Traditional metal brackets and wires aren’t the only way to straighten teeth these days. Expanded options and materials in the field of orthodontics are making orthodontic care a viable option for almost any dental patient.
These clear alignment trays are used in a sequential method to gradually move your teeth into the desired position without the use of traditional braces. Because they fit like a retainer, Invisalign invisible braces make it extremely easy to keep your teeth clean. Simply remove your aligner to brush and floss as normal. There are no dietary restrictions because you can remove them during meals.
Tooth Colored Braces
Maybe you need traditional braces for your tooth misalignment needs. Tooth colored brackets function the same as traditional brackets, but they are made of a tooth colored resin material that is difficult to make out during talking, smiling or laughing. Most likely your friends have to be very close to even realize that you’re wearing something on your teeth. Some wires are also made of low impact material that makes them harder to see.
This method of traditional braces places the brackets and wires on the tongue side of your teeth, preventing anyone from seeing them. In order to make them more comfortable, each bracket is custom fabricated for your individual teeth. While lingual braces may be difficult to keep clean, they do provide an aesthetic option for patients who are concerned about the look of metal braces.
Self-Litigating brackets use a trap door system that holds the wire in place, allowing it to glide underneath. Because no rubber bands are used to hold the wires in place, there is less friction and more comfort.
If you are an adult who wants a straighter, more attractive smile but want to avoid years of “metal mouth”, you will be happy to know that recent innovations in orthodontics have made several excellent alternatives available to get the look you want without feeling self conscious about your braces. These alternatives include clear braces, tooth colored ceramic braces, inside or lingual braces, and clear plastic aligners.
Braces all work using the same principles. They apply gentle pressure on the teeth to slowly move them into the desired position. Except for clear plastic aligners, they all use a wire to exert the moving force and they all take about the same amount of time to get the job done. Treatments that focus on only moving the front teeth are an exception – they can get the job done in about six months, but can only address mild to moderately misaligned teeth and cannot correct serious bite problems.
Clear braces are just like metal braces except the brackets are made from a clear plastic material instead of metal. Clear braces are much less noticeable than metal braces. Ceramic braces are similar to clear braces, but use a tooth colored or translucent ceramic material for the brackets. With inside braces (also called lingual braces), the brackets are placed on the back of the teeth instead of the front so they are much less noticeable. These braces can irritate the patient’s tongue and interfere with speaking. They also require special training and are not offered by all orthodontists. Finally, clear plastic aligners (often called invisible braces) don’t use brackets at all. Instead, they use a series of custom created clear plastic trays to move the teeth. The aligner is placed over the teeth similar to a small mouth guard and is virtually invisible. Each aligner is worn for about two weeks and only removed for eating and oral hygiene.
Your dentist or orthodontist can help you choose the right type of braces to best fit your needs.
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