What Kind of Braces Should I Get?
Whether you’re an adolescent or an adult, the decision to get braces is one of the most important you’ll ever make for your smile. While braces can be invasive and conspicuous, they offset any visual interference by straightening your teeth and repairing any underlying bite issues. And, thanks to drastic improvements, braces are looking better than ever.
You’ll make your braces decision in consultation with your dentist. Here are some options for you to ask about:
Traditional metal braces
A default of sorts, these straighten your teeth using the traditional system of metal brackets supported by elastics and archwires. These have less rigid guidelines and are the orthodontic treatment virtually any patient can qualify for. Traditional braces have only fallen out of usage in light of more modernized braces.
A popular alternative to metal, ceramic braces are liked for their tooth-colored aesthetics. They operate on the same simple structure as metal braces, and apply equally to a wide range of patients.
You can keep a lower profile with self-ligating braces, which operate similarly to traditional braces except without free-moving wires—as opposed to fixed wires. The brackets are held in place by metal clips. Self-ligating wires are more discreet than default braces. And thanks to less pressure being placed on the teeth, they’re also more comfortable.
If discretion is again your goal, ask about lingual—or behind-the-teeth—braces. They’re applied with metals, but on the back side of teeth for maximum invisibility. Being on the back side makes lingual braces harder to clean than their counterparts, so don’t ask for them if an especially rigid cleaning ritual does not appeal to you.
Remember, braces require significant changes in lifestyle for the duration of treatment. You’ll need to not eat certain things, and pay strict attention to keeping your braces clean. Knowing the commitment ahead of you should influence any dental care decision.
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