Understanding the Different Types of Braces

Orthodontics does not only serve to improve your smile. The dental procedure also promotes your oral health because keeping crooked or misaligned teeth clean can be quite difficult, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and even gum disease. Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment. They come in different types and while your orthodontist will always recommend the best type based on your dental problem, knowing a thing or two about each type is worthwhile. That's because you will be able to know what will work for you and plan accordingly regarding things such as a budget. Here are some of the common types of braces you should know about.

Traditional/Metal Braces

Traditional braces are some of the most common types of braces available. As implied by the name, these braces feature metal brackets attached to the teeth with some specialised type of cement. A thin archwire then links the metal brackets together, putting pressure on the teeth and moving them slowly to the required position. Tiny elastics known as o-rings or ligatures connect the archwire to the brackets. After some time, which your orthodontist will inform you, the o-rings will have to be changed as the braces are tightened. However, you can opt for the self-litigating braces if you don't want one with the O-rings.

Traditional/metal braces are the least expensive type and are available in a range of colours, which is a good thing if they are for kids because it gives them a chance to personalise their braces. Unfortunately, they tend to be the most noticeable and may limit you from eating hard or sticky foods.

Ceramic Braces

These are an alternative to metal braces. The brackets on ceramic braces are made from ceramic material in clear or white colours to blend in perfectly with the teeth. They are usually less noticeable than their traditional counterparts but are also more expensive.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces, on the other hand, use the same wires and metal brackets as those in traditional braces. However, they are attached to the lingual or tongue side of the teeth, which means no one can see them from outside. They are costlier than traditional or ceramic braces. Also, they can be difficult to clean and do not work well for severe cases of tooth misalignment. What's more, they get in the way of your tongue, which may cause some injuries or affect your speech.

'Invisible' Braces

These are clear mouthguard-like aligners made of plastic. They are almost invisible and will not limit you to the types of foods or drinks to take. However, they are the most expensive and only work well for minor teeth alignment issues.