Dental Brace Options
We have compiled this article on Dental Brace Options. The reference links are at the bottom of the article.
Adults are embracing orthodontia like never before.
A survey by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) showed that the rate of people over 18 with braces grew 14 percent from 2010 to 2012. That brought the number of adults with braces in the United States and Canada to over a million.
“We’re more concerned about our appearance and we’re more concerned about keeping our teeth,” says DeWayne McCamish, DDS, MS, AAO president.
Underbites, overbites and teeth that are crooked, crowded or have large gaps can all be treated with braces. There are just as many options in braces as there are problems they solve.
Parents of today had far less choice as teenagers; it was just the standard metal braces available back then. Now, their children can be fitted with a range of different options in braces.
- Metal braces
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
- Clear aligners like Invisalign
Metal or traditional braces are the most common type of braces world-wide and have been around for over 100 years now. In the past, braces were very bulky and noticeable. Luckily, braces today are nothing like what they were 100 years ago. Advances in innovation and technology have made braces:
- More Comfortable
- More Effective
Metal braces are most popular among children and adolescent patients. They work by applying the braces to the teeth and connecting them with a wire. The wire is tied to the braces using elastic ties, which come in an array colors to choose from. To move the teeth, the orthodontist makes adjustments to the wire at your appointments every 4-8 weeks.
Unlike clear aligners like Invisalign which are removable, some parents and patients love metal braces because they do not need to remind their child to wear them. However, metal braces require care and attention and good oral hygiene is a must throughout treatment.
Ceramic braces are braces made of clear, tooth colored material. They work in the same way as metal braces, but are more discreet and less visible. Ceramic braces are most popular among patients who do not think Invisalign or lingual braces are right for them, but who still want to straighten their teeth in an aesthetically driven way.
Compared to metal braces, ceramic braces are less noticeable and present an affordable alternative to metal braces. You should know, however, that these braces are also slightly larger than metal braces and can stain depending diet and brushing habits. They are not for everybody, but we believe they remain a valuable tool in our orthodontic tool-bag.
Lingual braces behind the teeth are the most specialized and least common orthodontic system on the market. This is because they require a different set of orthodontic skills that few orthodontists take the time to hone. Lingual braces behind the teeth are not taught during orthodontic training, and it is therefore up to the orthodontist to learn to become proficient with them.
We believe that lingual braces behind the teeth should be presented as an option to all eligible patients because they provide advantages that no other type of braces offer. These include complete invisibility, full customization to your specific teeth, as well as better efficiency and versatility in select patients.
Lingual braces behind the teeth are especially well-suited for adults who do not want noticeable braces, but also have complex orthodontic needs. We have also seen an increase in the popularity of braces behind the teeth among esthetically conscious adolescents.
While lingual braces offer many advantages, there are some things you should know before taking the leap! Because lingual braces are behind the teeth, some patients experience slight changes to their speech (lisps are common) and irritation to their tongue. These symptoms usually present shortly after the braces are applied and usually go away several weeks later as your mouth becomes accustomed to the new appliances.
Clear aligners have seen a surge in popularity in the last decade. They were popularized by Invisalign in the early 2000s, which slowly became the largest brand of aligners. In a way, they are what “Kleenex” is to facial tissues or “BandAid” to bandages.
It is clear why clear aligners and Invisalign are so popular right now:
- Clear and transparent
- Allow for easier brushing and flossing
- Faster than braces for some limited treatments
- Require less appointments in some cases
- Shorter appointments are sometimes possible
Invisalign is great for patients who had braces when they were younger and just need a “touch up,” as well as for patients who have mild to moderate dental problems like misaligned teeth, large overbite, no jaw alignment problems, and who have gaps in their front teeth (open bite). But any clear aligner system including Invisalign has significant limitations compared to braces when addressing difficult problems or comprehensive treatments.
Thank you for reading this article and check back frequently for other dental health articles. Should you have any questions, please contact Apple Tree Dental today!
Article compiled by Apple Tree Dental
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