Types of Braces
Braces have come a long way since they were first invented in 1819 by Christophe-Francois Delabarre. In recent generations, metal braces have been the standard, but they aren’t ideal in terms of comfort and aesthetics. While still very effective, even metal braces have been improved over the years. Today, there are more types of braces than ever to choose from. Your orthodontist in Laurel, MD can determine which type of braces you may be best suited for. Here are some of the choices:
Metal braces remain the most common type of braces for teeth. Improvements in traditional metal braces include speedier results in certain cases, a lower profile and more comfort for the wearer. Metal braces consist of brackets that are cemented to the teeth, with a wire that runs through each bracket via a small hook. Adjustment appointments are done about every four to eight weeks. Metal braces are convenient, because they require less maintenance than other types of braces, beyond good oral hygiene.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in the way they’re attached to the teeth and adjusted by the orthodontist. But instead of metal brackets, ceramic braces consist of tooth-colored ceramic brackets. This makes them much less visible from afar and close up. This type of braces is good for those who may feel self-conscious wearing metal braces.
Self-litigating braces are yet another spin on traditional metal braces. They consist of brackets attached to each tooth, but the brackets are self-litigating. That means that each bracket has a kind of “door” mechanism that holds the alignment wires. So, unlike ceramic braces and metal braces, no elastics are used for tightening. Some patients report a reduced level of discomfort with self-litigating braces, which is why this is another popular option for braces in Laurel, MD.
Clear aligners such as Invisalign are considered a type of braces, although technically they aren’t. They consist of a series of dental aligners that are worn in succession over a period of time. Each new aligner brings the oral alignment closer to the desired results. Clear aligners are suitable for mild to moderate alignment problems, but not effective for serious overbites or underbites and other complex alignment issues.
With the assortment of braces available today, there’s no reason that you have to deal with alignment issues. Contact Heller Orthodontics today to book an appointment where you and your orthodontist can discuss your options and determine what’s possible.