Today’s Many Options for Braces

Young girl with braces

Source: BRENDA MICHELLE on Flickr

When you think of braces, you may think of months to years of a mouth full of metal, but just like all other technologies, the technology of straightening teeth has advanced in recent years. There are lots of options for braces these days, some of which you might not even call braces.

For example, invisible braces systems (like Invisalign®) use clear aligner trays to gently coax your teeth into position. These types of aligners can be removed temporarily to eat, so there are fewer restrictions on the foods you can enjoy when using clear aligners to get straighter smile.

There are also lingual braces, which are essentially invisible because they are on the backside of your teeth (near your tongue). Lingual braces are a great option for those who want to straighten their teeth without appearing to have braces. However, because lingual braces are very customized, they may cost more than traditional braces that go on the front of your teeth.

Clear or white braces are another option that can straighten your teeth nearly invisibly. Clear braces use clear or white brackets instead of metal ones, so your braces are not as obvious. From a distance, people may not notice your braces at all.

You can complete your braces treatment more quickly by choosing one of the fast or quick braces technologies. These braces systems use innovative new versions of orthodontic technology to move teeth more quickly, or only move a few teeth at a time, so you can have a straight, aligned smile in as little as three to six months, as opposed to the typical 12 to 18 months with regular braces.

And then there are traditional metal braces with metal brackets. While not the most aesthetically pleasing, traditional braces have a unique advantage over all the other types of tooth straightening technology: they can be used to treat nearly any orthodontic problem. Not everyone’s teeth can be helped by the clear, fast or invisible options mentioned above. Ultimately, a dozen or so months wearing braces is worth it for a new straight smile that will last for years to come.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment when it comes to braces. There are lots of elements to consider when choosing an option for braces, including time, cost, appearance, & what needs to be fixed (overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc.). Your dentist & your orthodontist can discuss the options with you & help you choose a treatment plan that fits your needs & desires.

Great Reasons to Get Braces

Young woman with bracesMany people think of braces as a right of passage that we subject pre-teens & teens to in the midst of their most awkward years just to ensure they have a nice straight smile by the time they reach adulthood. But the truth is that braces can benefit people of all ages & not all of the reasons to get braces are aesthetic.

While most of us think of getting braces in order to have straight teeth, braces have a purpose beyond cosmetics. Braces can be used to treat misaligned bites (the technical term is malocclusion), which left untreated can contribute to difficulty chewing, jaw pain, & uneven wear on your teeth. Once your braces treatment is finished, you’ll get the benefit of a beautiful smile that is also functional.

In addition to this, braces have other benefits for your oral health: straight, properly spaced teeth are also easier to clean. When you teeth are properly aligned there are fewer places where your toothbrush can’t reach that might accumulate bacteria & plaque that could lead to tooth decay. The same goes for properly spaced teeth: it is much easier to floss teeth that are not too crowded.

Another side benefit of braces treatment is an improvement to your facial aesthetics. If the purpose of your braces is to fix an underbite, overbite or otherwise misaligned bite, the result may also result in a more proportional & attractive relationship between your jaw & the rest of your face. It should be noted that more severe jaw alignment problems cannot be fixed by braces alone & may also require jaw surgery. While facial aesthetics alone are not necessarily a reason to get braces, improvements in this area are often seen once treatment is finished.

Your options for orthodontic treatment may vary when it comes to braces that are for primarily for cosmetic versus structural purposes. Many of the clear or quick options, such as clear aligners, may not be able to fix more complex orthodontic problems the way that traditional braces can. But while traditional braces may not be as attractive or fast as other braces or aligners, you will still end up with a beautiful, straight smile at the end of your treatment. No two sets of teeth are quite the same, so start a discussion with your doctor or orthodontist about which braces options might be right for you.

ClearCorrect

Having straight teeth is important for both health & appearance. Not only does Farinacci Dental Care offer traditional metal braces, but also newer & subtler varieties. One option is ClearCorrect, a unique new treatment option. Rather than using wires & brackets, ClearCorrect uses custom-made & removable aligner trays that move teeth into place discreetly & comfortably. The aesthetic aspect is important because having a smile you love can affect your happiness & self-esteem.