Braces have changed in the 21st century. The old options still exist. But now the options may entice those who wouldn’t have considered the pain years ago. Not all of the choices work for all problems, even now. With a little info, you can decide what works best for your health, your comfort and your pocket book.
I wore braces almost 30 years ago. They were painful and embarrassing. Back then, the choice was to do whatever the orthodontist told you to do and be glad that there was a specialist at all. This usually meant metal braces with a metal arch wire. If you were lucky, you might get colored bands around the bracing, at an adjustment. Still available, metal bracing is the most budget friendly, and treats the widest array of malocclusions. For some problems, this may still be the only choice. Fortunately, head gear isn’t a likely prescription anymore.
Invisalign is a common brand name for clear, plastic braces. An excellent choice for adults with minor to moderate problems, plastic braces look far superior to older options. Removable for cleaning, they offer a natural look and normal eating practices. I would have loved this option just for the cleaning alone. Alas, for me and many others, they simply don’t solve serious problems. Invisalign is more expensive as well. The option requires frequent readjustment. This wouldn’t be a good idea for the absent minded, e.g. someone who took them out and forgot to replace them.
Cosmetic Choices with Optimal Performance
The choices don’t end there. For those who want the hardness of metal but without the look, sapphire braces offer a high-end option. This doesn’t mean flashing blue teeth; they’re not gemstones. Rather, they have a clear look. The weak ceramic braces of the past are gone. Now, the cosmetic products of today equal metal braces in performance. Lingual braces – braces on the inside of the tooth surface — are still around as well. However, discomfort remains a concern. Cosmetic choices in braces are still pricy. The cost balances better with adult concerns in bracing. Teenagers may feel awkward with or without braces. But, adults paying for their own cosmetic results may not wish to feel adolescent during the six months to two years of bracing.
I know from personal experience that bracing pays off with an amazing reward. Whichever method results in even spacing of teeth is worth it. The confidence and improved dental health that comes after orthodontic braces returns far more than they cost.