FAQ: Adult Orthodontics

May 1, 2019

Thinking about getting braces as an adult? You aren’t alone. More and more adults are opting for orthodontic treatment – and for good reason.


Braces, although commonly placed for cosmetic reasons, actually have a number of health benefits too. Structural problems can be addressed and teeth can be cleaned more easily. And with proper care now, it may actually cost less than more serious dental issues that can develop down the road.


Yes, it’s true. Braces can actually keep your mouth healthier. So many people see braces as a worthwhile investment. But as an adult, we realize you still may have questions about orthodontic treatment. So let’s address some of them.


Q: Is there any age limit for putting on braces?

A: No, there is no age limit. Ideally, orthodontic treatment would start as a child is growing (generally between ages 10 and 14). However, healthy teeth can be treated at any age. We highly recommend visiting with your dental provider to see if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment.


Q: How long will adults need braces?

A: Treatment length will vary by individual; however, most people will have braces from one to three years. It’s important to note that once treatment is finished, a retainer may need to be worn to maintain results.


Q: What can I do to make braces less noticeable?

A: There are many types of systems available. Braces can be traditional (metal), ceramic (tooth colored or clear brackets and wires) and lingual (placed on the inside of the teeth). Invisalign (mouth guard like clear plastic aligners) may also be an option. Your dental provider will help you decide the best treatment options available.


Q: Will I have dietary restrictions with braces?

A: There are some limitations to the food you can eat. If you choose to eat hard, sticky or chewy food, it may result in broken wires and brackets. Not only can this be painful, but it will end up taking longer to straighten your teeth. Foods to avoid may include:  gum, popcorn, nuts, and chewy, hard or sticky foods.


Q: Besides a pretty smile, what is the benefit to having straight teeth?

Straight teeth are easier to clean and can reduce tooth decay. Also, correcting bite issues can help with jaw pain.


Q: How much will orthodontic treatment cost?

It’s important to note that costs for treatment will vary depending on the severity. When orthodontic treatment is available on your group plan, Dental Select pays 50% of the allowable in-network. Additionally, this is considered a lifetime benefit, so once used per member, it cannot be used again. It’s important to mention that orthodontic standard is for ages 18 and under, however, adult orthodontics can be added onto group plans.


Ready to choose a provider? Go ahead and search here to find an orthodontist near you.