Braces are a very common tool used to rectify any orthodontic problems among people of any age. When choosing the right type of braces, it is important to take into consideration a variety of factors. There are many options available, and each type of braces offers its own pros and cons.
Metal braces/Traditional braces
Metal braces, often considered traditional braces, have the metal brackets and wires that are most commonly envisioned when people think of braces. In the past, metal braces were large and clunky. However, due to modern technology, today’s metal braces are smaller and less noticeable. Also, heat activated wires can use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and with less pain than with previous types of metal braces. The benefit of metal braces is that they are the least expensive type of braces. Also, they utilize bands which come in a variety of colors which children tend to enjoy. On the other hand, they are the most noticeable of all of the types of braces. Metal braces tend to be most common, as well as more suitable among children because of the inconvenience of their visibility.
Ceramic braces are another type of braces which are the same size and shape as metal braces. However, unlike metal braces, the brackets of ceramic braces are tooth colored or clear. Some ceramic braces also use tooth colored wires to further lessen visibility. The brackets of ceramic braces also bend into the teeth rather than to rigidly attach to the teeth. The main benefit of ceramic braces is that they are less noticeable than metal braces. Also, ceramic braces allow for faster movement of the teeth. However, ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces, and brackets can easily stain if they are not cared for well. Because of their cost and sensitivity if not treated properly, ceramic braces are more suitable for adults.
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces. However, the brackets and wires of lingual braces are placed on the inside of the teeth rather than on the outside. The main benefit of lingual braces is that they are invisible from the outside. On the other hand, they are more difficult to clean because they are much harder to see and to access. Also, the discomfort can be great at first. With all braces, regular adjustments are required, and with lingual braces, the adjustments are more difficult and take much longer than the adjustment process for the other types of braces. Lingual braces are not recommended for severe orthodontic cases, nor are they recommended for those who may find the discomfort unbearable and may not be able to clean them properly.
Invisalign is another option for those seeking a less visible option. Invisalign consists of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners which are removable and are replaced every two weeks. The greatest benefit to those who use Invisalign is the invisibility. Invisalign is almost invisible to the eye, and it allows users to be able to eat or drink whatever they please. However, Invisalign is a more expensive option and it is only available for teenagers and adults, not children. Also, because of their nearly invisible nature, Invisalign braces can easily be misplaced, and they are very expensive to replace. Lastly, similarly to lingual braces, treatment of Invisalign braces takes much longer. Invisalign braces will not work for severe dental problems, but they are recommended for those who do not want their braces to be noticeable whatsoever.