Braces are orthodontic treatments to help properly align and straighten the teeth. Even though this improves a person’s appearance, they are not typically used solely for cosmetic purposes. Having misaligned teeth or jaws can lead to other dental or medical problems. For this reason, affordable braces and treatment plans are made available.
What options do adults and children have?
- Traditional braces are made of either metal brackets or clear brackets. They are attached to the teeth so they can slowly be realigned through applying gentle, steady pressure. Clear braces are often used for adults and teens since they are not as noticeable as metal brackets.
- Self-litigating brackets are also made from metal but they have a gate mechanism so rubber bands are not necessary to hold the wire inside the bracket. These are easier to clean because food isn’t trapped in brackets as easily.
- Clear aligners, most commonly Invisalign, are removable braces. The aligners are changed out every two weeks and slowly pull the teeth back into proper position.
- Lingual, or invisible braces, are fastened on the inside of the teeth so they are not visible to others. They can be used to treat various cases.
- If a patient’s bite is severely misaligned, surgical orthodontics may be necessary. In extreme cases, the jawbone may need to be broken so it can be repositioned properly. This is not typically an option for adult patients since the bone cannot be reshaped as effectively.
Your dental professional can make recommendations based on your situation and specific oral health needs. The goal is to realign the teeth, but for many individuals one option may be better than another one based on their oral health needs. This decision will be based on the oral condition, severity of the malalignment and other factors the dentist may discuss with you.