Braces are dental appliances designed to straighten teeth and correct bite issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite. Braces work by applying continuous pressure to the teeth over a period of time, gradually moving them into the desired position. They are typically made of brackets, wires, and elastics and can be adjusted periodically to ensure the teeth move as intended.
The dental treatment of braces is commonly used for cosmetic and functional purposes, helping improve the teeth’s appearance while enhancing the bite and overall oral health. People of all ages can wear braces, although they are often recommended during childhood and adolescence when the teeth are still developing. However, many adults also choose to wear braces later in life to correct alignment issues that were not addressed earlier.
5 Types Of Braces
Dental treatment can help improve the appearance and function of a person’s teeth and jaw. Braces are one of the most common types of dental health treatment, and they have come a long way in design and functionality. Today, several types of braces are available to patients, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
1. Traditional Metal Braces
Type: Traditional metal braces are a type of dental treatment that uses metal brackets and wires to move teeth into the desired position.
Purpose: Correcting malocclusions or misaligned teeth can help prevent severe oral health problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and difficulty chewing food or speaking.
How It Works: Traditional metal braces work by attaching small metal brackets to the teeth and connecting them with wires to gradually move the teeth into the desired position. The brackets are placed on the teeth’s front surface, and the dentist periodically adjusts the wires to apply pressure and shift the teeth into the correct position over time.
Advantages: Metal braces can produce results in a comparatively short period and are quite successful at treating complex tooth conditions. They are also generally less expensive than other types of braces.
Disadvantages: Traditional metal braces are apparent, making some people self-conscious about their appearance. Moreover, they may lead to oral pain or discomfort and necessitate frequent dentist visits for changes.
2. Ceramic Braces
Type: Ceramic braces are a kind of dental treatment that uses clear or tooth-coloured brackets and wires to move teeth into the desired position.
Purpose: To correct malocclusions or misaligned teeth while providing a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal braces.
How It Works: Ceramic braces work the same way as metal braces, by applying pressure to the teeth to gradually shift them into the correct position. However, the brackets and wires are made from clear or tooth-coloured materials that blend in with the natural colour of the teeth, making them less visible.
Advantages: Ceramic braces are less visible than traditional metal braces, which can make them a more attractive alternative for some patients. They are also highly effective at correcting complex dental issues and can achieve results in a relatively short amount of time.
Disadvantages: Ceramic braces are generally more expensive than metal braces, and the brackets can be more fragile and prone to breaking. They can also cause discomfort or soreness in the mouth and require regular visits to the dentist for adjustments. Additionally, patients with ceramic braces need to be careful about what they eat, as certain foods can stain the brackets and wires.
3. Lingual Braces
Type: While using lingual braces, brackets and wires are connected to the back of the teeth, rendering them virtually unnoticeable from the front.
Purpose: Preserve a patient’s visual appeal while receiving dental treatment to address malocclusions or misaligned teeth.
How It Works: Using specialised brackets and wires linked to the back of the teeth, lingual braces work by continuously exerting pressure on the teeth. These braces are positioned using a specialised adhesive and are specially made to fit each patient’s distinct dental architecture.
Advantages: The primary benefit of lingual braces is that they are practically undetectable, which appeals to teenagers and adults who are self-conscious about braces. They can get results relatively quickly and are also very successful at fixing dental problems.
Disadvantages: Because they are more difficult to access, lingual braces might be more challenging to manage and sanitise than regular metal braces. Lingual braces typically cost more than other braces because of their personalised design and unique positioning.
4. Self-ligating Braces
Type: Self-ligating braces are a form of dental procedure that employs brackets, wires, and specific mechanisms to lock the wire in position without using elastics or ties in order to address malocclusions or misaligned teeth.
Purpose: To lessen the friction between both the wire and the brackets so that teeth can move more effectively and effortlessly. This may result in shorter treatment time frames and fewer dental correction appointments.
How It Works: Self-ligating braces hold the wire in place using a specific clip or door mechanism on each bracket. This device lessens the force required to move teeth into the proper position and enables more accurate control of tooth movement. Moreover, there is less friction and irritation in the mouth because no elastics or ties are involved.
Advantages: Self-ligating braces have several benefits over conventional braces, including quicker treatment schedules, fewer visits to the dentist, and reduced oral discomfort. Also, they require less upkeep and are simpler to maintain.
Disadvantages: Due to their specific mechanism, self-ligating braces might be more expensive. It might be more challenging if the mechanism needs to be adjusted or repaired. In addition, the brackets may be easier to see in the mouth because they are more significant than traditional metal braces.
5. Clear Aligners
Type: Clear aligners are a dental treatment that progressively moves teeth into the proper position using a sequence of clear, plastic trays.
Purpose: To offer a nearly unnoticeable dental treatment alternative while correcting mild to severe malocclusions or misaligned teeth.
How It Works: Clear aligners exert constant, gentle pressure on the teeth through personalised trays to achieve their desired results. Before being swapped out for the subsequent tray in the series, each tray is worn for a predetermined time, usually one to two weeks. This procedure gradually moves the teeth into their proper position over time.
Advantages: The main benefit of clear aligners is their almost invisible appearance, which appeals to individuals who feel insecure about having braces because of their very invisible nature. Also, they are removable, which makes it simpler to floss, eat, and brush. Also, in comparison to standard braces, transparent aligners often require minimal appointments with the dentist for modifications.
Disadvantages: Clear aligners may not be the best option for more complicated dental problems and some forms of malocclusions. While they must be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day to be effective, they also demand high patient compliance. Also, they could cost more than conventional braces, especially if the patient needs several sets of aligners.
How Do You Choose The Right Type of Braces?
Dental treatment can significantly improve your oral health and overall well-being. While the benefits of having properly aligned teeth are numerous, choosing the right braces that suit your needs is essential.
When selecting a type of braces, several important factors must be considered. From dental issues to cost and appearance, each factor can play a crucial role in determining which braces best fit you.
The severity of your dental health issues will determine which types of braces are suitable for your treatment. Some are better suited for more complex cases, while others are better for mild to moderate issues.
Choose a type of braces that is less noticeable or nearly invisible, depending on your preferences. Clear aligners and lingual braces are well-known for their nearly invisible appearance.
Some types of braces may cause more discomfort or soreness than others. Traditional metal braces, for example, may cause some discomfort due to the brackets and wires, while clear aligners may cause discomfort from the pressure of the trays.
Different types of braces require different levels of maintenance and adjustments. Traditional metal braces require regular adjustments and maintenance, while clear aligners require regular changes of trays.
The braces might range in price depending on the kind and duration of treatment. Typically, the least expensive option is traditional metal braces, while lingual braces and transparent aligners may cost more.
To sum up the article, the health and appearance of your teeth might be considerably enhanced by dental health treatment. With various braces available, you can select the one that best satisfies your unique requirements and preferences. Each type of brace, from traditional metal braces to clear aligners, has specific benefits and drawbacks. You can make an informed choice and ensure the best results for your dental treatment by speaking with our dentists and considering the various factors.
Visit our dental clinic at Puchong or Bukit Jalil today.
1. What types of braces provide the quickest results?
At present, transparent aligners provide the swiftest correction rate, with Invisalign treatments completed in just a few months, in contrast to the several years typically required for metal braces. Fast correction is not exclusive to clear aligners, as self-ligating braces offer expedited results.
In general, the simplicity of an orthodontic issue determines the treatment duration. Less complex problems, such as spacing and crowding, necessitate the shortest treatment period, often completed in under 6-8 months.
2. What type of braces hurt less?
Invisalign is notably less uncomfortable than traditional metal braces. While some individuals may experience initial discomfort and mild sensitivity during the first days of wearing the aligner trays, the overall pain is considerably milder than the discomfort often associated with metal braces.
Notably, the wires, brackets, and rubber bands used in braces are not painful, but the fitting, adjustment, and removal processes can potentially cause irritation to the mouth’s tissues.
During the initial 1-2 weeks of wearing braces, the unfamiliar tension of the archwire may lead to discomfort and a sense of dullness. However, the degree of pain experienced can vary from person to person, depending on the tooth’s location and sensitivity.
Check out our article Invisalign vs braces: which is better to find out more.
3. How long do braces stay on?
The majority of patients typically require a duration of 18 to 24 months for wearing fixed braces. In cases with more challenging issues or for older individuals, the treatment period may extend to three years. However, for those with milder concerns or suitable candidates for clear aligners like Invisalign, the treatment duration may be as short as 6 to 12 months.
4. What is the ideal age to get braces?
The optimal period for getting braces is often during early adolescence, typically between 10 and 14. This is because individuals in this age group have most, if not all, of their adult teeth, and their relatively pliable jawbone tissue responds well to orthodontic adjustments.
However, individuals of all ages can have their teeth realigned. Braces are not exclusively for children; even adults 50 and older can experience the advantages of orthodontic treatment.
5. How soon can you see results with braces?
You typically begin to observe alterations within four to six weeks, and noticeable progress may become evident to others within a few months as your braces or Invisalign trays are adjusted. Each adjustment or transition to a new Invisalign tray results in incremental improvements to the alignment of your teeth.
Most dental practitioners providing braces treatment typically advise patients to schedule appointments at intervals of four to six weeks for brace adjustments. This schedule aims to promote the correct alignment of teeth and prevent any hindrances in the braces procedure.
6. Do braces permanently straighten teeth?
Regrettably, it is not permanent. Even if you’ve completed orthodontic treatment, there is still a risk of your teeth reverting to their initial positions. This is quite probable if you neglect to wear your retainers.
7. Can braces change your face shape?
Yes, braces can potentially influence your jawline, chin, mouth shape, and even lips. Nevertheless, these transformations are subsidiary to the primary process of realigning your teeth and bite. The tightening of your jawline and teeth occurs gradually and may not be immediately noticeable.
8. What foods should I avoid when wearing braces?
Your braces could include brackets, bands, and archwires that may be susceptible to damage from specific foods. Crunchy and adhesive items, including nuts and chewing gum, as well as hard confections like lollipops and candy canes, have the potential to loosen brackets and wires, potentially causing treatment delays.
Foods to be avoided while wearing braces include:
- Pizza crust
- Crispy vegetables
- Beef jerky
- Corn on the cob
- Sticky sweets (like toffee or gummy bears)
- Hard candies (e.g., lollipops or candy canes)
- Potato chips
- Chewing gum (sugar-free gum is acceptable)
In addition to dietary considerations, maintaining proper oral hygiene is vital to prevent the formation of cavities around the braces. Inadequate cleaning of food residues from both the teeth and braces can lead to the accumulation of tartar and plaque, potentially resulting in the development of white spots on the tooth surfaces.