An attractive smile is an important part of first impressions and our self-confidence. Research shows that people with attractive smiles are generally considered to be friendly, confident, and achievers both in their professional and social life. However, most people aren't born with a "perfect" set of teeth. Teeth alignment problems, also called malocclusions, are very common.
Braces have existed for more than 100 years and have become a great tool to improve tooth positions and bite alignment. With advancements in materials and technology, the number of orthodontic options has greatly increased. Different types of orthodontic treatments can be used depending on the malocclusion type that you have, your lifestyle, preference, and budget. Here are some of the different types of braces available to help you decide which one is best for you:
Metal braces, also referred to as traditional braces, are the most common orthodontic treatment. The braces or brackets are made of stainless steel and are attached to teeth with an adhesive. The interaction of the brackets and archwires puts pressure on the teeth to move them over time. The archwire material and size are sequentially changed over a specified period of time to move the teeth to their required positions. The brackets are tied up to the archwires with tiny elastic rings.
Self-ligating brackets use tiny springs or gates instead of elastic rings to hold on to the archwires. While traditional braces and self-ligating braces work similarly, self-ligating braces are supposed to be more hygienic and more efficient due to reduced bracket and archwire friction. However, they tend to be a more expensive option.
Ceramic braces work similarly to metal braces. The only difference is that the brackets are made of ceramic, which are transparent so they are not easily visible to others. Usually, adults or teens who do not want others to know they are undergoing orthodontic treatment may benefit the most from ceramic braces.
Lingual braces get their name because the brackets are attached to the inner surfaces of the teeth near the tongue. They are perfect for adults who want a discreet, virtually invisible teeth straightening option. While these braces ensure that no one can see them, they can make it difficult to speak with and are known to be harder to clean.
Clear, removable aligners come in a series of plastic trays. They are a popular option because the aligners are discreet and removable. Patients can take them off for social occasions, eating, and cleaning their teeth. Clear aligners do not offer as much control and precision as braces and are best used for minor tooth alignment issues.
If you are wondering if you or your child are ready for orthodontic treatment, the best place to start would be your dentist during your regular visits. If you are in our Katy neighborhood and looking to schedule a consultation, please contact us at Cinco Ranch Smiles & Braces!