So, it’s time to think about getting braces for yourself or one of your family members. You might have talked to a few people you know that have experience with braces, asked about cost and overall discomfort. In your early research, you might have heard there are are different types of braces, other than your standard metal brackets. Well, there are many ways to get that amazing smile. We have gathered the most common types of braces and listed them here with some general information about each. We hope this helps you go into your first orthodontist appointment informed and ready to take the next step.
Lingual Braces are similar to standard metal braces, but the brackets are attached to the inside surface, making them almost invisible. It’s a great option if you are dreading the look of braces. This technique isn’t practiced universally, but your orthodontist might offer lingual braces. It tends to be a little pricier, since each bracket is custom made to fit each tooth. Also, they can take longer to get used to since many speech movements happen between the tongue and the teeth. Most patients quickly adapt and find that lingual braces are a great (discreet) way to straighten teeth.
Invisalign is another method that was developed to meet the needs of people who wanted to be able to correct their teeth without having to wear metal brackets. Aside from being virtually invisible, Invisalign can be removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
If you opt for this treatment, your orthodontist will scan your teeth, creating a 3D “map,” which will be used to build a custom treatment plan. You will be given several aligners to take home and the doctor will recommend when you should move to the next level, sometimes as often as once a week. The aligner is made of a proprietary material and snaps on and off when needed.
Ask your orthodontist if he or she offers Invisalign.
Self-Ligating Braces involve using special brackets and remove the need for rubber bands or metal ties. The major benefit of self-ligating braces is less time in your six week checkup appointments, and possibly fewer appointments overall.
Studies have also shown that these braces put less strain on the teeth overall. There is less frictional resistance, meaning potentially healthier teeth when the process is over.
Ceramic Braces are another great option for those who don’t want the look of metal braces. The ceramic material is clear and can be paired with white wires to truly make them blend in. Compared to Invisalign, this treatment works as fast as metal braces, shortening the entire process substantially.
If you choose ceramic braces, remember that the ceramic can stain, turning yellow over time. Diligent cleaning and care helps eliminate this problem, however.
Metal Braces have been the standard for decades, and in many cases they are still the most effective and affordable solution. If you are looking for a tried and true method, with a lower price tag, metal braces are still the way to go.
With many of these treatments, there are still side effects and complications to look out for. For instance, early discomfort to the teeth, skin and gums is common and will subside over time. Every adjustment, whether with a new aligner with Invisalign or an in-office adjustment with traditional metal braces, may cause pain and discomfort. After all, your teeth are slowly moving into that ideal formation. Most people report that some Ibuprofen or Tylenol helps substantially in relieving the pain.
Live in Arizona and want to talk to an orthodontist? Call today for a consultation.