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5 Important Facts Adults Need to Know Before Getting Braces
By: Emily Clark


Adult orthodontia is big business. More 40-something year old
parents have finally gotten all their children out of braces and
now it’s their turn. Some middle-agers are just now becoming
metal mouths because they are at a point in their life when they
can finally afford it. Still others opt for the wires because
after starting over after a divorce they are finally ready to get
that gorgeous straight smile!

If you’re considering taking the plunge yourself, here are a few
bits of information you should know before making a decision.
There are basically three types of braces moms and dads are
opting for: standard metal, clear brackets and invisible. The
standard ones are the most cost effective and you can even change
the color of your rubber bands like all the hip, cool kids are
doing. Clear brackets are a bit larger in size than the metal
ones. Depending on your bite you may not have enough room to get
the clear ones on your lower teeth, at least not initially. The
wires are still metal and you can see the braces on your teeth,
they’re just not as noticeable. Drawbacks are they are slightly
more expensive than the metal brackets and when it comes time to
take them off, it’s takes a bit more effort and is consequently a
little more uncomfortable. Lastly there are the invisible braces
which go behind your teeth, not on the front like most. It takes
a while longer to correct your smile and is the most expensive

Speaking of expensive, you should on plan on spending about
$4,000 for your braces. Clearly you will find some orthodontists
who will do it for less, and some for more. It really depends
also on the length and severity of treatment. If you have
orthodontia insurance coverage, some plans cover up to 50% of the
total costs. Most orthodontists will allow you to make monthly
payments. You’ll be required to put a down payment on your new
beautiful smile.

One thing you may not hear during your initial consultation, yet
other adults who have gone before you will testify to is that
when you initially get your braces put on your teeth – it hurts!
It hurts a lot and for along time! With children they tell them
it may be a little uncomfortable for two or three days and to
take Ibuprophin as needed for pain. That’s not the case with
adults, although they may give you the same instructions. Think
about it. Children who get braces have their permanent teeth for
generally three months or three years. Those big teeth haven’t
become too accustomed to hanging out in their current location.

Adults, on the other hand, have had those permanent teeth affixed
in their mouth for 20-35 years prior to getting braces. They
don’t move as easily or as willingly. One mother shared that she
was glad she had left over heavy duty pain meds from her
c-section five years prior. She lamented that she felt like an
elephant was sitting on her head for 10-days straight. Further,
she continued she’d rather go through another 52 hours of labor
than to get braces put on again.

This is not to frighten you. It does get much easier and you
even forget you have them on. When you get adjustments every
eight weeks or so, you’re normally a little tender for 24-36
hours, and aspirin does help. The severe pain is just initially
when you first get them on. Ask for pain meds. Do not let them
tell you to take a few Tylenol and you’ll be fine in three days.
You’re in for a rude awakening if you believe that.

But in no time at all, average 18-24 months you will have a
Hollywood smile and it will have all been worth it! Open wide –
who’s next?

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

About the Author

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

"Knowledge is power. It takes a long time to harness enough power to even talk about it." - Don Juan, speaking in "Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan", by Carlos Castaneda, 1972

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