Dental braces are specifically designed to straighten teeth and correct a range of different malocclusion problems. Whether your teeth are severely crooked, crowded or if you have an open bite or under bite, braces can work well in correcting your smile. When your teeth are straighter, this improves the way that your smile looks and can boost your confidence. Straight teeth are also easier to take care of because you can reach each surface of the teeth while brushing.
Types of Braces
There are several different types of dental braces available. To determine which type is right for you, you'll need to have a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist. They will decipher the best treatment according to your current needs as well as your age or the age of your child.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are still one of the most common orthodontic options. Traditional braces use brackets and metal wiring to force pressure on the teeth. These brackets are designed to straighten crowded teeth as well as bring teeth down that are out of place. You will need to go into the office at least once a month to have the wires changed or tightened in order for the treatment to be effective.
+ Pros: Traditional metal braces are incredibly effective and can be used by patients of all ages. They leave very little residual staining behind after they are removed.
- Cons: Metal braces can be uncomfortable and unsightly to some patients. For older teens and adults, they may opt for a less noticeable orthodontic option.
Ceramic braces are similar to traditional dental braces in that they use brackets and wires. However, the brackets are made out of tooth-colored ceramic and the wires are either clear or white. This allows you to benefit from the effective straightening of traditional metal braces without the bulky metal brackets that are seen every time you talk or smile. Ceramic braces work similarly in that they apply pressure to the teeth in just the right areas, pushing them into place.
+ Pros: Ceramic dental braces are clear and relatively inconspicuous when worn. They're best suited for adults who want to straighten their teeth without the worry of having a mouth full of metal.
- Cons: Ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional metal options. Despite being tooth-colored and clear, they may still be noticeable when you smile.
Lingual braces are put on the insides of your teeth towards your tongue. When you smile, no one will know you're wearing braces because all of the work is being done on the inside, so to speak. Lingual braces have been around for years and are ideal for many patients, but they might not be the right option if there is a lot of orthodontic work that needs to be done.
+ Pros: Braces are worn on the insides of your teeth, so no one will notice them when you smile. The treatment uses metal brackets and wires, similar to traditional braces, so the procedure is quite effective.
- Cons: One of the biggest cons of lingual braces is the discomfort. Your tongue will be hitting and scraping against the braces constantly, which may be irritating or even painful for you. Because your tongue constantly comes into contact with the braces, there is more of a chance of brackets falling off or wiring coming loose.
Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic options nowadays. The system involves clear aligner trays that are custom made to your teeth. These trays have to be worn for about 22 hours a day in order for them to work effectively. The trays are completely clear in nature, so no one but you and your dental office will know you're wearing them. Invisalign isn't the only company that offers clear aligner tray braces, but they were the first and are still the most popular.
+ Pros: Invisalign is totally clear and can be worn by older teens and adults who need to straighten their teeth but don't want any metal brackets during treatment. Invisalign is removable, so you can take the trays out when cleaning your teeth or attending an event.
- Cons: Invisalign can be more expensive than traditional metal braces, so it's not the most cost-effective option. It's up to you whether you want to take this as a pro or con, but because you can't eat with Invisalign, you must take them out all the time you are having a snack. Maybe this also has a positive side effect if you don't eat all the time :-)
What Braces are Best for Adults and Children?
If you're looking for braces for yourself or dental braces for kids, there are lots of different options available to meet your needs. For adults, ceramic braces and Invisalign are often the better options. These two orthodontic treatment options are relatively clear, so no one will know you're wearing them but you. You will want to ask your dentist about the price of dental braces so that you can prepare for the costs prior to having the work done.
For children, traditional metal braces and lingual braces are often the most suitable. Traditional metal braces work quickly and effectively, and they are more suitable for severe issues with crowding, misalignment, and malocclusion. The metal braces are securely placed on the teeth, so there is no chance of your child taking them out and not wearing them properly as you might find with Invisalign treatment.
Retainers: What are They and Why are They Used?
After dental braces, you'll be fitted for a retainer. The retainer is worn to maintain your results after the dental braces have been fully removed. If you fail to wear your retainer, your teeth will more than likely shift and become crowded or crooked again. When braces are first removed, you will need to wear your retainer for at least 22 hours a day. After several months, you can wear your retainer nightly to maintain your orthodontic results.
Why Would You Need Braces?
Most often, you'll need braces if you or a child has crooked or crowded teeth. Braces are also effective at correcting issues like underbites, overbites, and open bites. Orthodontic problems can be hereditary, but they are also specific to the way that the person's mouth and teeth develop. For example, toddlers who suck their thumbs or excessively use pacifiers will more than likely need more aggressive orthodontic treatment later on than a child who rarely sucked their thumb or used a pacifier.
If you're being fitted for braces or have a child who is going to be wearing braces, it is important to keep up with your dental care and routine oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss using special tools or a water flossing machine. Find here in this blog article how to brush your teeth properly with dental floss. Keeping your teeth clean and well-cared for despite wearing braces ensures that when the braces eventually come off, you'll be left with a gorgeous, even smile. Your orthodontist will also give you information regarding proper dental hygiene while wearing braces or foods that you'll need to avoid, like gum, sticky candies or hard foods like carrots and apples. Braces of all kinds are effective treatments for correcting misalignment and overcrowding that can affect your oral health and self-esteem.