Do you remember the bulky, old tooth braces that could turn every teenager’s social life into a nightmare? Although you do, your children might have no recollection of such memories. Over the past few decades, orthodontics has experienced countless technological improvements. As a result, multiple orthodontic treatments, focused on the patient’s comfort, are today on the market, more effective and less visible than their “ancient counterparts.”
However, with more numerous types of braces comes the question, “How do I know which type of braces is right for my orthodontic needs?” Long story short, each braces type comes with advantages and disadvantages, and it is the orthodontist’s duty to assess your dental health and determine which type of braces is ideal for your needs.
Until you decide to consult an orthodontist, why don’t you take the time today to discover the main braces types and their main characteristics? Here at Patuxent Orthodontics, we stand by patient education and its relevance – an informed patient is always a happy patient. Therefore, let us walk you through the main types of braces and determine which ones suit you best!
Different Types of Braces: What Are My Options?
#1: METAL BRACES
These high-quality stainless steel devices come to mind first when discussing types of braces. Due to technological innovations, metal braces have become smaller, more comfortable, and more effective, which is why they still enjoy solid popularity amongst patients.
The technology behind metal braces is straightforward. First, the orthodontist applies the braces to the teeth and links them with a metal wire. Next, the wire is fixed in place using elastic ties and voilà, the metal braces begin to work their magic.
Out of all braces types, metal braces are the quickest to render solid results. However, aesthetics and difficulties linked to brushing and flossing act as deterrents for some patients. Furthermore, we do not recommend metal braces to patients with poor oral hygiene.
#2: CERAMIC BRACES
Ceramic braces come as an alternative for aesthetically driven patients. By employing a tooth-colored material for the brackets, these braces are a virtually invisible choice, allowing for discreteness and affordability.
Ceramic braces come with several advantages and disadvantages when compared with their metal counterparts. On the one hand, they are a fantastic choice for teenagers and adults who prefer a more subtle look. However, on the other hand, ceramic braces are larger and show a higher tendency towards staining. Despite these disadvantages, ceramic braces make a solid addition to any orthodontist’s arsenal.
#3: SELF-LIGATING BRACES
Next, we have a more comfortable and easy-to-adjust type of braces – self-ligating braces! The technology is almost identical to their metal and ceramic counterparts, except for one aspect – self-ligating braces employ doors or clips instead of elastic ties to keep the wire in place. Although not radically diverse, this approach makes self-ligating braces easier to adjust; with easier adjustments comes less time spent in the orthodontist’s office.
Therefore, we recommend self-ligating braces to patients who are more sensitive to discomfort and want to enjoy a more comfortable orthodontic experience without long orthodontic appointments.
#4: LINGUAL BRACES
Last but not least, we have a more uncommon type of braces, which respond to specific orthodontic needs – lingual braces! Also named inside braces, this orthodontic device contains custom-made brackets for the inside of each tooth. A wire connects these brackets and moves the teeth into position from the inside.
Lingual braces present both advantages and disadvantages to their standard outside counterparts. On the one hand, they are invisible, therefore perfect for suiting any aesthetic needs. On the other hand, lingual braces call for more and longer appointments and pose more challenges related to cleaning; moreover, they might cause tongue irritation and speech-related issues in the beginning. Choose lingual braces only if your orthodontic needs call for this device.
How to Choose from the Different Types of Braces?
Our experiences points towards three main factors that, besides the orthodontist’s input, influence the patient’s decision when presented with different braces types:
The way others perceive us weighs heavily upon our looks; especially for teenagers, one’s look can make the difference between acceptance in a group or rejection. Therefore, it should not surprise us that, in a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists, 71% of people listed look-related worries as a deterrent from getting braces. The same survey, however, discovered that the majority of these people forget about their aesthetic concerns shortly after their braces are put on.
Aesthetic perspective is not a constant, and patients might actually find braces appealing after some time. However, if looks concern you, make sure that you choose lingual or ceramic braces.
Prices are another influential factor when choosing braces. Some orthodontic treatments are more expensive due to technological advances and increased comfort; lingual braces are at the top of the price chain, while the material puts ceramic brace prices above metal braces. Therefore, when consulting an orthodontist, ask for financing options; you will find out that numerous patients choose this alternative to relieve themselves of financial hassle.
#3: DENTAL HYGIENE DISCIPLINE
Finally, yet importantly, you must assess your future commitment to superior dental care. Orthodontic treatments require extra attention from patients to avoid the risk of staining food particles becoming lodged in the devices. That being said, make sure that you implement a solid oral care regimen before undergoing orthodontic treatment.
A Final Word
The orthodontics field boasts numerous treatments that can bring your aesthetic goals to life. All you need is to schedule a complimentary consultation with Patuxent Orthodontics and learn which type of braces suits you best. In the meantime, make sure to check out our blog for more information on orthodontic treatments.