Until relatively recently, the only option for those needing orthodontic treatment was the traditional mouthful of metal that most of us still envision when we talk about braces. However, most modern practices now offer several different types of braces to help correct a wide range of orthodontic issues. From the much-improved metal versions to the popular clear aligners of Invisalign, CHT Orthodontics is dedicated to helping you find the right treatment for your teeth and your lifestyle. If you’re unfamiliar with orthodontics, though, all these choices can be confusing.
So what types of braces are there, and how can you decide which is right for you? Let’s take a look!
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional braces have come a long way since their early days! They’re now lighter in weight and structure than they once were, making for a much more comfortable fit. Made from high-grade stainless steel, the metal brackets are attached to each tooth using an orthodontic glue. The brackets are then linked to each other with a thin archwire, which puts pressure on the teeth, moving them slowly into the correct position. These archwires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures. Your orthodontist will change these each time your braces are tightened. These elastics often come in a variety of fun colors, so you can show off some personality each time you smile!
Metal braces are still the most common braces treatment, and are both an excellent and practical option. They’re also excellent for more complex tooth and jaw issues.
These are sometimes referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, esthetic braces, or porcelain braces. Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, and work in much the same way, but they blend with your natural tooth color, making them less noticeable.
Ceramic braces are an excellent option for teens or adults who want to minimize the appearance of their braces. Tooth-colored wires and brackets contribute to what can be seen as a cosmetic experience with braces. It’s important to note, however, that ceramic brackets can sometimes be more brittle and prone to breaking, so we don’t recommend them for cases that require a good deal of pressure to move the teeth.
The Invisalign system uses a series of clear, removable plastic trays to gently and gradually straighten teeth, without the use of metal or wires. Instead of tightening the archwires regularly like traditional braces, Invisalign requires a new aligner tray every 1-2 weeks. Each of these aligners is custom-made with exact calculations to gradually shift the teeth into their final position.
Invisalign aligners are slightly easier to maintain than traditional braces. The trays are removed when eating or drinking anything other than water, so there are no food restrictions. Good oral hygiene is simple to maintain since there are no brackets or wires to brush and floss around. However, in order to get the best results, you must commit to wearing your aligners for at least 20-22 hours per day for the duration of your treatment. For this reason, among others, Invisalign is most common in teens and adults. It’s also not the best option for more serious orthodontic issues, but it’s ideal for our image-conscious patients when indicated!
Choosing the best orthodontic treatment for you in Hinsdale
Now that we’ve talked about some pros and cons of the different kinds of orthodontic braces available, how do you choose which is right for you? The first step is to prioritize what’s important to you about your treatment. For example, is it most important to you that your treatment is completed as quickly as possibly? Or would you say your priority is braces that are barely seen? Where does your personal comfort come into play? How about cost?
As you can see, there are lots of things to take into consideration before making your decision on the type of braces you want, and that’s before you meet with your orthodontist! Depending on the condition of your teeth, the severity of the issue, and what your treatment goals are, we can determine and discuss with you what the best type of treatment will be for your specific smile.
Here at CHT Orthodontics, we believe you should understand every aspect of your treatment, beginning with your very first appointment. Our team is made up of experienced, dedicated providers who put every client’s smile front and center! We use only the highest quality materials and the best technology for our orthodontic treatments, leading to greater efficiency and comfort, and better results.