I sported braces as a teenager in the ’90s, and I can attest to the hardships of delving into the world of teeth straightening. Luckily, almost 25 years later (yikes!) the options are so much better for kids and adults looking to un-crook their smiles.
There are two basic types of braces: attached and removable. Attached braces are just that, they stay on for the duration of the process and get adjusted in monthly increments, slowly straightening the teeth.
Removable braces can be taken off; whether to eat, brush teeth, or take a family photo. After about a month, removable braces are traded out for a different ‘tighter’ set.
Both attached and removable braces have different options to pick from, both having advantages and disadvantages I’ll discuss next. Not everyone is a candidate for all of these options, as every set of teeth come with different degrees of crookedness and bites. However, all options should be discussed with your orthodontist and opinions voiced. After all, they are your teeth!
Metal braces are the traditional braces that have been used for decades, and are still the most commonly used. Each bracket is glued to each tooth and adjusted over time. They are usually the most economical option.
Ceramic braces are less visible then metal braces and look much better, but can be more breakable and pricey. They can also lengthen the duration that you need to wear them as compared to other options.
These braces are attached to the back of your teeth, so they aren’t very noticeable. These too are much more expensive and can be irritating on your tongue.
If you’re looking for comfort, Damon braces are the way to go as they don’t require bands. They tend to slide over your teeth easier relinquishing that metal on-lip feeling.
Smart bracket braces are the latest craze in tooth alignment and are specialized and custom-made with computers to adjust perfectly to your smile and limit the time your wear them.
Invisalign braces are also an up and coming fad in the braces market, and really cater to patients with very simple cases of crooked teeth. They are small, plastic, removable mouth-guard like braces that are customized just for your teeth. At each appointment a new piece is created for you, slowly straightening your teeth over time. Typically they are more expensive, and require self-discipline to take out and leave in appropriately. However, they are a great option for adults who want to fix their teeth, but are self-conscious about wearing traditional braces.