Braces have come a long way in that there only used to be one type available. Now, you have options to choose from with your orthodontist. When thinking about treatment options, you should know that each style has its advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Cherry and your orthodontic staff will help you by evaluating your teeth and recommending the type of braces that best suits your needs and wants. It’s all about being as comfortable and confident as possible until you celebrate your de-bonding day!
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile. Length of treatment will depend on the extent to which teeth/bite are out of place. Straight and even teeth will let you chew food more comfortably and make them easier to clean.
Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces come with traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. These ligating brackets are the same size as metal braces but use a specialized clip in place of elastic bands to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth and opening/shutting ligating brackets require shorter treatment times because there are no elastics to replace. Self- ligating braces may also be easier to clean without the presence of ligatures, elastics or ties.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually more discreet and nearly invisible, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Clear ceramic braces may be more comfortable than metal braces with a smoother bracket feel.
Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.