5 Types of Braces

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
March 7, 2018

Girl with braces at coffee shop

Unhappy with the alignment of your teeth? No worries; there are a variety of braces that could fix the problem and give you the straight smile that you’ve always wanted!

We’ve outlined the main types of braces that are available for both children and adults so that you can get an idea of what your options are. Check out the information below and then talk to your orthodontist to find out which braces would work best on your teeth.

1. Traditional Metal Braces: You Know the Look

When you think of braces, your mind might immediately conjure up images of a smile with metal across the teeth. These traditional metal braces are still an option, but modern dentistry has made these lighter than they were in the past. And another neat feature is the modern archwires that are heat-activated and could utilize your own body heat to help shift your teeth more efficiently and with less pain. Nice!

These braces are constructed using stainless steel, so they are the most obvious braces available, but they also tend to be the most affordable option. Put simply, metal brackets are attached to the teeth using a special dental cement, and the brackets are then linked together using archwire that applies pressure to move the teeth into alignment.  

2. Ceramic Braces: A Less Obvious Option

If the idea of having to wear metal braces isn’t appealing, you could opt instead for ceramic braces. These function in the same way as traditional metal braces but because they are constructed using a clear ceramic material, they aren’t as obvious when you smile.

Even though ceramic braces could shift your teeth just as quickly as their metal counterparts, these tend to be more expensive. It’s also important to keep in mind that the brackets might stain quite easily, so taking great care of your braces will be really important.  

3. Lingual Braces: A Way to Hide Your Braces

Would you prefer to totally hide the fact that you are wearing braces? Then lingual braces might be your best bet. These function in the same way that metal braces do, but the wires and the brackets are positioned on the inside of your teeth so that they aren’t visible when you smile.

They may sound like a fantastic option, but there are a few drawbacks associated with lingual braces. First off, these tend to be more expensive, and if your case is considered severe, they may not be appropriate for you. On top of that, they could feel more uncomfortable than other braces, particularly at the beginning, and the adjustments might be more difficult and require more time than regular braces. Plus, because they are on the inside of the teeth, they might be harder to keep clean too.

4. Aligners: The Clear Option That’s Removable

Now this is what we call a really innovative approach to braces: removable aligners that are clear! If you’ve heard of the product Invisalign, you already have an idea of what these braces are all about. They could be used instead of your traditional ceramic or metal braces, and they function like custom mouth guards that are made to fit your unique mouth. You could put these braces in and take them out when you eat and when you need to clean them, and you usually get a new aligner every couple of weeks to further move your teeth into the ideal position.

One of the drawbacks of using a clear aligner, though, is the fact that it tends to work more slowly than ceramic or metal braces, so you might need to have some extra patience. Beyond that, this option is typically more expensive (especially if you lose the aligner and need to replace it), and it might not be an option if your case is severe. Plus, aligners aren’t an option for children, even though teens and adults could use them.

5. Damon Braces: Faster and Gentler Results

Are you afraid of the discomfort that could come from having to wear braces? Then Damon braces, which feature a slide mechanism rather than elastics, may be the gentler option that you’re searching for. This newer treatment could produce faster results, and it also allows you to see your orthodontist less often while you’re in the process of straightening your teeth. Your teeth will be able to shift on their own, and the movement becomes less painful because there’s less pressure and less friction involved. Pretty amazing, right?

It’s worth noting that Damon braces tend to be pricier, and they might cause irritation at the beginning until you get used to having them in your mouth. Also, these could be visible like traditional braces unless you go with the clear option to make them less obvious.

Achieving a Straight and Stunning Smile Is Possible!

If you’re ready for braces, it’s best to consult with an orthodontist who could help you choose the braces that will give you the results that you want within your budget. And to make it even easier to afford your child’s braces, you could check out Spirit's dental insurance for braces that include orthodontics coverage. With so many different types of braces to choose from, and a little bit of time and patience, you could finally get the straight smile that you desire.


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