I know that sometimes they're necessary. Crowding in your teeth can lead to cavities and infections which can spread to the jaw if they get serious enough. It can also affect your chewing and such. Not to mention it can be extremely painful.
I had them from 4-6 grade and was told I'd have to get them back on my senior year of high school to my sophomore year of college. Needless to say I laughed in their faces and said my teeth are fine, it's cosmetic at this point.
They can be needed but they can also be purely cosmetic.
umm.. just got them off a month or 2 ago actually haha. I had to get jaw adjustments done too which sucked cost-wise. I did it purely for cosmetic reasons because I like straight perfect teeth. I have permanent retainers on both my top and bottom teeth and also removal retainers for night. I think it's well worth the money :)
I think I had them from 12-14. A little over two years.
Braces aren't always purely cosmetic, you can have health problems (especially pain) if your teeth overlap in a certain way or hit each other at the wrong places. Two of my upper and lower molars were doing sh*tty stuff to each other by the way they were aligned :P
I had braces when I was 15 and had them on for a year.
I think it's certainly worth getting braces (if you can afford it) but it's not absolutely necessary. But I know some people, who had to get braces -- something to do with like the way the teeth were positioned. I don't know.
But I love the way my teeth look.
I was suppose to get them at 13 but never gott them done:/