Understanding the Different Types of Braces Orthodontists Use Today

Many people wish to straighten their teeth for cosmetic reasons. Others need to do so because of an uneven or uncomfortable bite, speaking issues, or because of breathing problems.

At any given time, approximately four million Americans are wearing braces. Although the majority of them are children and teenagers, about twenty-five percent of people with braces in the United States are adults.

Braces have been around for several hundred years, but over the past few decades, they have come a long way.

There are several different types of braces available for people who are considering them. Read on to learn about the many options available and the pros and cons of each.

1. Metal Braces/Traditional Braces

The most common of the many types of braces are traditional braces. These are the braces with which you are most likely the most familiar and you surely know someone who has worn them before.

These braces are metal and include metal brackets attached to the teeth. The brackets are connected by an adjustable wire to help move the teeth into position over time. This type of braces was once somewhat painful, but new heat-activated wires have resulted in decreased discomfort.

The advantage of metal braces is that they are the most affordable option, however, they are also very noticeable. They work quickly, though, and are an excellent option.

2. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are similar to traditional, metal braces, but the brackets are clear instead of metal. This helps them to blend into the teeth better and, as a result, they are far less noticeable. Today, some ceramic braces even use white wires to hide them even further.

The downside of ceramic braces is that they are more expensive than metal braces. Also, they can stain if they are not well cared for. However, like traditional braces, they work rapidly, but without standing out as much.

3. Lingual Braces

If you don’t want anyone to know that you have braces, you might consider lingual braces. This type of braces is similar to the two above, but instead of being attached to the front of the patient’s teeth, the brackets and wires are affixed to the back.

These braces are wonderful because they are invisible from the outside, but they come with many disadvantages. First of all, because they are difficult to put on and adjust, they are much more expensive than the others.

Also, because of their location, they are difficult to clean and maintain. They also can be rather uncomfortable.

4. Invisalign

The newest development in braces is Invisalign, although this method is not all that new anymore; it was introduced in 1997.

These are very different from the other methods above. Instead of brackets and wires, the patient’s teeth are adjusted using a series of plastic aligners. They are replaced every two weeks to further influence the movement of the teeth until they are where they should be.

Invisalign is popular because they are almost invisible. They are removed when the patient is eating so they are easy to maintain. However, the downsides are plentiful, too; they can easily be lost and they are more expensive than traditional braces.

Many Types of Braces

There are many different types of braces available to you if you want or need to have your teeth straightened. Your orthodontist will suggest the type that he or she thinks is best, but the ultimate decision is up to you. Take time to consider all of the pros and cons before you proceed. It’s your smile and soon it will be the best it can be.

If you are interested in learning more about your orthodontic options in the Yuba City area, please give us a call today. We look forward to answering your questions.

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