Over four million Americans have braces. And they aren’t just for kids anymore. In fact, 25% of all people who have braces are adults.
When you first think of braces, you probably think of shiny wires and colorful elastics. But this isn’t your only option anymore. There are a few different types of braces available to ensure you have an option that fits your lifestyle.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover what your options are and how to choose the best type of braces for you or your child.
Why Get Braces in the First Place?
As you’re researching the different types and cost of braces, you may wonder if you or your child even needs them in the first place. Generally, those with crooked teeth, gaps, or incorrect bites should consider getting braces.
Although straight teeth can do wonders for one’s self-esteem, there are also several medical reasons why you should consider braces.
Perhaps the most important is that braces reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay. When teeth are crooked and crowded, it can be hard to properly brush in every nook and cranny. Bacteria will then build up in these hard-to-brush places and lead to cavities and even tooth decay.
Incorrect bites can cause additional pressure on certain teeth. Over time, this can increase the likelihood of chipped teeth and jaw pain.
So, if you (or your child) suffer from crooked teeth or a poor bite, you should consider getting braces to improve your oral health.
Types of Braces
Now that we’ve discussed why braces are important, let’s talk about your options. Below, we’ve listed the most popular types of braces that you can choose from.
Traditional Wire Braces
This is what you’re probably picturing when you think of braces. Metal brackets are cemented onto each individual tooth and linked together with a wire. This puts just the right amount of pressure on the teeth, causing them to shift into the right position.
The wire is held in place by putting colorful elastics on each bracket. To correct a bite, clear rubber bands are often used towards the back of the mouth and extend from a bracket on an upper tooth to one on a bottom tooth.
These are the least subtle types of braces. However, they are also the most common, especially with kids and teenagers. They are also more affordable than other options, making these the best choice for anyone who is on a budget or doesn’t mind wearing braces (such as children).
Ceramic braces use the exact same method to straighten teeth as traditional braces, but the brackets are made from a clear or tooth-colored ceramic material instead of metal. Tooth-colored wires and clear elastics are also commonly used to help make these as invisible as possible.
They are, however, more expensive than wire braces. But these are a good option for anyone who does not want to wear traditional wire braces, such as adults.
Damon braces look similar to traditional braces. There are still brackets on each tooth and a wire linking the brackets together.
However, traditional braces use elastics to hold the wire in place whereas Damon braces have a special slide mechanism that grasps the wire. This means you will not need to colorful elastics on each tooth, so they are a little subtler.
Damon braces are also self-ligating and can adjust teeth on their own. Not only does this mean you’ll require fewer visits, but it also works faster.
This is the perfect option for anyone living a busy life who has trouble finding time to attend orthodontic appointments. Since it works faster than traditional braces, it’s also good for those who want their braces off as soon as possible.
Lingual braces are the most subtle braces available. The brackets and wire are attached to the backside of the tooth, so they are virtually invisible.
The downside is that each bracket needs to be custom made, making them more expensive than traditional braces. Appointments also need to be longer and made more frequently. It can also be harder to keep these clean.
For these reasons, lingual braces are ideal for adults who have enough free time to attend the increased number and length of appointments, are motivated to brush carefully to ensure oral health remains intact and would feel self-conscious getting visible braces.
The last (and most unique) type of braces available is Invisalign. Unlike the other options above, there are no brackets, wires, or elastics with Invisalign. Instead, it uses a series of clear, custom-made aligners to straighten teeth.
These are removable and should be taken out daily as you eat and clean your teeth. While this may not be a problem at home, it can be inconvenient if you eat out a lot as you’ll have to remember to bring a case to store them in as you’re eating.
You’ll also need new Invisalign aligners every 2 weeks, so these tend to be more expensive and require more appointments than traditional braces do.
Invisalign may be the right choice for you if you’re looking for a subtle solution and like the flexibility of taking them out for pictures or dinner dates.
Your Guide to the Different Types of Braces
Don’t settle for a smile that makes you feel self-conscious and hurts your oral health. Instead, follow our guide to the different types of braces to choose the best option for you. From traditional wire braces to Invisalign, you’re sure to find a style that suits your needs.
Are you ready to take the next steps to a nicer smile? Then schedule a free consultation today to discuss your options with a professional and experienced orthodontist.