It's never too late for you to see an orthodontist. Check out this guide to learn the average cost of braces for adults and say hello to a straighter smile.

It’s Never Too Late for a Better Smile: Average Cost of Braces for Adults

A popular fad in Asia is convincing teens to get fake braces for under $100. They’re cheap, require no medical intervention, and some are even applicable from home. While a lot of the pressure comes from these being a fashion statement, many consider the low cost a more important factor.

What is the average cost of braces? Well, the answer varies quite a bit. The cost of braces for adults is different than those for children, for example.

Taking a closer look at the types of braces and costs that you can expect can determine how your health plan plays out. So, if you’re curious as to what you might have to pay, consider reading ahead.

Analyzing the Average Cost of Braces

Straightening your teeth with braces usually comes with a pretty lofty price tag. It’s with good reason, though, as it takes a lot of work on the part of the orthodontist.

Braces Cost Factors

The number one contributor to the cost of braces is the labor on the part of the orthodontist. It’s not so much the act of applying brackets and wire adjustment. Rather, it has more to do with the work that happens behind the scenes.

Every patient requires a careful and calculated plan of action. orthodontists have to follow a lengthy series of steps and organize the distance each tooth will move for an optimal outcome. This applies to each patient, where they have to keep each patient’s unique dental features in mind.

The material needed for braces is relatively cheap considering the price a patient pays for the procedure. There’s some variation depending on whether or not a patient requests certain modifications. Still, though, the material required is a very small part of the final price.

Cost of Adult Braces vs Child Braces

Adults usually require a very different type of treatment than children. Typically, children have a more complex overall situation. This is because orthodontists have to consider wisdom teeth removal, temporary teeth positions, and how the teeth will move over time. Many times, the hardest decision is picking at what age a child should start using braces.

Adults, on the other hand, usually request braces to adjust crooked teeth or to improve aesthetics. Of course, there are also emergency situations where adult braces are required to fix a critical problem in the mouth.

Treatment Lenght and Cost

The cost of braces for adults and children can also vary greatly depending on treatment duration. On average, children have a shorter length of treatment. In both cases, though, braces are typically worn for up to 4 years.

Braces for adults average a cost of $2,400 for one year, $5,091 for two years, $7,637 for three years, and $10,180 for four years. As you can probably tell, the price climbs quickly in relation to the duration.

For children, the prices drop just a bit. The average cost of braces for children is $2,400 for one year, $4,900 for two years, $7,300 for three years, and $9,800 for four years.

Ceramic vs Metal Braces

One of the modifications that patients can ask for is to modify the material for the brackets. The most common choices are ceramic and metal. Each comes with a different set of benefits and drawbacks. Just to clarify, the brackets are used to hold the metal wire across the vestibular portion of the teeth.


Ceramic braces, composed of polycrystalline alumina, are typically requested by patients to improve aesthetics. This is because, generally, people feel that the metal alternative is too noticeable and can cause slight embarrassment.

Luckily, ceramic braces serve the same function. Although, in some cases, they’re more prone to breaking than the metal brackets. The ceramic option is also usually more expensive than the other, sometimes raising the cost by between $500 and $1000.


Metal braces involve using medical-grade stainless steel, which is very apparent even at a quick glance. Metal brackets are much more affordable, though, making them the most common choice among patients.

One thing that metal and ceramic braces have in common, is their treatment length. 

Meeting Patient Needs

Of course, when choosing the material for braces, medical professionals have to keep the patient’s needs in mind. If a patient might struggle financially to match the price of ceramic brackets, an orthodontist can offer payment plans. It’s a win-win situation, as the treatment is possible while satisfying the patient’s request.

Cost of Invisalign vs Braces

Determining the cost difference between Invisalign and braces is a bit tougher. This is due, in part, to the fact that they treat different dental situations. Invisalign is a discreet option for minor movements, while braces are used for all kinds of treatments; braces can even be used in more serious cases.

Invisalign, on average, is more expensive than traditional braces. This is because they serve as an effective treatment option that’s extremely discreet. In fact, it’s the least noticeable option! They can vary in price between $3,000 and $5,000, which makes them more of a luxury option.

Lingual braces are another option, but they’re extremely rare and quite expensive. They’re still worth mentioning, though. They cost between $8,000 and $10,000. They bring a huge benefit to the table, though, as they’re placed behind the teeth, making them essentially invisible to onlookers.


Picking the Right Braces

The average cost of braces can vary greatly depending on the orthodontist, patient behavior, material, and whether the patient is an adult or child. The primary goal of an orthodontist is to ensure that they meet the patient’s needs during the treatment, whether it’s aesthetics, function, or both.

Patients can choose between lingual, metal, and ceramic braces. Otherwise, for simple treatments, they can ask for Invisalign. The cost for these options varies greatly, with metal braces being the most affordable. And, finally, the cost of braces for adults is quite similar to braces for children, with the prices changing drastically for longer treatments.

Hopefully, this article provided you with the information you needed on the cost of braces. If it did, make sure to take a look around the site for other useful posts!

Leave a Reply