Types of braces
Orthodontics has come a long way since the days when wearing braces meant having a mouth full of metal. Now, there are many different braces to choose from that are smaller, easier to wear and more effective than ever before.
Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners to move your teeth into position. The aligners look like thin sports mouth guards and sit over your teeth. They're removable and virtually invisible to those around you.
Traditional fixed metal braces
Traditional fixed metal braces use a combination of metal brackets, archwires and ligatures (elastic bands) to straighten teeth. They're the 'original' braces. However, developments in technology mean the brackets are now much smaller, less bulky and more comfortable to wear.
Ceramic braces are much like traditional fixed metal braces, except for one difference. The brackets are made from ceramic material. Depending on the type of ceramic bracket you choose, they may be clear or tooth-colored, making them less visible. Ceramic brackets are also smoother and stronger than those used for traditional braces.
Self-ligating braces use brackets that have a sliding mechanism, which allows the archwire to move in response to your teeth. This means they operate with much less friction and there is no need for the elastic bands used with traditional braces. The Damon system of self-ligating braces is the most popular.
Lingual braces are attached to the back surface of your teeth. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, one of the advantages of lingual braces is that there is less risk of decalcification. This is because the inside surface of your teeth is more robust. Incognito is a well-known brand of lingual braces.
Many people believe orthodontics is made up of having braces, or another type of appliance like Invisalign aligners, fitted to your teeth to help straighten them. Once they’re straightened, the braces or aligners can be removed and you’re left with straight teeth. This is true... up to a point.