Every year millions of Americans undergo orthodontic care, and whether they’re seeking cosmetic enhancement or improving oral health, one thing is certain: Treatment is expensive.

According to a 2013 survey of dental fees by the American Dental Association, the cost for comprehensive treatment to fix problems such as misaligned teeth or overbites for adolescents ranged from $4,685 to $6,500, while such treatment of adults ranged from $4,800 to $7,135.

While some people may dismiss the need for treatment considering the high cost, experts say that fixing misaligned teeth benefits an individual’s overall health as well as appearance.

“The goal of orthodontic treatment is the creation of a healthy bite,” said Dr. Nahid Maleki, orthodontist and president of the American Association of Orthodontists, in an email. “Having properly aligned teeth and jaws – a healthy bite – is essential to good function (biting, chewing, speaking) and good oral health. Good oral health is an important factor in whole body health.”

In addition, straighter teeth can also boost a person’s self-esteem, which can have both personal and professional benefits.

“Along with the health benefits from straight teeth are the improvements to the patient’s ability to be expressive,” says Dr. Joseph T. Hung, an orthodontist at RockCenter Orthodontics in New York. “Often, people with teeth problems keep their upper lip low and don’t show too many facial expressions that require teeth to be shown. Smiling becomes something people avoid, and it affects performance at work, school or socially.”

Regardless of the outcome people are seeking, managing the high cost of orthodontic treatment comes down to the same principals: planning, research and maintenance. Follow these tips to keep finances in check when trying to achieve better oral health.

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For orthodontics in Nashville, TN, Franklin, and Brentwood, TN, contact Starling Orthodontics, today. Learn about the treatments Dr. Starling provides to children and adults in Middle Tennessee.