Braces for adults and children – types – costs

Braces for adults and children – types & costs

Braces are used to correct jaw and tooth misalignments, which can have medical and aesthetic consequences for those affected. Our guide provides you with useful information on types of braces, course of treatment, duration and costs for children and adults.


The corrective measure, commonly called dental braces, is called "medical tooth regulation" because it regulates misaligned teeth. One also finds the terms "dental apparatus" or "dental device". A distinction is made between two different types: removable and fixed medical tooth regulation.

With the test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz you are protected against all costs, regardless of whether removable or fixed braces. The additional dental insurance DFV-ZahnSchutz covers up to 100% of the costs actually incurred, regardless of age and KIG level.

Braces species

The type of tooth adjustment depends on how pronounced a jaw or tooth misalignment is. A specialist decides whether the teeth are adjusted using removable or fixed braces.

Brackets – fixed braces

The term "bracket" comes from English and means, among other things, "bracket". Brackets are common fastening elements for fixed braces and are used for pronounced tooth misalignment. The orthodontist glues them (consisting of metal or ceramic) on the outside or inside of the tooth. Gluing to the tooth surface creates a starting point for moving the teeth. The patient himself cannot remove the brackets.

External clips

The visible wire arch on the front teeth serves as an orientation level for the dental arch shape. This way the teeth are in the correct position. The orthodontic appliances put pressure on the teeth so that they move until the ideal position is reached. The pressure is generated on the one hand by the brackets on the tooth surface itself and also by the arch that leads through all brackets. A "ligature", holding the bow in the bracket with an elastic material supports this process. There are also different colors for external brackets, depending on your personal aesthetic understanding.

Internal clips

A form of orthodontic therapy that is not visible from the outside can be achieved with the incognito lingual technique, which is particularly popular with adults. Individually manufactured brackets are attached to the inside of the teeth. The teeth are then moved into the correct position with individualized wires.

Removable / removable braces

Removable braces are one of the most popular shapes and are often used during tooth growth. It consists of a plastic center piece, into which clips are incorporated. The braces lie close to the inside of the teeth and the jaw is gently stretched. When designing the braces plate, there is a large selection of motifs and colors so that children can actively participate. Adults often do without color and tend to use it "invisible braces" back.


Treatment with transparent splints, the so-called aligners of the Invisalign system, is an inconspicuous and convenient option for tooth correction. The aligners can be easily removed for eating and oral hygiene.

Before the splints are manufactured, a three-dimensional computer simulation is created that shows how the teeth will change and ultimately stand. The Invisalign technique can also correct severe malpositions on the jaw and teeth.


For minor changes such as the correction of crooked anterior teeth, gaps or tilted teeth, the aligner technique can be advantageous compared to the Invisalign technique. The treatment time is shorter and the costs are lower. 3-9 different dental splints can be used in succession per treatment.

The decision as to which of the two almost invisible splints is used depends on the degree and type of malposition.

Types of braces: advantages and disadvantages

Fixed braces

  • very good treatment result
  • thanks to modern dentistry, no longer uncomfortable to wear or visible at first glance
  • Internal braces enable invisibility from the outside and a lower risk of dental calcification
  • Possibly problems with the pronunciation
  • The clip cannot be removed and inserted by yourself
  • Brackets make dental care difficult (dental plaque can build up in niches)

Loose braces

  • can be removed and used by yourself
  • daily brushing and cleaning of the braces is easily possible
  • can be taken out for eating or exercising (stress and relaxation for teeth, muscles and jaw alternate)
  • only suitable for the treatment of slight misaligned teeth
  • Possibly initially speech disorders and slight pressure pain (these inconveniences usually disappear after a few days)

When are braces used??

If the upper and lower jaw do not match and there is a malposition, this does not only have an aesthetic impact on those affected. Crooked teeth have serious health consequences that orthodontics can remedy.

Possible consequences of a misaligned tooth or jaw:

  • Caries and periodontal disease: crowding and nesting of the teeth promote dental diseases.
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints: They arise when the chewing or biting function is impaired.
  • Tense neck and jaw muscles: A wrong bite can quickly lead to this, which in turn causes headaches.
  • Colds and ear, nose, and throat problems: These often occur when the mouth is open while sleeping and the air we breathe is not moistened and warmed by correct nasal breathing.
  • Polyps: In children who cannot close their lips due to the large teeth, mouth breathing often means that the tonsils and tonsils have to be removed.
  • Speech error: Due to a malposition of the jaw or teeth, e.g. the lisp is caused.

Braces for children

In children, malpositions of the teeth can be recognized early and compensated for by regular visits to the dentist, or even avoided by good care and healthy eating. The more developed the jaw is at the time the milk teeth are lost, the better the regrowing teeth adapt. This means that the premature loss of milk teeth (due to poor care) damages the regrowing teeth. Misalignments of the milk teeth also lead to misalignments of the permanent dentition.

In children, correction is usually still possible with loose braces.

Braces for adults

Adults can also have their teeth straightened using orthodontics. However, the correction requires a lot of patience. Nevertheless, more and more adult patients today decide to have their own teeth straightened not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for health reasons. The possibilities are many, but the therapies are very expensive.

How long must braces be worn??

The duration of tooth adjustment depends on the degree and type of malposition, the age of the patient and the type of regulation. That varies from case to case. Most children’s orthodontic treatments last 3-4 years. Smaller misalignments can be regulated in a shorter time. The teeth can be brought into the desired position relatively quickly, but there is a risk that they will slide back just as quickly if they are not held in the correct position long enough.

How does the treatment work?

Before the actual treatment begins, the initial consultation and diagnosis are carried out by an expert. For this purpose, the jaw, teeth and chewing function are thoroughly examined. In this way, the attending doctor can determine whether orthodontic care is necessary. He then draws up a treatment plan that is based on the patient’s individual needs and includes their expectations.

Personal conversation: If there are several options for regulation, the doctor clarifies in a personal conversation about the advantages and disadvantages of the respective method and provides information about costs. If the decision is made for a specific set of braces, an appointment for individual impressions follows: Alginate impressions are used to create a model made of plaster, which depicts the upper and lower jaw. To do this, a special shape is pressed onto the patient’s teeth into which a soft mass has been filled, the so-called alginate. For young patients there are several flavors of the mass, so that the process is not too uncomfortable for you.

Planning and deployment: On the basis of the impression, the X-ray images or photographs, the next treatment steps are planned and the individual braces are made in the master laboratory. When the braces are finished, they are inserted.

Unlike loose braces, fixed braces that are attached to the teeth with brackets are prefabricated. The individual adjustment follows on the day of insertion.

Tips after inserting the braces

In order to keep the risk of complications low, it can be worthwhile to remove hard food from the menu during the first few days to avoid biting hard. While loose braces can always be removed, we give you tips on how to maintain the health and hygiene of your teeth and oral cavity with fixed appliances.

When wearing a fixed brace, avoid:

  • Sticky things like liquorice, caramel candies or chewing gum, as they are very difficult to remove from the braces.
  • After eating sweets, brush your teeth immediately.
  • You can cut hard food into small pieces >Especially with fixed braces, bacteria stick to the glued brackets and certain areas are difficult to reach with the toothbrush. The bacteria extract important minerals from the tooth and damage it.

Tips for thorough care:

    Teeth if possible after every meal with fluor >Soft food: For the first few days after insertion, you should only eat soft foods. Soup, applesauce and mashed potatoes are recommended.

Cold or frozen foods: Ice cream calms and numbs a little. Ice cubes also relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Alternatively, you can freeze a baby tooth ring and then bite or suck on it.

Avoid acidic drinks and foods: Lemons, for example, can cause pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the mouth.

Avoiding hard or sticky food: You should avoid certain foods so that the braces do not break. Chips, jerky, nuts and toffee could cause damage.

Painkiller: Paracetamol (Tylenol), for example, can relieve pain. Take a dose (1-2 tablets) with water every 4 hours, preferably after eating, as they can irritate the stomach. Ibuprofen is also a common pain reliever, but it can slow down the process of tooth correction.

Surface anesthetic: These remedies can numb the pain for a few hours and are available in the form of irrigators, douches, and gel.

Wash out mouth with salt water: Salt water soothes the mouth and treats any pain caused by the braces rubbing against the cheeks. Make a salt water rinse from a teaspoon of table salt and a glass of warm water.

Rinse mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and reduces inflammation. Mix some water with a little 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Orthodontic wax: Orthodontic or tooth wax acts as a barrier between braces and the inside of the mouth. The wax is available directly from the orthodontist or from the drugstore.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: This contains potassium nitrate, which reduces the sensitivity of the teeth by protecting the gum nerves.

Toothbrush with soft bristles: The softer the bristles, the softer they appear on the teeth and gums. You should brush your teeth gently and carefully in a circular motion.

Brush your teeth and floss: If you have braces, brush your teeth and floss after every meal. Otherwise you risk tooth decay, swollen gums and other dental problems. You should carry a travel toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste and a pack of dental floss on the go.

Visit to the orthodontist: If you still feel pain after a few weeks, you should see your orthodontist. The braces may be too tight or the end of the wires may be pressing against the inside of the cheek. The orthodontist can also recommend other treatments or products.

Other complications and risks

  • Caries or gingivitis if dental care is not thorough enough
  • allergic reactions to the metals or rubber used (latex allergy)
  • Rework required if the brackets are incorrectly glued on
  • If the arch is inserted incorrectly, the tooth movement can be strong (with possible root damage) or too weak (which leads to an extension of the therapy duration)

The latest study by the Federal Ministry of Health: This is what braces bring

The study situation on the use of braces is overall unsatisfactory and does not allow a conclusive or clear statement. This was the result of a study by the IGES Institute on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health in November 2018.

According to IGES, braces can neither clearly prove nor rule out dental diseases such as tooth decay and periodontitis or tooth loss. Too few studies on oral health can be identified. The main reason for this is the very long observation times it takes to observe morbidity-relevant endpoints such as tooth loss, tooth decay or periodontitis and periodontitis. In most cases, these occur several years after treatment.

However, the study proves that misaligned teeth can definitely be improved and remedied with orthodontic treatment. It has also been shown that the patient’s quality of life improves considerably.

What costs are covered by the statutory health insurance??

For the first child, 80% of the treatment costs, for further children 90% of the treatment costs are immediately covered by the statutory health insurance if the malposition corresponds to the indication groups 3-5. The missing 10% or 20% will only be reimbursed when the treatment is successfully completed. Non-contractual services for optimized orthodontic treatment must be financed yourself. This also applies to additional services that shorten treatment or make it more pleasant.

Dental braces treatment in adults is only financially supported in extreme exceptional cases. Exceptions are severe jaw abnormalities e.g. B. in congenital malformations, bone-related miss bites and injured jaw deformities. Here, the statutory health insurance company pays a standard treatment after approval by an estimate.

Orthodontic indication groups (KIG)

Since January 2002 there have been new guidelines, the orthodontic indication groups (KIG): Before starting treatment, the orthodontist must rate the jaw or tooth misalignments with "marks" of 1-5. The health insurance companies only pay from rating 3. With KIG 1-2, the costs must be borne by yourself, even if the treatment is actually medically necessary. This can often lead to incomprehensible decisions. Are the upper incisors of a child z. B. by 6.5 mm beyond the lower front of the incisor, the till must pay for the entire treatment. With a still very large step of 6 mm, on the other hand, the parents themselves have to pay for the entire cost of tooth regulation. The malformation of teeth is classified according to precisely measurable criteria and is registered by the health insurance companies and checked by the expert.

The private health insurance companies reimburse according to the chosen insurance tariff.

What do you have to pay yourself?

The cost of braces is made up of the type of tooth adjustment, the duration of the treatment and the material used. Smaller corrections start at around 500 euros, a fixed brace starts at 1,500 euros and a TMJ defect starts at 6,000 euros.

What costs does DFV Dental Protection cover??

The fourfold Stiftung Warentest test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz Exklusiv 100 assumes 100% of the costs for all dental and orthodontic treatments – regardless of age and level of classification.

With us you don’t have to decide which benefits you want to insure. Everything is in there! You will receive 100% reimbursement for dental treatment, dentures, orthodontics and dental prophylaxis!

FAQs about braces

What braces for overbite?

One speaks of an overbite (prognathy) when the upper jaw projects beyond the lower jaw when the mouth is closed. The regular distance between the upper and lower incisors is two millimeters. If this distance is exceeded, it is an overbite. In children, the overbite is often treated with conventional, fixed braces. This restricts the growth of the upper jaw and promotes lower jaw growth. In adults, the overbite requires other methods because the growth of the jaw is already complete. The treatment can then be carried out using a combined orthodontic-surgical method.

What braces for tight spaces?

In the event of a crowding, the teeth in the jaw do not have enough space. As a result, they do not grow out completely, remain completely in the jaw, grow crooked or stand rotated. The treatment stimulates jaw growth in children and adolescents. For example, a too narrow jaw is widened so that the teeth find enough space. After enlarging the jaw, the teeth are then placed in the dental arch using fixed braces.

In adults, the teeth are shifted if the tightness is not too pronounced. Solid braces or transparent dental splints (aligners) are suitable for this..

What braces for cross bites?

In the case of a cross bite, the rows of teeth "overlap" incorrectly. Usually, the outer cusps of the upper teeth protrude further than the lower cusp tips. In the event of a cross bite, the bumps of the lower, lateral teeth bite past the bumps of the maxillary posterior teeth. As a result, the occlusal surfaces of the teeth no longer meet correctly when biting.

In order to correct a cross bite, expansion plates, appliances for widening the palate seam, customary fixed braces as well as invisible aligner systems are used.

How expensive is loose braces for children?

The cost of braces always depends on the extent of the malposition, the material required and the duration of treatment. The statutory health insurance fund only pays for what is expedient, sufficient and, accordingly, not too expensive. Depending on the individual case and clip, this can be between € 4,000 and € 15,000. Conventional, loose braces are usually reimbursed. More expensive clasps such as B. the Invisalign braces must be paid for yourself.

How much does a fixed brace cost from the inside?

The one inside "lingual" Braces (facing the tongue) are used when patients with a medium to high need for dental correction want an inconspicuous, as invisible braces as possible. Lingual braces are usually cast in gold, which is why the strongly fluctuating gold price also plays a role in the costs.

In addition to the material costs, the decisive factor is how many teeth the internal braces have. Only 8 teeth in the upper jaw or all 32 teeth? This can result in costs of between € 1,500 and € 5,000 per jaw.

The statutory health insurance does not cover the costs of the lingual braces. Legally insured patients have to pay the difference to the simple fixed braces (standard care of the SHI) themselves.

How expensive is an invisible brace?

The Invisalign technique uses a transparent splint, similar to a crunch splint. This method is suitable for slight deformities. The cost of an invisible braces depends on the duration and effort of the treatment and is in the range between 6,000 – 9,000 €.

This makes invisible braces about 30 to 100% more expensive than regular, fixed braces. The statutory health insurance company only pays the cost of invisible braces for adults in exceptional cases (e.g. severe jaw anomalies).

In the case of children and adolescents, the GKV only covers the costs of regular care. The parents have to finance the difference between the regular care grants and the actual costs of Invisalign treatment out of their own pockets.

How much does braces cost privately??

The cost of braces results from the severity of the jaw position and the necessary and desired services for a correction. It is therefore difficult to quantify the exact costs, since it always depends on the individual diagnosis and the opinion of the treating doctor. The total cost of long-term treatment is estimated to be € 6,000 or more.

Despite the fact that the statutory health insurance may cover the costs, additional treatments or methods that are more effective, less painful or more aesthetic are to be carried privately.

If there is a malposition in the KIG 1-2 area among patients under the age of 18, the costs are to be paid entirely privately. In the case of adults, the costs are to be borne privately, with a few exceptional cases with anomaly of the jaw.

How much does a normal brace cost??

Fixed braces can quickly cost several thousand euros. The actual price depends on the duration, technique and material. With both fixed and loose braces, costs between € 1,500 and € 10,000 quickly come together.

The statutory health insurance fund generally reimburses costs for orthodontic therapy for patients up to the age of 18. However, this only applies to the treatment of malpositions in the KIG 3 to 5. If you want more comfortable or cosmetic solutions outside of the standard care, you have to bear the costs privately. Adults generally have to bear the costs entirely privately.

If you pay for a regular fixed brace yourself, you should expect to pay € 2,500; the transparent plastic splints cost an average of € 3,500 to 6,000.

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