Dental braces can correct crooked and crowded teeth, a misaligned bite, and jaw problems. Braces also eliminate problems you may have with eating, speaking properly, or with keeping your teeth clean. Traditional braces have come a long way over the years, becoming sleeker, smaller, and more comfortable. And that’s certainly something to smile about!
Traditional braces consist of standard metal brackets that are adhered to your teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They require periodic tightening so pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw as needed. While metal braces brackets are still the most common, other treatment options are available today.
Types of Orthodontic Treatment
You and your orthodontist will discuss which option works best for you. Not all braces are metal. There are several options that are more invisible or at least transparent, and still do the job of straightening your teeth and aligning your bite. In general, clear braces and traditional metal braces function in the same way.
The difference is in the material the brackets are made with:
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional braces consist of standard metal brackets. This is the most common type of braces, and throughout the years have become much sleeker and more comfortable. With metal braces, you also have the option of adding colored elastic bands to make your braces vibrant, colorful and uniquely yours!
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. They are used mainly on older teenagers who have cosmetic concerns. They require more attention to oral hygiene because ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts.
Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials as traditional braces. However, self-ligating braces do not require the use of elastics, meaning fewer appointments and less friction being placed on the tooth. Self-ligating braces come with traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are the same size as metal braces, but use a specialized clip in place of elastics to help the archwire guide teeth into place. The clip helps reduce the amount of pressure being placed on the tooth, and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.