Which braces are right for your teeth?
Committing to a straighter smile means committing to a particular treatment and orthodontic appliance to help correct the problem. Knowing the facts about the different oral appliance options can help you decide which treatment is best for you.
1. Metal braces
Traditional metal braces use either colored ties or clips to keep the wires attached to the braces. Metal braces tend to collect food and bacteria, making it more difficult to keep teeth clean during treatment. However, traditional metal braces are fixed to the teeth so that they can’t be removed during treatment except by an orthodontist.
2. Ceramic braces
If metal braces are not esthetic enough for you, ceramic braces can be used. Instead of metal brackets placed on each tooth, tooth colored ceramic brackets are used instead. Although the wires can still be seen, the ceramic brackets are less noticeable.
As with metal braces, ceramic braces also make it difficult to keep teeth clean during treatment and they are fixed to the teeth so they can’t be removed during treatment except by an orthodontist.
3. Lingual braces
Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the back side of your teeth, next to your tongue. When you smile, you will not be able to see the metal appliances because they will not be on the front of your teeth.
Just like with metal and ceramic braces, lingual braces are attached to the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient and also make it more difficult to keep teeth clean. Lingual braces also can affect speech due to the interference of the braces with the tongue position. Of all of the treatment options, lingual braces are the most expensive.
Invisalign is a brand of clear plastic trays that are given in a series and worn for two weeks per tray. Each tray has a predetermined amount of movement in them that help align teeth into their final position. Invisalign is more esthetic than braces and also makes it easier to keep your teeth clean since the trays can be removed.
However, it is important that each set of trays are worn for at least 22 hours a day in order for treatment to be effective. Since the trays can be taken in and out by the patient, compliance is very important.
All of these orthodontic appliances can be used to help straighten your teeth. If you want a beautiful, straight smile, consider seeing an orthodontist and talking to them about what option is best for you. An orthodontist will not only straighten your teeth, but they will also align your bite so your teeth fit properly together.
About this Angie's List Expert: Dr. Lauren Gossett is a orthodontist with Boice Orthodontics, providing dentistry services in Saint Joseph, Mo. Dr. Gossett received her D.D.S. in 2010 and her Orthodontic Certificate and M.S. in 2012. She is a member of the American Dental Association and American Association of Orthodontists. Follow this #ALExpert on Twitter @BracesByBoice.
As of July 9, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.