Types Of Braces
Traditional Metal BracesTraditional 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.
Ceramic BracesCeramic 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 less prominent, 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.
Self-ligating BracesSelf-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces; however, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastic ties. They are the same size as metal braces but use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth.
Clear Aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth into their proper position. Similar to braces, clear aligners use a gradual force to control tooth movement, but without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are made of a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit each person’s mouth. If a series of aligners are made, each aligner moves the teeth a little bit more into place until the desired movement is completed.
Aligners are worn for at least 22 hours a day to reach the desired maximum effectiveness. The length of treatment with aligners depends upon the severity of each case.
Clear aligners are a great alternative for patients who want a straighter smile but do not want to wear traditional metal braces or for patients who have had orthodontic treatment in the past and want to make minor corrections to their smile.