Types of Braces

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Mint Orthodontics has a team of experienced professionals that can help you select different from types of Braces and find the smile you have always wanted. Mint Orthodontics will help you review all your options and assist you in your search to find the best type of braces for you. Patients can select from Clear Braces, Traditional Metal Braces or Lingual Braces. Below are explanations on how braces and clear aligners work and the maintenance they require. Once you have read through your options call our office to further discuss your preferences with Mint Orthodontics today.

TRADITIONAL BRACES

Traditional braces are the most common type of braces and are probably the first thing you think of when someone mentions braces. Despite being more comfortable than they used to be, metal braces can rub against your cheeks and gums when you first get them. When you wear metal braces, you do need to be careful what you eat and try and stay away from hard foods that could remove your braces. They are made of high-grade stainless steel and use metal braces with a thin wire and rubber bands that place pressure on your teeth to move them to the right position. It’s even possible to add colored rubber bands to add some pizzazz to your smile. Traditional metal braces are the cheapest of the brace types but they are, of course, visible.

SELF-LIGATING BRACES

Another type of braces is the self-ligating braces which are constructed of the same material that the traditional metal braces use and are also the same size. The difference is in their lack of elastics which means you will have a lot less appointments as they don’t cause as much friction on your teeth. Self-ligating braces can have either metal, ceramic or clear brackets and they use a specific types of clip instead of the elastics to help guide your teeth into the right place. The clip is similar to a “trap door” and can be slid or flipped to fasten the wire. The clip places less pressure on your teeth and does not need as many adjustments.

CLEAR BRACES

Clear braces are also referred to as ceramic braces and are made of a clear material that is less noticeable than the traditional metal braces. Teenagers and adults who have a little more cosmetic apprehension about braces will prefer the clear braces over the metal ones. Despite being less visible, they do require a lot of upkeep and you need to really pay attention to your daily oral hygiene. Clear braces are also more brittle than traditional braces and larger. As a result, you often see clear braces used more on upper teeth than on lower ones. Clear braces are also more expensive than traditional metal braces but the extra cost is worth it to patients who are more concerned about their appearance. It is even possible to choose white or clear metal ties that hold your braces on to your teeth firmly. You do need to be careful as the ties on clear braces can stain so you need to stay away from drinks like wine or coffee. You don’t need to worry too much though as the ties are changed out at the monthly adjustment. Clear braces can be broken or chipped easier than traditional metal braces and they also require a lot more time in maintaining them which increases your overall cost.

CLEAR ALIGNERS

One of the more popular options for braces these days are the Invisalign brand. Most people know that you can’t see them but they also don’t know exactly how they work. Clear aligners like Invisalign actually use a sequence of comfortable, removable trays that you can’t see that straighten your teeth the same way that braces do. As the trays are removable, it is easier to eat and drink without having to wear them so there is also less trouble with brushing and flossing your teeth. There is also no metal used that will irritate your cheeks and gums so you will find them a lot more comfortable the traditional metal braces. Since clear braces are the least noticeable, they are also more expensive than the other types of braces. They work best for individuals that don’t have a lot of major teeth issues. The trays are custom fitted to your mouth so it’s not necessary to mount brackets on your teeth. The trays are then swapped out every couple of weeks to the next aligner so that your teeth are slowly moved to the correct place. As the trays place pressure on your teeth, they can be a little uncomfortable but you get used to them just like traditional braces. Clear braces are most successful if you are very disciplined and wear the trays for the minimum 20 hours required per day.

LINGUAL BRACES

Lingual braces are also custom fitted to your teeth but instead of using a tray they use metal. These braces are made just for you and are placed behind your teeth so they won’t be seen. It is a complicated installation process which makes them more expensive than traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are not installed by all orthodontists so if you are interested in them you will have to find a skilled and experienced orthodontist to put them on. Lingual braces are a popular choice for actors, models, athletes, adult professionals and musicians that play wind instruments. They are not very effective for individuals with small teeth and you need to be careful that your tongue does not get in the way of the braces as they can cause injuries and even speech problems so you do need to practice talking with them once you have them installed.