There are many different types of orthodontic braces available. Each type, though made of varying components, realigns the teeth to enhance chewing, biting, and aesthetics. Available styles of orthodontic appliances allow the wearer a great amount of flexibility, control and convenience.
The two main types of braces available are removable and fixed devices. As the names suggest, removable devices can be moved into and out of the mouth at any time, while fixed devices are both applied and removed by the orthodontist. Though fixed dental braces are often used to correct severe alignment issues, removable devices are popular because they afford the wearer more control over their treatment.
Traditional Fixed Braces
Traditional braces are often more affordable and expedient than any other kind of braces – particularly in the case of a severe malocclusion (bad bite). During application of fixed braces, individual brackets are glued to each tooth on the arch and a thin wire connects the brackets. Traditional fixed braces work on the premise that consistent pressure is applied to the teeth. The appliances must modified by an orthodontist at routine appointments to continue exerting appropriate pressure.
There are several different types of brackets available, including metal, ceramic and clear. The metal brackets tend to be the least problematic structurally, but they are also the most visible. Ceramic brackets are equally effective and less visible, but they have a tendency to stain if not cared for properly. Clear brackets are the least visible, but generally cost more and are prone to damage.
The following treatment options are available for patients who choose fixed orthodontics:
Traditional Metal Brackets: Traditional metal brackets are the most common type of braces. Metal brackets can effectively and quickly correct most types of malocclusion. Because of their high aesthetic impact, the metal brackets are much more common among children and teens as opposed to adults. It can even be fun to customize colors according to the season or the nearest holiday(orange and black for Halloween, or red and green for Christmas).
Aesthetic Ceramic Brackets: Ceramic braces are just as effective at correcting malocclusion and straightening the teeth as the metal braces are but are significantly less noticeable. With good oral hygiene, they are almost invisible, though if you do not have the best hygiene they can become stained. Though they usually cost more to use, they are still generally less expensive than removable options such as Invisalign
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