The thought of getting braces can be intimidating for both adults and teenagers. Braces are expensive and require multiple orthodontic appointments to tighten them and monitor progress. They can take up to two years to straighten teeth. Metal brackets and wire in someone’s mouth are uncomfortable and unattractive. Patients have to give up certain foods while they wear braces. Some of these negative features are unavoidable but there are various options to choose from when it comes to braces.
Traditional Braces– These are what most people think braces are. They are made of stainless steel brackets, wire, and rubber bands. Heat activated wires make the process quicker and less painful. These are the cheapest option most dentists offer but they are easily noticeable although partially customizable. Some companies that make braces offer brackets that are gold or glow in the dark. Others offer brackets in various shapes to make them more attractive. The rubber bands come in several colors for different looks. Mini-braces are 30% smaller. They take the same amount of time and are more comfortable. On the other hand, they are more expensive. In addition, they may not be an option for serious cases of crooked teeth.
Lingual Braces- Almost the same as traditional braces, lingual are placed behind the teeth. They are not noticeable but harder to clean and unavailable for teeth that need severe realignment or those with small teeth. They also take longer to straighten teeth and to get used to because they get in the way of the tongue. Adjustments are also a longer harder ordeal.
Invisible Braces– Invisible braces are made with white or clear ceramic to make them less visible on teeth. They move teeth faster than aligners and are almost as invisible. Unfortunately, they are more fragile and harder to clean since they can stain.
Removable Braces- Aligners use multiple trays like mouth guards that straighten teeth in stages. They are removable so there is nothing a patient cannot eat and they can brush normally. Since they are multiple trays fitted to an individual, they are the most expensive option. They are also not an option for serious cases and children cannot use them. Finally, there is the potential of losing them since they are removable. Constantly making appointments for a new tray means a slower realignment so they take longer.
Whichever option the patient chooses, he is on his way to a healthy and straight smile.