Different Types of Braces Explained

Many people think that the only way to straighten teeth is to wear metal braces. This is not necessarily true. In some cases, other types of braces can be used.

If you think that you need braces, an orthodontist can advise you about the best way to straighten your teeth. However, it helps if you have some idea about the different types of braces that are available. Having this information means that you are in a better position to ask questions about your options. Therefore, here are the different types of braces that can be used to straighten teeth, depending on the circumstances: 

Metal braces 

Metal braces might not look attractive, but they are sometimes the best treatment option. These braces are fitted by cementing brackets to the teeth. Wires and bands are then attached to the brackets and gradually tightened in order to improve the alignment of the teeth. The entire process normally takes between one and three years to complete, depending on how severe the problem is. 

The only real downside to this type of braces is the appearance. However, they often represent the best, and most affordable, way to deal with serious teeth alignment issues. 

Invisalign®

Invisalign® treatment involves the use of aligners that are virtually impossible to see, because they are made from clear plastic. This is a major positive of the treatment. Another benefit is that the aligners can be removed so that the patient can brush their teeth properly

The aligners are individually made to fit each patient, so they are a precise fit. As the teeth move, the aligners are replaced every few weeks. Normally, the entire treatment process takes 6-18 months. The main downside of the treatment is that it only works in the case of less severe teeth alignment problems. 

Lingual braces 

Lingual braces look a lot like normal metal braces, but they are attached to the back of the teeth. This means that they are not as easy to see. The length of time taken to straighten teeth using lingual braces is usually between 18 months and three years. 

The downside of this type of braces is that the choice is not suitable for everyone. The braces can be uncomfortable and people with a severe overbite may find that the brackets become detached from their teeth. Treatment with ceramic or plastic lingual braces usually takes between 18 months and three years to complete. 

Plastic and ceramic braces 

These braces are designed in the same way as metal braces. However, the brackets are made from clear plastic or ceramic, so they are not as visible. 

The main issue with these braces is that they are not as strong as metal braces. This means that they are not always the most suitable form of treatment. 

If you have problems with the alignment of your teeth, you may be able to choose from one or more of these options to help with the problem. If you book a consultation with an orthodontist, they can assess your case and discuss your options with you. They will help you choose the best treatment for you, so that you get the best possible results. 

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