How to Choose Your Braces: 5 Tips to Consider

If your dentist has suggested that braces might be a good solution to improve your oral health, you will need to see an orthodontist to discuss your different options and find answers to your questions.

Different orthodontic appliances are available, and it’s important to choose the best option for your situation and your unique needs. Here are a few types of appliances the orthodontist might recommend you.

1. Metal braces are very effective

If you choose metal braces, you will have the choice between traditional metal braces and self-ligating braces. With traditional braces, metal brackets are glued to the front of your teeth, and they use elastics as well as an arch wire to guide your teeth into the right position. Your orthodontist will explain you that these braces are very visible, but also very effective, and that they cost less that other types of appliances. To learn more about metal braces, visit the Durham Orthodontic Centre website for additional resources.

Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional ones, but they use special clips instead of elastics to guide your teeth. This creates less discomfort and helps achieve faster results.

2. Ceramic braces are more discreet

If you don’t want your braces to be visible, ceramic braces, also called tooth-colored braces, are a good alternative to metal braces. The brackets of this type of braces are made of a clear material that will not stain, and will look almost invisible on your teeth.

Your orthodontist might also recommend you self-ligating ceramic braces which will reduce friction on your teeth and allow them to move freely. Ceramic braces are however more expensive than metal braces, but they have the advantage of being more discreet.

3. Lingual braces are well hidden

If you want something even more discreet than ceramic braces, ask your orthodontist about lingual braces. The brackets of lingual braces are glued to the back of your teeth instead of the front, so no one but you and your orthodontist will ever know they are there. This type of treatment is more expensive, but it’s worth it if you want your braces to be invisible.

Keep in mind that any type of braces makes it more difficult to brush and floss your teeth, so you will need to be very serious about taking good care of your oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment.

4. Clear aligners are invisible

Clear aligners are a great alternative to braces for people who would like their orthodontic appliances to be invisible. This treatment consists in a series of customized, clear aligners that you have to remove when you drink, eat, and brush and floss your teeth. For this treatment to be truly effective, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions of your orthodontist.

Clear aligners are great to correct minor problems, but might not be the best solution to treat major orthodontic problems like serious overbites or underbites. If you are interested in clear aligners, your orthodontist will help you figure out if they would work for you.

5. Retainers complete the treatment

Retainers are different from braces and clear aligners because they are an orthodontic appliance that you will need to wear after you are done with your treatment. Retainers are designed to help teeth stay in their right position and to prevent relapse. Learn more about retainers on the KidsHealth website.

There are different types of retainers: some are fixed, and some are removable. Fixed retainers are bonded behind the lower and upper front teeth and stay in place forever, while removable retainers should be worn full-time for a few months before they can be worn part-time.

Your orthodontist will help you select the right type of retainers, and will instruct you on how long you need to wear them.


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