There are a handful of orthodontic options available when it comes to straightening teeth and improving their alignment. Some options are more subtle than others, but most of these devices can be used to deal with a range of orthodontic issues.
4 Popular orthodontic options
1. Traditional braces
This is typically the first thing that comes to most people's mind when the word "braces" is mentioned. They have been used to deal with orthodontic issues for over a century. Other orthodontic options have emerged since then, but traditional braces remain the most effective way to fix severe orthodontic issues like overbites.
Metal braces consist of two main parts: Brackets that are cemented to each tooth and wires that are used to connect the brackets to all others on that set of teeth. When the wires are tightened, the person's teeth are pushed towards the desired position. Metal braces are fixed devices that stay in for the entire duration of the person's treatment. The wires are tightened from time to time to move the person's teeth closer to the preferred alignment.
But one issue that has always plagued traditional metal braces is their high visibility. They are impossible to miss when a wearer opens their mouth.
2. Ceramic braces
Ceramic braces were one of the first solutions to the visibility problem with traditional metal braces. Instead of metal brackets, these come with tooth-colored brackets. The metal wires are replaced with white or transparent wires. It makes the device blend in with the patient's teeth, making it harder to detect.
Like traditional braces, ceramic braces gradually push a person's teeth to the desired position over a period of time.
3. Lingual braces
These are also designed to be less visible than traditional metal braces. Lingual braces also consist of metal brackets and wires, but they are placed on the back of a person's teeth instead of the front. It makes it a lot harder to notice when a person has them installed.
Lingual braces are one of the more uncomfortable orthodontic alternatives.
4. Clear aligners
Clear aligners are the sports cars of orthodontic devices. A set of clear trays is used to push a person's teeth towards better alignment. At the start of the treatment, the patient gets several aligners trays, each to be worn for a few weeks. Each tray further pushes the person's teeth closer to their proper alignment.
Unlike the other orthodontic devices discussed earlier, clear braces are not fixed to the patient's teeth. They can be easily removed, making it possible to eat and clean the teeth normally while getting orthodontic treatment.
This helps to prevent issues like tooth decay and gum disease from developing during the treatment. Clear aligners should be worn for about 22 hours per day for the treatment to be effective.
Explore your orthodontic options with us
We can help you figure out what orthodontic devices work best for your teeth alignment issues. Stop by our St Peters clinic for a consultation.
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