Those who are born with the perfect smile – a.k.a. perfect teeth – are lucky because they don’t have to deal with issues brought about by misaligned or crooked teeth. The problem with crooked or misaligned teeth is that it can lead to more serious conditions such as tooth decay or gum disease, as it can be hard to reach the areas in between the teeth. If your teeth are less than perfect, then you may need to have braces. But there are different kinds of braces out there, and it’s important to know what these are so you can have a better idea of what is best for your needs. Here’s your essential guide to the different kinds of braces.
- Standard or traditional
Traditional or standard braces are the type of braces that are commonly seen. The braces are comprised of materials like high grade and high-quality stainless steel, with brackets made of metal which are then attached to the teeth with the use of a special kind of cement. The braces’ brackets are attached or linked using an ‘archwire,’ which serves to put pressure on your teeth, allowing them to move or align into the proper position. The ‘archwire’ is connected to the braces’ brackets with elastics, which are called O-rings or ligatures. These elastics are often changed by the orthodontist every time the braces are tightened.
Nowadays, thanks to certain advancements, some people can take advantage of braces made from ceramic. These ceramic braces work in a similar way to standard braces, with one difference: the brackets of the braces are made from transparent or clear ceramic. This makes the braces a lot less visible, and many adults who need braces often go for this kind of braces. Sometimes, though, the elastics can discolor, and this may result in marks or stains on the teeth. This is why it’s important to never miss an appointment with your orthodontist, so they can make sure that the elastics are changed regularly, as confirmed by an orthodontist from the Woodbridge VA clinic, the American Braces Smile Center.
An aligner is a different kind of brace, as it is made from a clear plastic material that looks more like a mouth guard, and it is custom-made. Aligners can be removed when you’re eating or when they need to be cleaned, and they need to be changed or replaced every couple of weeks.
- Palatal expanders
Those who have teeth which are overcrowded can benefit from palatal expanders, which are worn over a period of time. This device can fit a person’s palate, applying pressure to the upper molars’ back portion so the teeth can slowly move apart. Since the palate is expanded, it makes it possible to fit other kinds of braces, so the teeth’s position can be corrected further.