The most traditional form of braces is composed of a metal bracket bonded to the teeth with a special chemical agent. The brackets are then fastened to wires which extend across the teeth. A plastic ligature wrapped around the front of the bracket keeps the wire in place. The ligatures are changed about once a month and patients can choose from many different colors. School colors or holiday hues are popular choices for teenagers who have these types of braces. Some people find slight disadvantages with traditional braces as they can be uncomfortable, difficult to clean and hard to eat certain foods with.
Patients who want braces that are not as noticeable can often opt for ceramic brackets rather than metal. These are white in color and blend in with the tooth better. These are usually paired with white or clear ligatures for braces that are as unobtrusive as possible in the overall appearance of the smile. Ceramic braces whilst more appealing to some can be more brittle than other options and are susceptible to damage. Active individuals who play sports may need to use a sturdier choice for their braces as it’s always best to avoid needing replacements. Ceramic braces can also be more dangerous on the bottom where the teeth experience more force from each bite. Depending on you or your child’s regular activities you can discuss all your options with your orthodontist.
Some people know they need braces, and may even want them, but they truly have an issue with the aesthetics. For these people there is an option, and it is called lingual braces. These braces are affixed to the inside of the teeth rather than the front. They work in the same manner as traditional braces; the only real difference is the placement. Though they are not as visible, braces placed on the inside of the teeth may cause speech problems more often than traditional braces. They may also be more irritating to the individual as they occupy the same area as the tongue. You will want to consider the pros and cons if you are looking at these as an option. Lingual braces such as those provided by Incognito Orthodontic Braces or iBraces are more common among adults than adolescents.
An orthodontic alternative to braces that works very differently but is also a common option is known as aligners. The most common type of aligners is the well-known Invisalign brand. Invisalign uses plastic trays rather than wires and brackets to move the teeth. Patients wear each set of plastic trays for about two weeks. At that time, the trays are replaced with a different set which help the teeth to move gradually into place. The benefits of Invisalign include the ability to eat any kind of food and the ability to easily brush and floss by simply removing the tray. Invisalign cannot be used with more advanced orthodontic problems, so it’s best to consult with a professional to find out whether this is an option for you.