Today, there are more orthodontic options available than ever before! Even though there are different types of braces, they essentially perform the same function: reconfigure the position of the teeth to improve the function and look of your smile. Braces can be split into two primary categories removable and fixed. Removable devices, like Invisalign, can be taken out of the mouth to eat, drink, and perform oral care tasks while fixed braces are placed by the doctor and are usually only removed once the treatment is completed. Fixed appliances are great because the patient does not have to worry about removing aligners and remerging to put them back in, they are just there working all the time. However, removable aligners are more popular than ever before due to their flexibility during treatment.
Traditional fixed braces are preferred by patients who are looking for a budget-friendly and reliable way to straighten their teeth. These braces are great for patients who have complex cases. Fixed braces consist of individual brackets that are cemented to each tooth, then a thin wire connects the brackets, and applied pressure is used to straighten the teeth. During treatment, adjustments will be made to your fixed braces to ensure that the right amount of pressure is being applied. Within the world of fixed braces, there are metal, ceramic, and clear brackets. Metal brackets are the strongest but most visible variety. Ceramic braces are more discreet than metal but more difficult to care for and are prone to stains. Clear brackets are the least noticeable but are the highest cost and most fragile variety of fixed braces.
Clear braces are a great option for patients who want a more discreet alternative to traditional metal braces. This variety of braces is almost invisible and allows the patient to smile with pride even while undergoing treatment. However, these braces are not the best option for everyone. This variety is more costly than traditional metal braces and often requires a longer treatment. Clear braces are also prone to staining due to smoking and drinking coffee or tea.
A great alternative to braces is Invisalign which consists of virtually invisible aligners that shift the teeth closer to their new positions with each aligner change. Patients typically wear each aligner for one to two weeks before moving on to the next aligner in the series until they are done with treatment! Invisalign is a great alternative option since the aligners can be removed while eating, drinking, performing oral care tasks, and even hobbies such as singing or playing a musical instrument.
Clear aligners are available for phase one treatment in children as young as 7. Traditional braces require lots of attention to proper cleaning and can be abrasive to the mouth. Clear aligners allow doctors to identify any developing complications in the early stages and put together a treatment plan that will give your child the best smile that they will want to show off forever!
Clear aligners are a great option for teenagers. Clear aligners are virtually invisible and allow teenagers to continue living their life without interruptions or embarrassment. Teens can continue participating in all the sports they love and can continue to eat popcorn and chew gum which would not be an option with traditional braces.
As an adult, you may have put off orthodontic treatment for a long time, but it’s never too late to straighten your teeth and get that healthy and delightful smile you have always wanted! With clear aligners, you can straighten your teeth without the look of metal braces and without having to alter your diet or lifestyle.