Adults are increasingly seeking alignment of teeth with braces. In the year 2016 alone, almost 1.7 million American adults sought treatment with braces. According to Burke & Redford Orthodontists, the number has been rising every year ever since.
Society has generally associated braces with teenagers and children. However, changing trends have upset the norm. A significant number of patients are now in the age bracket of between 40 and 80 years. Here is a look at the new trends in 2020, and their causes.
Why Adult Braces are Now Popular
The growing celebrity culture is cultivating a sense of body-consciousness. Some people seek perfect teeth alignment simply because they want their smile to look like a particular celebrity. They may not even be having any major problem with the arrangement of their teeth but seek to build self-esteem through associated benefits.
The benefits may include returning the position of teeth that shift with age. More benefits include improved smiles and confidence in dating.
Others have genuine problems with their teeth. They seek out orthodontists to help them build self-confidence. The following are some of the common issues:
- Front teeth are sticking out
- There is too much space between the teeth
- There is no balance in teeth alignment
- The jaws are slightly out of place
Still, a significant number of adults have the “hangover” for braces. They may have wanted to use braces when they were kids, but some factors played against them. Hence, they decide to do it in adulthood. Here are some of those prohibitive factors:
- Some of them feared bullying that comes with wearing braces as a child
- They could not have afforded braces when they were younger
- They dreaded the discomfort of having to eat with metal around their teeth
- Failure to use retainers after removing braces earlier
Challenges that Face Adults Braces
- The treatment takes long since adult bones are stronger than when they were kids
- Gum disease, which makes bones weak, makes the alignment process difficult. Dentists may have to check gum health and possibly eliminate gum disease before you get braces fitted.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 50% of Americans have gum disease.
- In some cases, damaged adult teeth may be difficult to align. Damages may be a result of habits like excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, among other causes.
The Cost Factor in Adult Braces
Cost depends on the material that makes the braces. The most expensive are lingual braces, which may cost up to $ 10,000. Braces made of other materials like ceramic cost an average of $7000. Metal braces are relatively cheaper at an average of $6,000. Those made from invisalign cost almost the same as metal braces.
New Insurance Covers for Adult Braces
Insurance companies are offering packages that cover orthodontic treatment for adults. Initially, some insurers considered braces as aesthetic treatment and denied its coverage. This trend is changing now, with companies becoming more accommodative.
Some plans cover the cost of braces to about 50%. The cover makes the cash burden lighter and affordable to more people. However, there is an age limit to beneficiaries since most covers recognize only patients of 18 years and below.
Nevertheless, some exceptional insurers provide adults with the much-needed cover. Some of them include DeltaCare USA and Careington Care 500 Plan, among others. Careington Care 500 Plan, for instance, enables you to save, and in return, it shaves off 50% of the total cost of treatment.
What Does the Future of Adult Braces Look Like?
While many adults have been apprehensive in the past, the emerging trends indicate that adult braces will continue gaining popularity. There is no reason to suggest that the braces have failed to work on adults, and the good thing is that there is no age limit. Anyone can seek treatment.
Soon, more insurance companies may develop comprehensive plans to cover the entire cost of adult braces, which are currently limited. Such a development would encourage a more significant number of adults to embrace braces with confidence.