Types of Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces. These braces are made of high grade stainless steel and are bonded to the front of the teeth with orthodontic adhesive. Teeth are moved by wires called archwires. These wires are attached to the braces with small metal ligatures or elastic ties. Elastic ties are available in different colors which allow patients the option of a unique and colorful smile.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
Traditional ceramic braces are made of tooth colored porcelain material and are less visible than metal braces. They are attached to the archwire with metal ligatures or clear elastic ties. Although more esthetic and less visible than metal braces, the increased friction with traditional ceramic braces may result in longer treatment times.
Self-ligating Braces (metal and clear)
Self-ligating braces use a specialized clip to hold the archwire in place, eliminating the need for metal ligatures or elastic ties. This reduces the friction during tooth movement, permitting the teeth to move more freely and efficiently and may result in shorter treatment times. The clip and special light archwires help reduce the amount of pressure placed on the teeth during orthodontic movement. The clips hold the archwires in place completely which means self-ligating braces do not require “tightening” like traditional braces . Appointment times are often shorter with self-ligating braces and they may require fewer office visits than traditional braces. In addition to greater comfort, self-ligating braces make it easier to maintain good hygiene because they are easier to keep clean. Self -ligating braces are available in as either metal or ceramic brackets.
Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. Lingual braces are custom manufactured for each individual patient. Lingual braces are great option for adults who do not want to wear braces that are visible such models, actors/actresses, and adult professionals.
Clear aligners are a series custom made invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. They use gradual force to move teeth without brackets or wires. Each aligner moves the teeth a little more into place until alignment is complete. As the aligners are removable, patients can eat or drink what they want while in treatment. Hygiene is easier with clear aligners as aligners are removed to brush and floss. Aligners are also comfortable and less likely to irritate teeth and gums during treatment. Although not suitable for all orthodontic cases, clear aligners are a great choice for many adults and teens who want straight teeth without the look of traditional braces.