The Different Types of Braces
Not many people are born with perfectly straight teeth and perfectly aligned jaws, providing a perfect smile. That’s why orthodontic treatment has become one of the first services people turn to when looking to transform their smile and facial appearance. But, the prospect of getting braces can seem like a downer at just about any age with the negative press they’ve gotten for so many decades.
Thankfully, technology has come quite a long way just in recent decades, and those advancements have not skipped over the wonderful world of orthodontics. This cutting-edge makes now a better time than ever to look into getting the sparkling straight smile of your dreams.
Our goal at Oread Orthodontics in Lawrence, Topeka, and Baldwin City, KS, is not just to give you that smile but also the best possible care through state-of-the-art technology and innovative techniques. We believe that our treatment can actually change lives. Let’s explore the current options for braces in orthodontic treatment to help you decide which may be best for you.
When you first think of braces, many images of bulky metal brackets and sharp wires spring to mind, but technology has also helped here. With upgrades to design, shape, size, and even color having arrived, metal braces have become much smaller while also becoming more effective.
Traditional braces are known for being the quickest and most effective way to treat complex tooth issues and make adjustments in your teeth. This amount of time you will need to wear braces will depend on the severity of your tooth and jaw adjustments required, but this method can typically significantly reduce the time it takes to get those effective results.
It is important to note that maintenance and cleaning can get a little complicated with traditional braces, but it does get easier over time. With handheld flossing sticks and Waterpiks, getting debris from between your teeth and around brackets gets much more manageable. Avoiding chewy, sticky, or crunchy foods can also help make cleaning less tricky and ensure you do not risk breaking any of your brackets or wires.
You can expect to have a quick follow-up with Dr. Brent Wood every 6-8 weeks to check your progress and replace any broken wires or worn-out rubber bands. These appointments are crucial to the timeline of your treatment plan, so let us know if something comes up, and our expert team will get you rescheduled for a time that better fits your busy lifestyle.
If you are leaning towards traditional braces, you will have two options: metal or ceramic.
This is the most common treatment option, and since they are made of a mix of high-quality metals, they are very durable. Thanks to advanced technology, modern metal braces are much smaller and lighter, making them easier to wear without worry. The rubber bands also come in many colors, making this option a personalizable choice to deliver exceptional results even in severe treatment plans.
Being the oldest option gives metal braces the benefit of often being the most affordable option, making it the most common choice in orthodontic treatment year over year.
Ceramic braces, sometimes called clear or esthetic braces, are made of transparent or tooth-colored material and work in the same way traditional metal braces do with brackets and wires but are more discreet and more fragile. While the brackets are about the same size, the color, or lack of, allows the appliance to blend into the teeth better. While the ceramic braces themselves are no longer likely to stain, the adhesive glue used to attach the brackets to the teeth may stain depending on the foods you eat and your cleaning habits.
Even though most of our Oread Orthodontics patients in ceramic braces love how discrete they are, we do have some teens and adults who like to use colored ligature ties commonly used with metal braces. Combining the colorful elastics with the clear brackets gives the braces a unique neon look.
This treatment option can sometimes be more costly than standard metal braces, and repairs to the ceramic appliances can add up. Still, the good news is we offer flexible payment plans, automatic bank drafts, and we will also check with your insurance company for orthodontic benefits.
Clear Aligners like Invisalign have become a widely popular option for orthodontic therapy in recent years. They consist of a series of removal aligners that fit snug but comfortably over your teeth. They make minor adjustments over time, and you typically change to a new retainer about every one to two weeks for the duration of your treatment.
There are many perks to having clear aligners, like not seeing bulky brackets and wires and being able to remove them to eat and brush your teeth. You can also eat practically anything you like. While clear aligners can be used to treat many oral issues like crowding, gaps, and specific bite issues, some cases may be too severe for clear aligners to address. Our talented and experienced team can help you decide if this is your best route to your perfect smile.
Less Common Options
There are two other types of braces that are less commonly used for orthodontic treatment and not currently offered here at Oread Orthodontics: self-ligating and lingual braces. Self-ligating braces are very similar to traditional metal braces, except they use clips that hold the wires in place instead of elastic rubber ties. In comparison, lingual braces are ultimately metal braces placed on the backside of teeth instead of the front like traditional braces. As you can imagine, lingual braces cause slightly more tongue discomfort due to their placement, but as with conventional braces placement, it will subside fairly quickly.
Your Smile, Your Way with Oread Orthodontics
You’re unique, and so is your smile! Your orthodontic treatment should be unique, as well. That’s why our team at Oread Orthodontics takes pride in finding the best way to treat your individual needs. You may think most orthodontists are the same, and most are. We aren’t. Oread Orthodontics involves more than just teeth; it involves you.
Our offices are conveniently located in Topeka, Baldwin City, and Lawrence, so exceptional orthodontic care is only minutes away from your home, work, or school.
We would love to meet you and talk more about how braces can give you a smile you love without costing all of your time and money. Get in touch today for your FREE consultation to take the first step!