In decades past, traditional metal braces seemed to be the only real option for straightening. With the changing of times and the progression of technology, we have options for braces that consist of: traditional, Invisalign (for adults and teens), lingual braces and clear braces. What are the pros and cons of each of these options? What braces options is right for you? All of our braces options provide excellent straightening techniques to get you the dream smile you’ve always wanted, whether you want to do it in secret or wear your braces bright and proud. When it comes to braces, we have many options for you at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics. Come in today and let us find a braces option that is right for you!
Traditional metal braces are usually the most popular among children and teens. The ADA tells us that in children, abnormal bites become noticeable between the ages of 6-12, so treatment typically begins between 8-14. For children that need extra orthodontic care for the correction of bites (overbite, under bite, cross bite, etc.), traditional metal braces are usually the best option for orthodontic care. Traditional metal braces are noticeable in the mouth, which is one of the reasons many teens and adults seek other methods of teeth straightening. Many children will receive orthodontic care via braces at a young age (usually before 10) in order to correct their bite. They will then receive braces again as an adolescent to correct the alignment of the teeth. Although they are harder to keep clean than other braces options, traditional metal braces are still one of the most popular (and least costly) methods of teeth straightening. The lower cost of traditional braces is usually a driving force for many.
For some adults and teenagers, they want to avoid orthodontic treatment because they don’t like the look of traditional metal braces. Some believe that braces are unattractive, distracting or make them look childish. Traditional metal braces are highly popular with adolescents, but there is another way to use metal brackets to straighten, and that’s through lingual braces. These braces can achieve the same effect as traditional metal braces as they are still made of metal, however the brackets are applied to the back of the teeth instead of in the front. They can be used to correct long-term or lifetime dental issues, while also being aesthetically pleasing to the wearers as no one knows the braces are there. This option is great for athletes who don’t want to worry about scraping up their mouth in sports (as can happen with traditional braces). Patients who receive lingual braces can straighten their smile in secret, but with all the functionality of metal brackets. The wires and brackets are on the inside of the mouth, so you will have to adjust to that when choosing this option.
Clear ceramic braces are another option for those who want to straighten their teeth more discreetly, but not have the braces be completely invisible. Clear braces are made from tooth-colored ceramic brackets that are attached to the teeth. Clear braces can even come with a clear wire for optimal blending with the natural teeth. However, many patients like to colorize their clear braces as well (such as teens and children) by using colored bands. The clear braces have a slightly smaller bracket design compared to metal brackets and they have improved comfort from rounded corners on the brackets that help to reduce rubbing and irritation. Ceramic braces are also designed to prevent demineralization that can sometimes occur with traditional metal brackets in some patients. If your tooth enamel is more weak, but you still want something close to traditional metal brackets, then clear ceramic braces might be right for you. Some patients may also not be good candidates for Invisalign transparent aligners, so clear ceramic braces are a great alternative that is still aesthetically appealing.
Like we mentioned, not all patients will be good candidates for Invisalign, especially if bite and jaw problems are present. Invisalign is great for straightening teeth but are not designed to correct crossbite, under bite, overbite and similar conditions. Invisalign transparent aligners tend to fit best with our patients who want to straighten their teeth without the look of traditional brackets. For some, traditional braces are not convenient or desirable because of professional or social pursuits that they believe might be impacted by having traditional brackets. Invisalign is an option highly popular with adults, especially those who are in the workforce and wanting to straighten their teeth without it being noticeable. Many adults also love the confidence boost and aesthetic appeal that comes with straight teeth and they can keep both of those aspects with Invisalign. Besides their transparent and invisible design, many patients love Invisalign because of the ease of removal for eating, drinking, flossing and brushing. The aligners are substantially easier to clean than traditional brackets because they can easily be removed from the mouth for normal oral hygiene practices. Invisalign usually has a shorter treatment time associated with it as well, making this another great option for those who want to straighten their teeth the fastest way possible.
At Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we want to provide you with the braces option that fits you perfectly. If you’re going to invest all that time with straightening your teeth, you might as well love the way you’re doing it! To learn more about all of our options, call our office today at (720) 887-6003. Receive your straighter smile today, your way!