Did you know that over four million people in the United States have braces? Although you may think about children and teenagers when you picture braces, about a quarter of those people with braces are adults. It is never too late to correct your smile.
Have you thought about braces, but you do not know which option is best for you? Here is a guide to the different types of orthodontic treatment and the pros and cons of each one.
Traditional braces are by far the most popular option for orthodontic treatment, and for good reason. They are easy to clean and usually stay on between one and two years, sometimes more depending on your needs.
Metal braces involve brackets glued to your teeth and wires to string them together. There are rubber bands on the brackets to make them more comfortable and easy to wear.
Your orthodontist will clip your wire at the back of your mouth to help you with any discomfort. However, the original application of braces and getting them tightened every month can be incredibly painful.
One of the drawbacks of traditional braces, however, is that they are very visible. If you get these braces, you will have a mouth full of metal that is visible in pictures and when you are talking.
A fun way to spice up your metal braces is by changing the band colors. Orthodontists usually have a lot of choices, and you can even alternate the colors to have multiple options. Some people coordinate their colors to match holidays and seasons.
If you have an overbite or a crossbite, you may also need to wear rubber bands that stretch from your front teeth to your back teeth. These will help pull your teeth back and align them properly to have an attractive smile.
Similar to traditional braces, ceramic braces have a bracket design, which is glued onto your teeth. However, rather than metal, the brackets are made of ceramic. The ceramic match your teeth to create a look that blends in.
If you are self-conscious about braces or you want them to look invisible, then this might be the best way to go. You will only be able to tell that you have ceramic bracelets if you look closely.
One downside of ceramic braces is that they tend to be more expensive than traditional metal. You will need to budget more if you want the sleek, invisible look of ceramic braces.
In addition, ceramic braces can stain if you do not take care of them properly. If they stain, they will be more visible and the extra money you spent carries less value.
If you want an even more invisible look, you may want to consider lingual braces for your orthodontic procedure. These are usually made of metal, so the material is similar to traditional braces.
The biggest selling point of lingual braces is that they are attached to the back of your teeth. This leaves the front of your teeth free from obstruction and you can smile beautifully all the way through your treatment.
Also known as Brius braces, these types of braces tend to be more expensive, but your uninterrupted smile may be worth the money. In addition, treatment will take longer than traditional braces. However, the treatment time matters less because your smile will not be impaired.
Self-litigating braces are very similar in design to metal braces. Instead of rubber bands to keep the brackets on the teeth, they have a clip design that is more innovative and flexible.
A huge hygienic benefit of these braces is that they are much easier to keep clean. With traditional braces, it is difficult to brush and floss in between the braces. Cleaning your self-litigating braces will help you to maintain your teeth and avoid cavities and other issues.
Like many newer innovations when it comes to orthodontic treatment, self-litigating braces tend to be more expensive than other options in the dental industry. The extra cost allows for more comfort during your treatment and easier maintenance.
Clear aligners have been growing in popularity over the past couple of decades. The most popular brand, Invisalign, touts that it can fix your teeth with a series of aligners that you change monthly.
Once you get a custom fitting for your liners, your orthodontist will give you a new model every few weeks. Each mold slowly shifts your teeth into the desired formation.
One downside of clear aligners is that you need to wear them almost all the time to get the desired effect. They can feel thick in the mouth and talking takes practice if you want to speak without a lisp or an awkward accent.
You also need to take good care of your clear aligners if you want them to stay free of germs and bacteria. Take them out when you are eating or drinking anything besides water.
This means that you are limited to the food and drinks you can enjoy. Orthodontists recommend keeping your liners in for about 23 hours every day, so you will not be able to sip on coffee or a smoothie without having to take out the aligners constantly.
If you have severe orthodontic problems, such as extreme crookedness or a noticeable overbite, then clear aligners may not be an option for you. You will need to correct your problems with conventional braces or even headgear.
So Many Types of Dental Braces
If you are thinking about getting braces, then you may feel overwhelmed with your choices. With this guide to types of dental braces, you can rest assured that you will make the right decision for your dental needs.
Would you like to learn more about how to take care of your teeth? Check out our blog for all of the information you need on staying healthy.