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What are the different types of braces, and which is right for me?

teen holding wire and clear braces modelPerhaps you’ve been thinking about orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth or fix a bad bite? But worried about the look of metal braces, or not sure what treatment is right for you?

There are many orthodontic treatments available today to help straighten teeth and fix teeth and jaw alignment problems. But choosing the right treatment takes time and careful consideration.

Here is a summary of the options available and some of the pros and cons of each.

Metal Braces

The traditional metal braces most people think of when considering orthodontics are still popular today for a reason — they’re highly effective with reliable treatment outcomes.

A range of mild, moderate, and severe dental issues can be corrected. Unlike the braces of the past, however, these braces are smaller, more efficient, and stronger while being less conspicuous.

Traditional braces use metal brackets that are attached to each tooth. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin metal wire, which puts gentle pressure on the teeth to move slowly into the correct position.

The wires are connected to the brackets using little rubber rings, called modules, which your orthodontist will change each time the braces are tightened. These brackets are called ligated braces.  Some orthodontists may use brackets with that have a clip or gate to hold the wire in place, called self-ligating braces.

Traditional braces are a cost-effective and efficient option for fixing orthodontic issues.

However, they do require some extra effort in brushing and flossing teeth to ensure teeth don’t stain around the braces. With braces, you may also need to make some changes to the way you eat. It’s best to avoid foods that are very chewy, hard, and sticky, and some foods should be cut into smaller pieces to avoid damaging the braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces work in the same way as traditional metal braces, however, the brackets are made from a transparent or tooth-coloured ceramic material. Ceramic braces are a more visually appealing option, especially for adults looking for a less visible treatment.

Ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces due to the higher manufacturing costs of the materials.

Clear Aligner Treatment (Invisalign)

Clear aligners are also known as sequential plastic aligners. They consist of a series of plastic trays (similar to a mouthguard) that are replaced every two weeks, slowly moving the teeth into the correct position. A commonly used clear aligner is Invisalign.

Clear aligners are a popular choice because they are virtually invisible and more comfortable to wear than traditional braces. Clear aligners are also removable for eating and cleaning, so the patient doesn’t need to make any changes to diet, and can brush and floss teeth as usual.

There are some drawbacks to clear aligners. Unfortunately, they are not suitable for fixing all orthodontic problems or bite corrections due to plastic’s limitations. Clear aligners also are dependent on the patient being disciplined in wearing them at least 20-22 hours per day.

Clear aligners may result in some initial speech problems due to plastic behind the top front teeth. They are also more costly than traditional braces, and the treatment approach is fixed until the end of programmed aligners.

Which one should you choose?

While it may be tempting to choose based on aesthetics, it’s crucial to receive the right treatment option for your particular circumstances. A treatment that works best for one person may not be suitable for another.

Orthodontists are experts in assessing the problem and identifying which options will lead to the best outcome, and, ultimately, the best smile.

Book an assessment at Wavescape Orthodontics today. Wavescape Orthodontics is a specialist orthodontics practice in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic services to children, teenagers, and adults.

Dr. Riaan Foot can provide you with the latest orthodontic treatment technology in a fun and relaxed environment, creating beautiful smiles with minimal stress and discomfort.

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