Are you thinking of getting braces but are stuck on deciding which ones are the best option for you?
Straight and properly aligned teeth not only look good but also tend to be a lot healthier as well. Having crooked teeth can also lead to overcrowding in your mouth which can limit your tooth function and throw off your jaw’s alignment. Braces are used to straighten crooked teeth.
Here are 5 types of braces for you to choose from:
1) Traditional braces
Traditional metal braces have progressed a lot since their early days! They’ve become much lighter in both weight and structure then they previously were and make for a much more comfortable fit.
Today’s metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel after which the metal braces are connected to each tooth using orthodontic glue. These brackets are then linked to one another with a thin archwire which applies pressure to your teeth and gradually moves them into their intended positions. These archwires are then linked to the brackets using small elastic bands/ligatures which your orthodontist changes each time they tighten your braces.
Traditional metal braces are the most common braces treatment to date and a superb and practical option if you want to straighten your teeth. These braces are also great options for more complex tooth and jaw issues.
2) Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces due to the brackets being made of ceramic material. This material can be colored to match the color of your teeth along with the use of clear ceramic archwires.
Ceramic is a material that is similar to the texture of your natural teeth. These types of braces are still used by dentists for patients who want a more discreet and invisible orthodontic appliance.
Ceramic braces are usually a bit more expensive than metal braces but tend to work faster than clear plastic braces. Unfortunately, ceramic braces are a bit more brittle than their counterparts so it is not a good idea to opt for them if a great deal of pressure is required to move your teeth.
3) Lingual braces
Lingual braces are almost the same as traditional metal braces except that they are installed on the inside of your teeth rather than the outside which makes them almost invisible. Even when you happen to open your mouth, the braces are nearly invisible.
Lingual braces work almost as well as ceramic and traditional metal braces but are not generally recommended for resolving severe orthodontic problems as they require more maintenance. Lingual braces are also much harder to clean as they are located on the inside of your teeth. This also hinders your speech much more than other types of braces.
4) Damon braces
Damon braces are currently very popular amongst orthodontists at the moment as they require fewer dental visits as well as provide gentler dental treatment. Damon braces use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires and are self-ligating as well.
These types of braces produce much faster results as the teeth can move much faster on their own without needing to be adjusted by your dentist. These braces cause less friction and apply less pressure on your teeth as the movement is less painful.
5) Invisible braces (i.e. Invisalign)
Invisalign treatment involves the use of clear, removable plastic trays to gently straighten your teeth and bring them into alignment without using any wires or metal.
Invisalign treatment requires you to switch out your aligner trays every 1-2 weeks instead of the regular tightening of the archwires done for traditional braces. Each of these plastic aligners is custom made with precise calculations to gently shift your teeth into their intended positions.
Invisalign aligners are easier to maintain than traditional braces with the added advantage that you can remove your trays when you want to eat or drink anything so that it does not affect your diet.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is much easier as you don’t have to worry about brushing and flossing around any wires or brackets. But you should be ready to wear your aligners for about 20-22 hours daily if you want to attain the best results.
Choosing the best braces for you
Now that you know about the different types of braces available, your first step should be to prioritize what is important to you. Some people may prefer to undergo orthodontic treatment in a discreet manner whereas others may prefer their personal comfort. The defining factor is usually the cost of your treatment.
There are a lot of things that you should take into consideration prior to deciding on the type of braces you want before even meeting your dentist.
You should consult your dentist to determine the condition of your teeth and the severity of your oral issues. Lastly, you should discuss what your treatment goals to determine what the best type of orthodontic treatment for you would be from a professional’s perspective.
Author bio: Dr. Satish Pai is an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University. He believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile to his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga, or surfing.