Braces on your teeth no longer need to be clunky metal brackets, wires and rubber bands. Thanks to the latest technology, there are other choices, and an increasing number of adults are now getting their teeth straightened and issues addressed that were not taken care of when they were teens.
Three main types of dental braces are:
• Metal braces – made from stainless steel brackets and wires. Some may use nickel-titanium or copper-titanium for the wires and brackets, which may last longer and need fewer adjustments. Metal braces are a simpler and smaller version of traditional braces from the past. However, they are the most noticeable. This is why many adults pick another less-visible style. The rubber bands pull on the thin wire that holds the brackets in place to move the teeth. You need to avoid sticky food such as caramel or gum and be careful when eating hard foods that can dislodge the brackets.
• Ceramic braces – not as obvious as metal braces. They offer clear elastic ties or white metal ties to hold the brackets in place. The brackets won’t stain, but the ties will. They’ll change color when you drink coffee, tea or colored juice. They are usually replaced when you visit our office for a check-up once a month. You’ll need to be careful when you eat because ceramic braces are more sensitive and easily break or chip. They also take longer to install than metal braces.
• Lingual braces – attached behind your teeth, so they can’t be seen when you smile or talk. Sometimes called incognito braces, they are bonded to the back of your teeth and considered a good option for adults. Anyone who requires traditional braces may consider lingual braces because they come in digitally customized self-ligating lingual system that is truly invisible. The bonding pads and brackets are customized as well as the arch wires. This type may be the most uncomfortable and hardest to keep clean. They are usually recommended for less severe cases.
Whatever type of braces you choose, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that children are evaluated for braces by the age of seven. At this time, we can detect even slight issues pertaining to jaw growth and emerging teeth.
Most children begin wearing braces between the ages of nine and 14, but with the new technological advances, adults find it easy to straighten their teeth without the appearance of braces.
Contact Ragan Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to evaluate your teeth and help you select the right type of braces for you or your child.