Perhaps you are not entirely happy with your smile when you look in the mirror. If you suffer from malocclusion, which is really just a fancy word for crooked or misaligned teeth, then it’s time to consider a visit to the orthodontist. I can understand if you’ve been hesitant to take the leap thus far. As an adult, it’s not always easy to make the choice to get braces. Many adults undergo orthodontic treatment, but it’s still not all that common to see someone in the professional world with braces. In some cases, you might be worried that having braces will harm you professionally. Even if you’re not worried about having braces in your mouth, you still may be interested in some of the different types of braces you aren’t familiar with.
What you need to realize is that there are other options out there. When you think of orthodontic treatment, you probably immediately picture metal braces. You might even think of things like headgear and retainers. If this is what you are trying to avoid, there are other methods out there. If you don’t mind metal braces, there are even different variations of those to consider. Let’s have a look at a few of the choices you’ll find at many orthodontists’ offices.
- CLEAR BRACES – Clear braces are actually very similar to the traditional metal braces we just described. The orthodontist will affix bracket to your teeth using a very strong glue or cement. Then a wire will be run between the brackets. After that, you’ll have different wires and rubber bands stretching around your mouth. At each appointment the orthodontist will tweak the pressure, increasing pull on the teeth. In this case however, instead of steel, the braces will be made with a clear plastic or ceramic material. It will be designed to match the color of your teeth. It’s a great option when you don’t want your braces to be as noticeable.
- “HIDDEN BRACES” - Clear braces are great, but people may still see them if they look closely enough. Discreet lingual braces for teeth straightening is a great alternative that can easily fly under the radar. Nobody will realize you’re wearing them unless you tell them. The reason lingual braces are known as “hidden” is because they are placed behind the teeth. The same bracket and wires are used, it’s just a bit more covert. Of course this process takes a lot of skill and can be more costly than traditional methods.
- Titanium Braces - More recently, orthodontists have begun to replace steel with titanium in some cases. This can be especially helpful for those with an allergy to nickel, a metal used in the making of stainless steel. As an added benefit, titanium braces are lighter than steel, while still remaining as strong or stronger. It’s possible that this could provide a bit more comfort for the patient.
- Gold-Plated Braces - Gold-plating is another way that orthodontists get around nickel allergies. Like titanium, they may cost a bit more, but of course that’s worth it to someone trying to avoid discomfort. Some people like to go with gold for stylistic reasons as well. I’ve got to admit, they do look better than regular steel braces.
The braces in the list above all use “old-school” methods to move your teeth into place. To be honest, they can be a bit of a pain to wear. You’ll have them in for at least a few months, and possibly even two or three years. You’ll always be having to think about what you eat, since you don’t want to get anything stuck in them. Your orthodontist will actually give you a list of foods to avoid while wearing your braces. Dental hygiene will be especially important while wearing them. If you are looking to avoid this hassle, there are a couple of options you should think about.
Consult with your orthodontist and see if these non-traditional methods will work for you. They won’t also be the treatment you need, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Spring Aligners – Sometimes you’ll get lucky and the orthodontist will tell you there’s no need for you to get braces. In simple cases, a much less expensive and invasive treatment will be possible. Hopefully your orthodontist will look into this option for you. Spring aligners are clear plastic devices that snap over your teeth. They work best for small adjustments involving your front teeth.
- Invisalign - This product was developed and introduced in the late 90s. Since then, it has taken off in popularity. The reason is clear, and it the fact they are barely even noticeable to the wearer. When it comes to discreet cosmetic braces for adults it doesn’t get any better than Invisalign. The aligners are removable, so eating and cleaning is never an issue. Invisalign braces for adults and teens are one of my favorite options when it comes to treatment.
As you can see, when it comes to correcting your smile you have a multitude of options. I hope you’ll get started on your treatment as soon as possible.