Do you need braces to straighten your teeth? Then you are probably are picturing yourself with bright silver braces covering the front of your teeth. However, if this isn’t a pretty picture as far as you are concerned, you are in luck: there are many different types of braces to choose from, and chances are most of them will be suited to the treatment you need.
Traditional Metal Braces
These braces are the original, and they are still the most common type of braces used. However, they are much improved over what they used to be. Made with high-grade stainless steel and designed to be slightly less visible, they work for patients of all ages. However, younger patients like them best since they can be personalized with colored elastics and special brackets.
Self-ligating braces are very similar to traditional braces, except they do not require the use of elastics. This makes them less visible, more comfortable, and more effective. They can be used with different types of brackets, giving you greater control over how your braces look. Many teens and adults like the clear brackets, which only leave the archwire visible.
Ceramic braces are made from clear or tooth-colored material, allowing them to blend into the teeth. These braces are self-ligating, which means that when on, the archwire is the only clearly visible element. However, they are more delicate than other types of braces, so they are not suited to those who play sports or those who cannot be super careful while in treatment. Additionally, they are only used on the top front teeth to prevent them from breaking with normal use.
Invisalign is an alternative to braces. Rather than using brackets and archwires, it uses aligners, which look similar to plastic retainers or teeth whitening trays. The aligners are custom made, allowing them to fit flush against the teeth, rendering them invisible. They are also more comfortable than traditional braces, and since they are removeable, more convenient.
Finally, there are lingual braces. Lingual braces are designed to be fixed to the backs of the teeth rather than the front like other types of braces. This means they are always hidden from sight. Because of the nature of these braces, they must be custom made for the patient, which means they are more expensive. However, they are ideal for those in professional settings, those who play sports, or those who use instruments.