While you may associate braces and other orthodontic treatments with teenagers, a growing number of adults are choosing to straighten their teeth. Your teeth can have a major impact on your self esteem. Undergoing orthodontic treatment can improve your appearance and in some cases even make it easier to eat and talk. Many adults who decide on orthodontic treatments were unable to get them when they were younger. If you are thinking about seeking out orthodontic services as an adult, here is what you should know.

Make Sure Your Teeth Are Ready

The good news about braces and orthodontics is that they can be effective for adults. However, some adults may have dental challenges that they did not have when they were younger that may impact treatment. Gum disease in particular becomes more common as we age. Around 47.2 percent of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. If you are dealing with gum disease, it's important to have that treated before going through an orthodontic treatments.

Treatment Can Be Expensive

Another thing to consider is the fact that braces and other orthodontic treatments can be expensive. Orthodontics are also rarely covered for adults through dental insurance plans. The cost of traditional metal braces ranges from $3,000 to $7,350. If you want options that are less visible than the traditional metal braces, there are a few to choose from including clear aligners and lingual braces. The average cost of clear plastic aligners ranges from $3,000 to $8,000. Lingual braces tend to cost between $5,000 and $13,000. Braces with tooth colored brackets range in cost from $2,000 to $8,500. Many orthodontist offices offer payment plans and financing for your treatment. 

It's A Time Commitment

Orthodontic treatments also require a time commitment that you may not expect. Adjustments need to be made on a regular basis when it comes to most treatments. It's important that you are able to go to the appointments with your orthodontist in order to ensure that your treatment is progressing as it should. It also takes a while for your full results. For the average adult, it can anywhere from 18 months to 3 years for the entire treatment. The more complex your alignment and bite issues, the longer it will take to complete treatment. 

When it comes to orthodontics and adults, there are a few things to consider. First of all you need to ensure that you don't have any underlying issues, such as gum disease, that can delay or halt orthodontic treatment. The cost of braces and other treatments can also be expensive and is unlikely to be covered by dental insurance. It's important to prepare for these costs. Orthodontics also require a time commitment of at least a few months in order to see the results that you desire.