There are many different types of braces, which can make it overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right kind. Today we’re going to go over some of the options we offer here at Central Texas Orthodontics of Austin, TX. Of course, if you have more questions, our team would be happy to talk you through your options in person.
What Are the Main Types of Braces?
1. Self-Ligating Braces
One of the types of braces we offer is self-ligating braces. They are made of the same sturdy material traditional braces are, but they’re paired with a specialized clip that allows us to do away with elastics. Despite this clip, they aren’t any bigger than traditional braces. The way the clip and archwire gently guide teeth can actually put less stress on your teeth when compared to elastics.
Since self-ligating braces help reduce friction during treatment, it can make the process faster. Less stress and friction on your teeth means your teeth are able to adjust themselves more easily, which could reduce your overall treatment time. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll be cutting any corners! The most important thing is to make sure you’re getting the results you want. As such, your treatment time may vary slightly depending on your needs and goals.
Younger patients may like customizing their braces with fun and colorful elastics, but not everyone will share that excitement. If you’d rather have braces that look more discreet and streamlined, self-ligating braces may be the right option for you.
As much as we’re happy to help you any time, many patients appreciate when their treatment allows them to spend less time in the dental chair. While we will still need to make adjustments throughout your treatment, self-ligating braces require fewer adjustments than traditional braces.
They also tend to be simpler to adjust, which means that when you do have to come in, the appointments should be shorter than they would be with traditional braces. Patients with busy schedules can enjoy the fact that they won’t have to carve as much time out of their day when it comes time for adjustments.
Less friction and pressure on the teeth can improve functionality, but it can also make treatment easier for the patient. Many patients find that self-ligating braces are more comfortable than their traditional counterparts. This can help patients more easily adjust to life with braces.
Elastics can be a little tricky to brush and floss around. Unfortunately, if you don’t make sure the elastics get thoroughly clean, they can start to harbor bacteria and plaque. Self-ligating braces tend to be much easier to clean around, which can make maintaining your oral health more effective and less stressful. It’s important to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, so anything that can make that process easier is a good idea.
2. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces can either be colored to match the patient’s teeth, or clear so the patient’s teeth shine through them. This is an excellent way to camouflage brackets to make them less noticeable in person and in pictures.
Adults in particular often find the idea of clear braces very appealing. Since the brackets are able to blend right in with your smile, it can make patients feel more confident in their personal life as well as in the workplace.
Young kids are often less concerned about braces than adults, since many kids see their friends getting braces. Adults or older kids tend to be more hesitant about braces. Having a discreet option can make the choice easier.
Ceramic braces are most commonly used for the top teeth and can be used for a range of concerns. They are an especially good fit for older teens or adults. They still use the same traditional corrective power braces do, making them a good fit for many different needs.
One benefit that all types of braces offer is the ability to improve your future comfort levels. Misaligned teeth or jaws can cause chronic pain. From jaw aches and headaches, to difficulty eating and sleeping, some patients aren’t even aware of how much their misaligned teeth can negatively affect their daily lives.
If you have protruding teeth, that can also put you at risk for a future injury. Correcting tooth and jaw alignment, as well as protruding teeth, can help keep you more comfortable in the long run.
Prevent Worse Issues
By buckling down and getting braces as soon as possible, you could be saving yourself a lot more hassle down the road. Since misaligned and crowded teeth are more difficult to clean, they could put you at greater risk for tooth and gum issues. Misaligned teeth also tend to wear down their enamel faster and in an uneven way. This can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria.
3. Clear Aligners
Want to avoid braces altogether? Clear aligners like Invisalign are custom-made acrylic trays. Each patient will have their trays customized for their teeth and will wear each set for about two weeks.
As the name implies, these aligners are clear, so those talking to you shouldn’t be able to tell you’re wearing them at all. They’re also removable and comfortable, making them a great option for patients with sensitive mouths. They can treat many of the same concerns that braces can.
Convenient and Removable
While it’s important to wear your aligners most of the time, the fact that they can be taken out for eating and cleaning is a game-changer. This means you won’t have to alter what you eat. Patients who already have food limitations may especially benefit from this perk since they can pursue dental treatment without worrying about having to cut their favorite staples out of their diet.
Removability also helps many patients stay on top of their oral hygiene. You can remove the aligners, brush and floss as usual, then clean your aligners off and pop them right back in. The simplicity can make it easier not to compromise and cut corners, which can help you avoid tartar or bad breath from developing.
Some patients may require braces to correct their specific issues. That said, some patients opt to combine braces with aligners. For instance, if you start your treatment off with braces, you may be able to have them removed early and finish your treatment up with clear aligners. If you’re interested in this approach, feel free to ask us about it and we can help you determine if this could work well for your needs.
Clear aligners are probably the most discreet treatment option out there when it comes to correcting your smile. They are almost impossible to see in pictures, and very subtle in person.
Whether you want to feel confident at work or school, or you want to pursue treatment but don’t want braces to show up in your pictures, this is a great way to get the adjustments you need without worrying about the visual.
Aligners are made of smooth material. There are no brackets to break, or wires to snap. There aren’t even any sharp corners. That makes clear aligners very durable. If you or your child enjoys playing sports or if you have an active lifestyle, this could help offer some extra peace of mind.
Having aligners that are custom-fit for you helps make the experience as comfortable as possible. Patients with sensitive gums may be worried about the wire and brackets that come along with braces. You won’t have to worry about that with Invisalign, since the entire aligner is made of the same, smooth material.
Many patients look into different types of braces to improve their confidence but are worried that wearing braces will make them feel more nervous in social settings. If you struggle with social anxiety, Invisalign could be a good way to get the corrections you want without adding any stress to social situations.
You may even find yourself getting a boost of confidence after starting your treatment, due to the excitement of knowing that you’re one step closer to getting the smile of your dreams.
Ready for Personalized Advice?
Now that you know more about the types of braces we offer, we would be happy to give you personalized advice during a consultation. Reach out to us at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, today to learn more!