Approximately four million people in the United States wear dental braces, and 25% of these are adults. Shockingly, some states like Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina have repeatedly been named for locals having more dental issues than others. Statistics from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic indicate that more than 2.4 million North Carolinians struggled to get adequate dental healthcare services, and good orthodontic treatment (including braces) is just one of them. So considering that rectifying dental problems can be expensive, you might want to do your homework before investing.
So if you’re looking for a solution to fix misaligned teeth and enhance your confidence when you smile, getting braces is a good solution, and an orthodontist can help you with that. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
1 Consider the cost of the treatment
Orthodontic treatments are expensive, so it is wise to research costs before getting braces. The price can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the problem that needs a solution, the type of braces, and the location you choose for treatment.
According to a survey, the average price of adult braces in the United States is around $5,500, but the procedure can cost more in states like North Carolina since there is a higher demand for better dental healthcare services. The number of dentists per 100,000 people is 52.55 in the state, which is high considering the number for some states is as low as 40.97. The prices may also differ for different age groups; you can look up how much braces cost for teens in Clayton, NC, and those for adults to draw a comparison. Getting braces in Florida and California can be more expensive because cosmetic and dental treatments are generally more expensive than the national average in these appearance-conscious states.
Lastly, ceramic and lingual braces are more expensive than metal ones. While metal braces cost between $3,000-$7,000, ceramic and lingual braces can set you back by $4,000-$8,000 and $5,000-$13,000, respectively.
2 There are different types of braces
Traditional metal braces, transparent braces, and lingual braces are among the several types of braces available. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s crucial to consider your options and select one that best meets your requirements and budget.
Braces are classified into two types: removable appliances and fixed appliances. Patients can quickly remove removable appliances when needed, as the name implies. They contain removable plates made of acrylic and stainless steel wires and Invisalign aligners. Fixed appliances are glued to the teeth during the active treatment period and can only be removed by a professional. They are made out of metal or ceramic brackets and orthodontic wires.
3 Consider treatment duration
Several variables, such as your case, the type of braces you select, and the orthodontist’s instructions, can affect how long you’ll need to wear braces. Braces are typically worn for 6-18 months on average, but some people may need to keep them on for three years or longer. Your orthodontist will determine how long you’ll need to wear braces during your initial consultation by evaluating your conditions. Additionally, they might be able to give you a general idea of what to expect throughout treatment, including how frequently you’ll need to visit for adjustments and what kind of maintenance is necessary.
Treatment compliance can also affect the duration. If you don’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions, your treatment may take longer than expected or, even worse, reverse.
4 Practice good oral hygiene
It goes without saying that good oral hygiene is crucial, and it is more important when you get braces.
If your treatment includes metal braces, it will create small spaces around the teeth where food particles can get stuck, making it difficult to clean your teeth thoroughly. Therefore, maintaining good oral hygiene habits is crucial to preventing plaque buildup, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Brush your teeth regularly.
5 You need to make lifestyle changes
After getting braces, you’ll require lifestyle changes to ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment. Quit certain foods that require chewing; these include candy or gum, foods like apples or cobs, and anything that can dislodge or damage braces. Regular orthodontic adjustments will also be required, which might mean skipping work or class. Additionally, a mouthguard can prevent damage to your braces and teeth if you play sports or participate in other physical activities.
6 Be prepared for some discomfort
It is common for patients to feel soreness and sensitivity after receiving braces for the first time or after adjustments during subsequent visits. The discomfort you experience indicates that the braces are working and shifting your teeth into the right position. Dentists often recommend taking painkillers and eating soft foods like mashed potatoes, smoothies, soups, and yogurt to minimize discomfort.
Don’t hesitate to call your orthodontist for help if the pain continues or becomes intolerable.
7 Follow the instructions
While ignoring oral cleanliness can cause decay and gum sickness, skipping appointments can hinder treatment progress and compromise results. To maintain the results of your treatment, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is necessary. If you follow your orthodontist’s instructions strictly, you’ll have the best chance of developing a healthy, long-lasting smile.
8 Plan for a post-treatment maintenance routine
Your teeth can return to their original position after treatment, so using a retainer is crucial. A retainer is a custom-made item that maintains your teeth’s new position. It is designed to provide maximum comfort, so don’t hesitate if it seems intimidating to wear one; you’ll get used to it. You’ll receive comprehensive instructions from your orthodontist on how to wear it and when.
Getting braces is a commitment, and it requires careful research. Whether you’re doing it for aesthetic reasons or to improve your oral health, it’s important to understand the factors that could affect your treatment. Considering the tips discussed above can help you make an informed decision. Remember, orthodontic treatment is an investment in your future, so take the time to make the right decision and enjoy the benefits for years to come.