Straightening your teeth with dental braces is one of the best ways to transform your smile. A perfectly straight smile can boost your confidence, make eating and talking much easier, and make you more attractive to others. But before you can reap the benefits of beautifully aligned teeth, you’ll need to choose a teeth-straightening method that works for you.
Teeth straightening techniques have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. With new materials and technologies available, dentists and orthodontists have developed some hugely popular types of dental braces. Here, we explain the different types of braces.
Traditional Metal Braces
When you think of dental braces, traditional metal braces most likely spring to mind. These braces, consisting of metal brackets, wires and elastic bands, are one of the most common types of braces.
Metal braces are effective and inexpensive, and while they have been around since the 18th century, these braces have greatly improved over the years. They’re now much more comfortable and orthodontists can allow patients to choose which colour elastic bands they would like, making them personalisable. However, metal braces are still the most noticeable type of dental braces. So if you’re worried about feeling self-conscious, it’s worth considering one of the more subtle options below.
Invisalign is a clear aligner treatment, rather than a type of dental brace. It is also one of the most popular and high-tech teeth straightening methods. Just like braces, Invisalign puts pressure on your teeth to gradually shift them into alignment. But rather than doing so with a fixed brace, it uses a series of clear aligners custom-made for your teeth.
These aligners are removable, so you can take them out before tucking into meals and snacks, and easily clean them. Invisalign is also designed to be as invisible as possible, so you can straighten your teeth without feeling self-conscious.
Lingual braces work similarly to traditional metal braces, but rather than placing brackets on the front of your teeth, your dentist places them on the back, out of sight.
While these braces are a good choice for those who don’t want their braces to be noticeable, not all dentists offer lingual braces, and they are more costly than traditional metal ones.
Lingual braces are also not suitable for everyone. They can’t always be used to treat severe misalignment and can be more uncomfortable and difficult to clean.
Ceramic braces work similarly to traditional metal braces, but the brackets are ceramic rather than metal. Ceramic braces blend in with the natural colour of your teeth, offering a discreet and effective alternative to metal braces.
Six Month Smiles uses ceramic braces to move your teeth into alignment in just half a year. This is one of our most popular teeth-straightening treatments at Tooth Doctor.
Traditional braces use elastic bands as well as brackets and wires. The elastic bands, also known as ligatures, wrap around the brackets to hold the wire in place. These can be tightened to control the tension of the wire — the force that shifts teeth into alignment. However, self-ligating braces eliminate the need for the elastic. Instead of the bands, tiny clips hold the wire in place.
These braces can be more comfortable than traditional metal braces with elastic as they use smaller brackets and pose less frictional resistance. With self-ligating braces, you will also make fewer trips to the dentist for brace tightening, and your dental care routine may be easier as these braces are easier to clean.
Both metal and ceramic braces can be self-ligating, so you can make the most of self-ligating brackets and a discreet clear appearance. At Tooth Doctor, we offer Damon braces, a popular type of clear, tieless dental brace.
Tooth Doctor offers a range of teeth straightening solutions, from Invisalign to near-invisible braces. Our dentists will help you achieve your dream smile with braces or aligners that work for you and your lifestyle. Get in touch today to start your teeth-straightening journey.