Most people think of braces in terms of traditional metal braces – comprised of stainless steel brackets and wire connected by elastic ligatures that work to straighten teeth gradually over time. When people think of metal braces, their minds often go back to images of traditional metal braces consisting of traditional metal brackets with wire that help straighten your teeth over time.
Nowadays there is a range of orthodontic solutions available, from self-ligating brackets and lingual braces to self-ligating brackets and clear braces. How can you decide which option will best meet your needs?
Traditional metal braces, constructed of high-grade stainless steel, remain one of the most sought-after treatments for teeth alignment. Modern braces have become sleeker and smaller; new colors for bands can create eye-catching looks among young patients. We also provide clear or tooth-colored elastics to reduce their visibility – these elastics connect from arch to arch and apply constant force against each tooth, helping shift over time. Patients receive small bags containing this elastics so they can switch out as often as needed at home.
Lingual braces, which are attached to the backside of the teeth, may be ideal for those who don’t want anyone else to know they’re wearing braces. Unfortunately, they can be more challenging to clean and more susceptible to breaking than traditional metal ones and may not be ideal for active patients.
Ceramic braces are less noticeable on your teeth than metal ones, making them the perfect option for older teens and adults who desire discreet orthodontic treatment. While ceramic braces may take longer to straighten teeth than their metal counterparts, and are also more fragile so more frequent appointments may be required to keep your smile straight.
Brackets made of stainless steel may be coated with translucent ceramic material for extra opacity, making the elastic ligatures that hold arch wire to each bracket more likely to stain easily and require replacement more frequently; this may be especially true for patients who consume dark-colored foods and beverages regularly, smoke regularly or use mouthwash containing colorants. Self-ligating braces requiring no elastic ligatures would eliminate this issue; additionally, given that ceramic is brittle material it could make cleaning your teeth properly more challenging with these types of braces.
Clear aligners are an alternative to braces used to straighten your smile. As they’re removable, you’re free to continue eating your favorite foods and brushing and flossing as usual without interference from metal braces – making this option the go-to choice for adults looking for discreet orthodontic care.
Clear aligners work similarly to traditional braces in that they gradually realign your teeth over an extended period, from months to years. Your orthodontist will scan your mouth before creating custom clear aligners to wear during that timeframe.
If you opt for clear aligners, your orthodontist may also attach clear attachments that perform the same function as traditional brackets but blend in more naturally with your natural teeth. These attachments may prove especially helpful if your overbite or underbite requires additional support in order to be corrected.
Now, with a greater understanding of all your orthodontic treatment options, consider which type best meets your needs and weigh the potential advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision.
Lingual braces are custom-fitted to the backs of your teeth for near invisibility from the front. Much like traditional metal braces, lingual braces employ brackets with small elastic bands attached by brackets to connect thin arch wires that gradually adjust your teeth into alignment.
Lingual braces present a few disadvantages that are difficult to clean, such as experiencing speech and eating issues for the first several weeks after wearing them; these should usually subside after about one month of wear, though. Also, these types of dental braces tend to be more expensive than their counterparts; but their results make this extra investment worth your while.