There are many different types of orthodontic braces available. Though made of varying components, each type realigns the teeth to enhance chewing, biting, and aesthetics. Available styles of orthodontic appliances allow the wearer a great amount of flexibility, control, and convenience.
What Are Traditional Fixed Braces?
Traditional braces are often more affordable and expedient than any other kind of braces – particularly in the case of a severe malocclusion (bad bite). While applying fixed braces, individual brackets are glued to each tooth on the arch, and a thin wire connects the brackets. Traditional fixed braces work on the premise that consistent pressure is applied to the teeth. The appliances must be modified by an orthodontist at routine appointments to continue exerting appropriate pressure.
There are several different types of brackets available, including metal, and ceramic.
What Are Metal Braces?
Metal braces are designed to move the teeth by putting continuous pressure on them until they reach the desired position. Metal braces are the traditional braces that you may see a character wearing in a movie or a tv show. They are made up of metal brackets and wires that work together to fix your teeth. However, unlike the braces you may have seen in the past, today’s metal braces are lighter and use smaller brackets, making the treatment process much more comfortable for patients. With metal braces, you can expect to visit the orthodontist’s office every 4-6 weeks to tighten the wires, apply elastics, and continually apply pressure on the teeth.
What Are Ceramic Braces?
Clear braces work very similarly to metal braces but a ceramic material is used for the brackets instead of the metal that you would find on traditional brackets. The ceramic material makes the braces blend in with the natural color of your teeth so the braces aren’t as noticeable as their metal counterparts. Since clear braces are noticeably less visible, they are a popular option for many adults who started getting orthodontic treatment at a more mature age or for children and teens who don’t want to draw attention to the fact that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Similar to metal braces, you will still need to visit your orthodontist every 4-6 weeks for routine checkups and maintenance to ensure your treatment progress is progressing on pace with your treatment time.
What Are Lingual Braces?
Lingual braces are almost invisible, as they are bonded to the back of the teeth, but the initial affixation is slightly more complex. Lingual braces are comprised of special custom-made brackets, which are connected by a wire. Many wearers prefer the reduced aesthetic impact with these braces, but some report an initial impairment in speech.
What Are Technology Braces?
Technology braces, sometimes called self-ligating, use unique and advanced technology to get results more quickly than traditional braces. The wires are lighter and use shape memory, so they don’t need tightening. With no elastics, this system reduces friction by using a sliding mechanism. Using the latest technology, we can provide you with images of what your facial structure will look like over time, which provides essential details for planning your treatment.
Similar to traditional braces, technology braces still require you to come in for periodic adjustments. During these appointments, Dr. J will evaluate your progress, making necessary changes to ensure your teeth continue to move to their new positions.
Although technology braces are very similar to traditional braces, they do offer some advantages that their traditional counterparts don’t, such as:
- No colorful rubber bands
- Easier to clean, brush, and floss teeth
- Smaller brackets tend to be more comfortable
- Shorter office visits without needing to change rubber bands
Technology braces are an excellent treatment option for anyone looking to have quick results and fewer office visits. Ask Dr. J if you are a candidate for technology braces at your next appointment!