Getting braces as an adult is a worthwhile investment with a number of important considerations. In order to have the best experience, avoid potential dental issues, and help finance your investment properly, it's important to take care of outstanding dental work, carefully choose what braces you want, and fully explore all of your payment options.
Fix Any Existing Dental Issues
There are no age limits to getting braces, but it is necessary to make sure your teeth are clean and that there is no outstanding dental work that needs to be done, such as fillings and root canals. Braces can worsen any existing damage because of the adhesives and constant pressure, which also make it more difficult to fix any issues that come up while you have your braces.
Because of this, it's a good idea to take care of any outstanding dental work first. Have your teeth cleaned, and ask your dentist for a full inspection of your mouth, teeth, and jaw. This will ensure that once your braces are installed you won't have to worry about anything other than braces maintenance and keeping your teeth clean.
Pick Your Braces
Braces come in a variety of styles and application options. A common and affordable option is the metal brackets that are attached to the outside of your teeth, but there are other options as well. For example, brackets can be attached to the inside of your teeth as well, rendering them effectively invisible. You can also use ceramic over metal, and you may even be able to use removable clear aligners.
There are a few caveats with these options. First, not all dentists and orthodontists are trained to install and maintain all kinds of braces; for example, if you want lingual braces—those attached to the inside of your teeth—you may need to search for a specialist. Likewise, braces that are different from the standard metal brackets are often more expensive. When in doubt, talk to your dentist, and ask for advice. Your dentist can give you recommendations and advice based on your specific needs.
Explore Financing Options
Braces are a big investment, but there are a number of ways to pay for them. Start by asking what your insurance will cover. Many insurances will only cover standard metal brackets, but if you do have dental coverage, it's worth asking what help you can get.
Ask what financing options are available from the dentist themselves, as they may have better options and rates. You can also look for credit cards with special financing offers such as 0 percent interest for 24 months. If you feel that you can comfortably pay for braces over that time, this may be a good option that lets you avoid the otherwise high interest rates of credit cards.
Look for lines of credit specific to health and dental care, as these may also be preferable to general loans or standard credit card rates.