Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. Click here to learn more about Clear Braces.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile. Click here to learn more about Metal Braces.
Invisible (Clear) Orthodontic Appliances
Invisalign® uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. And, no one can tell you are wearing Invisalign because it's invisible! Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. Click here to learn more about Invisalign.
Metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Today's metal braces are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.
What Braces are Made Of
Traditional metal braces are made of high quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:
- Brackets — Brackets are the piece that is attached to the tooth using special glue that bonds the brackets to the tooth's surface and holds them in place.
- Arch Wire — The arch wire is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into place.
- Ligature Elastic (also known as the “rubber bands”) — Elastics, or rubber bands, are the colored ties that hold the arch wires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the elastics at each appointment. Elastics may come in a variety of colors.
How Braces Work
Once placed on your teeth, braces place constant pressure on your teeth, and the force of the pressure helps move teeth into their proper position. At each appointment, your orthodontist may tighten the arch wires. In addition to braces, some patients may need to wear rubber bands or headgear. Patients wearing braces may notice their teeth feeling a little loose. This is normal, and once the teeth are done moving, this feeling will go away.
Metal Braces for All Ages
Traditional metal braces are still the most popular, quickest, and cost effective, orthodontic treatment available. Your orthodontist can help you determine which treatment is best for your individual case. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about how braces can enhance your smile.
Having braces doesn't necessarily require highly noticeable metal brackets and wires. In fact, many of today's braces are made from either clear or natural tooth colored materials to provide patients with an attractive, less noticeable alternative to traditional braces.
What is the difference between clear braces and clear aligners?
Clear braces are the same as traditional metal braces except that they are clear! Clear braces are a less noticeable alternative to traditional metal braces and provide patients with an equally effective treatment.
Clear aligners are different from clear braces. Clear aligners are pieces of hard plastic that are designed to fit into your mouth like a mouthguard. Clear aligners are great for patients requiring minor orthodontic treatment.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to clear braces?
As with any orthodontic treatment, it is important to choose the right option for your needs and lifestyle. Clear braces are a great alternative to traditional metal braces; however, you and your orthodontist will know if they are the right treatment for you.
Advantages to clear braces:
- Appearance: Ceramic braces and clear braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. Clear and ceramic braces offer an aesthetic alternative for patients seeking options other than traditional metal braces.
- Confidence: Many patients who choose ceramic or clear braces feel more confident about their orthodontic treatment, especially knowing that people are focusing on their smiles rather than their braces.
Disadvantages to clear braces:
- Cost: Ceramic and clear braces may cost more than traditional metal braces. Your orthodontist may offer convenient payment plans to help control the costs of your treatment. Be sure to talk to your orthodontist about all of your financial options.
- Discoloration: The clear elastic ties that are used with clear and ceramic braces may become slightly discolored from drinking tea, coffee, wine, eating certain foods, or smoking. Ask your orthodontist about how you can keep your braces looking their best.
- Treatment Time: Orthodontic treatment with clear or ceramic braces may take longer than with traditional metal braces. If you don't mind investing a little more time in your smile, talk to your orthodontist to find out how long your treatment time will be with clear or ceramic braces.
Are clear or ceramic braces the right choice for my smile and me?
By talking to your orthodontist, you can decide if clear or ceramic braces are the right treatment for you. Your orthodontist can provide answers to your questions and extra information explaining the benefits of each treatment. If you would like to learn more about clear braces, ceramic braces, and all of the options available to you, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment today.
Consider clear aligners to get the beautiful straight teeth you've always wanted — without braces. A consultation with your doctor can determine if clear aligners are right for you.
What is it?
Clear aligners use a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. So, you can smile more during treatment as well as after. Our clear aligners are made with 3D computer imaging technology and has been proven effective. More than 70% of orthodontists in the US and Canada are certified to treat with clear aligners.
Why would I want it?
Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are no problem. They are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in your doctor's office getting adjustments. Clear aligners also allow you to view your own virtual treatment plan when you start so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
How does it work?
You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move — little by little, week by week — until they have straightened to the final position your doctor has prescribed. You'll visit our practice about once every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.
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