Braces are very effective at treating misaligned, crowded teeth and gaps between teeth. The different options available are as below:
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces and are designed to help guide teeth into their proper position. Similar to braces, clear aligners use a gradual force to control tooth movement, but without metal wires or brackets. The aligners are made of a strong plastic material and are fabricated to fit.
Clear aligners consists of a series of 18 to 30 custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. The aligners are removable and are replaced every 2 weeks.
Pros: Almost invisible; Patients can eat and drink whatever they want
Cons: Will not work for serious dental problems; only available for adults and teens, not children; more expensive option; treatment may potentially take longer.
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend in to teeth. Some even use tooth-colored wires to be even less noticeable.
Pros: Less noticeable than metal braces; moves teeth much faster than clear plastic aligners.
Cons: More expensive than metal braces; Brackets can stain easily if patients don’t care for them well.
These are the metal brackets and wires that most people picture when they hear the word “braces.” However, modern brackets are smaller and less noticeable than the notorious “metal-mouth” braces that many adults remember. Plus, new heat-activated archwires use your body heat to help teeth move more quickly and less painfully than in the past.
Pros: Least expensive type; colored bands give kids a chance to express themselves
Cons: Most noticeable type of braces
Lingual braces are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Pros: Invisible from outside
Cons: Difficult to clean; more expensive; not appropriate for severe cases; can be more uncomfortable at first; regular adjustments take longer and are more difficult than with traditional braces