Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with perfectly aligned teeth, but it’s a good thing that orthodontists are there to help with that.
If you’re having problems with your teeth, your orthodontist may recommend any one of the four following types of braces depending on your particular case.
Traditional, stainless steel braces are the most inexpensive types of braces. They often involve holding a thin wire in place using rubber bands that help put pressure on the teeth and slowly move them to the desired place
The main drawback to metal braces is that they’re very visible. They’re also known to cause irritation in the gums and cheeks during the first few weeks of wearing them. Also, those fitted with metal braces are required to make necessary changes to their lifestyle, such as avoiding sticky, as well as hard foods and putting in the extra effort to brush, floss as well as rinse their mouths more often than before.
Ceramic braces are made to blend in with your teeth, but at a much higher cost. They’re often held in place by either clear elastic ties or white metal ties, depending on the patient’s choice.
The braces themselves are built to withstand stain. However, the ties are a different story and could easily discolored, especially if you drink coffee, tea or other types of food or drinks that causes staining. Fortunately, the ties are replaced everything the braces are adjusted by the orthodontist, which is usually done every month.
Compared to metal braces, ceramic braces are much more sensitive and are prone to breaking or chipping. The installation also takes much longer compared to metal braces, making ceramic braces a more expensive choice, overall.
Lingual braces take blending in up a notch by hiding completely out of conventional sight. These braces are tucked behind the teeth and cost much more than metal or ceramic. Also, because of the complicated process, these braces require an extremely skilled orthodontist to install.
The main problem with lingual braces, aside from the cost, is that they’re not ideal for most cases. In particular, people with small teeth aren’t considered as good candidates for lingual braces. Also, these types of braces can get in the way of the tongue, which may end up causing speech problems and/or injuries.
Invisalign or invisible braces are the most expensive types of braces, but more than make up for it by being practically invisible.
These braces are not like your conventional braces wherein you have brackets mounted to your teeth. Instead, you’re required to wear custom-fitted aligners or rubber trays that you have to wear for 20 hours a day, removing them only when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. You’ll also have to wear a different set of aligners every two to three weeks to make sure that your teeth are gradually moved to the right place.
The main advantage about these braces is that because they’re barely noticeable, they also require much less frequent visits to the dentist. The biggest drawback, though, is that it’s easy to lose the trays and replacing them can be quite costly. Also, the treatment may take a lot longer and the process requires a lot of discipline since you’d have to make sure that you wear them for 20 hours a day.