If you are unhappy with your smile, orthodontics may be able help. Braces are most often the solution to crooked or overcrowded teeth along with a variety of bite issues. If you are an adult looking into braces, you're not alone. One out of five orthodontic patients are over the age of 18. Many adults get braces in order to correct issues that weren't addressed during adolescence or to correct teeth that have shifted despite previous orthodontic treatments. Here's what you should know about getting braces as an adult.

You Have Options

If you are dreading the thought of traditional metal braces, there are other options that you may want to consider. Braces are now available in a variety of formats, many of which are subtle and difficult to see. Clear plastic aligners are virtually undetectable and also allow you to eat the foods you enjoy since they can be removed. Ceramic brackets can make your braces less noticeable. Lingual braces sit on the back of the teeth and cannot be seen when you smile. It's important to look into your options and discuss which type of braces will work best for your needs with your orthodontist.

Costs Can Vary

Another thing to note when it comes to braces as an adult is that costs can vary significantly depending on the type of braces you choose. Traditional metal braces range between $3,000 and $7,350 on average. Braces with ceramic brackets cost between $2,000 and $8,500 while lingual braces can range in price between $5,000 and $13,000. If you are considering clear plastic aligners, costs typically range from $3,000 to $8,000. Your dental insurance may cover some of the costs but many orthodontists offer payment plans if you cannot afford the full cost upfront.

It's A Time Commitment

While braces can lead to some amazing results and can completely change your smile, they are a time commitment. Getting the results you want can take quite some time. You will also need to make time for regular appointments to adjust your braces during your treatment. Treatment may also take a little longer than you expect. On average adults have braces for 18 months to 3 years. It's important to factor in treatment time into your decision.

When it comes to braces as an adult, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you'll want to carefully discuss your options with your orthodontist. Costs can vary but most braces cost a few thousand dollars. Braces are also a time commitment. Your treatment can take anywhere from just a few months to a few years. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP.