile — without a lot of disturbance to your day-to-day life. Your dentist can tell you if Invisalign will work to fix the alignment of your teeth.

How Long Will Treatment Take?

Braces are a long-term commitment, but advancements in technology means that the amount of time you need to have braces is constantly decreasing. According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, the average time a patient stays in braces is 22 months.

However, your specific treatment plan might be longer — or shorter. Your dentist or orthodontist can clue you in to how long you’ll likely be in braces, but know that it’s an estimate and it change as your treatment progresses.

How Much Will Treatment Cost?

A survey published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics found that the average price for braces treatment is between $5,000 and $6,000, with an additional $500 to $600 if you opt for ceramic brackets.

That said, the actual cost of your braces treatment will depend on many factors, including the amount of treatment you need and even where you live. Your dentist can give you an estimate on how much your treatment will cost during a consultation.

And be sure to check your dental insurance coverage! Many insurance plans only pay for orthodontic care if you’re under 18, but more insurance plans are offering coverage for adults as well, knocking down your out-of-pocket cost for braces.

Will I Need to Have Extra Work Done on My Teeth and Jaw?

In some cases, teeth will need to be removed to make space for your other teeth to line up correctly. Other, more extreme cases might call for jaw surgery in order to set you up for success.

Be sure to ask your dentist if he thinks that will be necessary for you to get the results you want.

What Will I Have to Do at Home?

From placing the brackets to adjusting the wires, your dentist is in charge of most of the work when it comes to managing your braces. But you have work to do, too!

You’ll have to take extra special care while brushing your teeth with braces because the traditional brackets make it a bit more difficult to clean all of the surfaces. Invest in some floss threaders so you can continue to floss as normal, too.

Your dentist will tell you if you’re expected to do extra work at home, like wearing elastic bands on your brackets to help your teeth move. Understanding that up front can help speed up your treatment — and ensure the success of your braces!

Will I Have Perfect Teeth Afterward?

People wear braces for both dental and cosmetic reasons, so it’s perfectly fine to ask your dentist about what you can expect from treatment. The definition of “perfect” teeth differs from person to person, but it’s important to ask your dentist what you can expect after treatment is done. He’ll work to ensure your teeth are as close to your definition to perfect as possible.

But remember: You’ll need to follow your dentist’s instructions to keep your teeth straight post-braces, like by wearing a retainer.

Ready to start your journey with braces? Contact us to set up an appointment today.

Posted In: Orthodontics & Aligners