Dental braces are devices used in Dentistry that align and straighten teeth and help position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also aiming to improve dental health. Braces also fix gaps.
Metal braces/Traditional braces
These are the metal brakets 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
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; move teeth much faster than clear plastic aligners (Invisalign)
Cons:More expensive than metal braces; Brackets can stain easily if patients don’t care for them well
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
Invisalign 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; can be easily lost and costly to replace; treatment may potentially take longer.
Care After Braces
- Good oral hygiene is especially important when you have braces or other orthodontic appliances. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, flossing daily, and scheduling ongoing dental visits are all important to help keep the gums and teeth healthy.
- Orthodontic Toothbrushes
- Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks between meals.
- It is recommend to avoid certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires, such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods, such as chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.