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. Read below to learn more about traditional braces and how you can customize them to fit your lifestyle.
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:
Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are made of composite materials. They come in varying levels of transparency so you can have ceramic braces that mimic the color of your natural teeth. The patient to the right is searing ceramic braces.
Lingual braces: Lingual braces are metal braces, so they’re not invisible, but they’re attached to the back of the teeth versus the front. So when you smile, no one can see them. The illustration below shows how lingual braces work. Please note: Not every Dental Associates location offers lingual braces. If you’re interested in lingual braces, please contact your local clinic before consultation to assure they provide this treatment option.
Invisalign: Invisible braces, more commonly referred to as Invisalign clear aligners, are a set of clear, removable trays that are custom fitted to your teeth. You wear them for 20-22 hours a day and change your set as your teeth shift. Your orthodontist will evaluate your specific case and many types of bite discrepancies can be treated with Invisalign. Find out more about Invisalign clear braces.
You and your orthodontist can discuss whether traditional braces or clear braces work best for you. Clear braces are more aesthetically pleasing than metal braces. Clear braces material is a bit more fragile than metal. Because of this, your orthodontist may make more gradual adjustments, so you may need to wear them longer. Clear braces require meticulous oral hygiene to remove any stains that may accumulate from coffee, tea, dark wines, or smoking. They can also cost a bit more than traditional metal braces.
Braces for Adults
Braces aren’t just for teenagers. Teeth can be straightened at any age. And now more than ever, wearing braces is much more efficient, convenient and comfortable. With the help of a Dental Associates orthodontists who works closely with your general dentist, you can get your smile straightened out. Learn more about Braces For Adults.
Braces with Colored Bands
It’s possible to add your own style to your traditional metal braces with colored bands. Show team spirit or celebrate a holiday with colored bands of your choosing! Learn more about Braces with Colored Bands.
How Long Does a Person Wear Braces?
How long you need to wear braces depends on your individual case, but most people wear braces from one to three years. After that, you’ll wear a retainer to make sure your teeth are held in the positions to which they’ve moved.
How to Care for Braces
Throughout the course of wearing braces, you’ll need to take care of them. That means eating well and avoiding foods that are hard, crunchy and sugary. Eating too many sugary foods with braces can lead to plaque build-up around your brackets, and that could permanently stain or damage your teeth. Learn more about Foods to Avoid With Braces and How to Brush Teeth With Braces.
Emergency Care for Braces
Most times, when a wire or a bracket on your braces gets loose or breaks off, it’s not an emergency. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, particularly if a piece is rubbing up against or poking into your lips, gums, or cheeks. But, this is rarely an emergency and can be taken care of with a follow up visit to your Dental Associates orthodontist. Learn more about Orthodontic Emergency Care.
Request an Orthodontist Consultation
If you’re ready to get started, visit our Locations page to find our dental clinic near you. Call the clinic of your choice and tell them you’re interested in a consultation with an orthodontist. You may also Request an Appointment here.
Braces & Orthodontics Insurance Dental Associates is the exclusive provider of CarePlus Dental Plans insurance. With CarePlus dental insurance, you can save money on braces, even if you already have dental insurance. Use their Savings Calculator to see how much you can save with your existing dental insurance. Visit CarePlus Dental Insurance for Braces