At least 50% of American adults have at least one crooked tooth, according to the recent results of a survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists. Yet a third of all respondents thought they were too old for orthodontic treatment, opting to simply live with the problem rather than fixing it.
This can cause a host of problems for adults in need of correction. The same study found that over three quarters of Americans associate bad-looking teeth with unsuccessful people. Similarly, Americans are drawn to a person’s smile more than any other physical factor, including weight, eyes, and a person’s hairline. So the quality of your smile can affect both your professional and personal life.
So why are so many adults reluctant to undergo correction for their crooked teeth, gaps, and crowding, as well as over- and underbite treatments? Many respondents cited the high average cost for braces alternatives as a deciding factor in whether they pursued orthodontic correction. Others also cited the negative stigma associated with the more affordable traditional metal braces.
While it is true that the average cost for braces has not significantly declined in recent years, it’s equally true that a straight, healthy smile may be more valuable than previously thought. Good oral health (which includes dental hygiene, gum health, and a well-aligned bite pattern) has been linked to good digestive health, cardiovascular health, immunological health, and even proper management of diabetes.
Depending on the correction required and the method used, the average orthodontics cost can run between $4,500 and $10,000, and the average length of time for correction is 22 months. But more important than the money or the time is the fact that, at the end of it all, you’ll have the smile you’ve always dreamed of, and the confidence you’ve always wanted. And isn’t that worth it?