Non-Traditional Options for Braces

Have you had braces before, and find that your teeth are crooked again? You might not want “old-fashioned” braces, and are looking for an option that is a little less subtle, especially if you’re older. Don’t fear, because there are other options available for you! Check out these three types of braces to keep your smile looking great.

Ceramic Braces
Ceramic dental braces (including white or clear braces) are a form of conventional orthodontic appliance, with bonded brackets and arch wire. Their fundamental difference is simply the type of bracket that is used. With ceramic braces, they are clear or tooth colored (white) rather than metal. Keep in mind that with all types of conventional braces, there is still a metal arch wire that runs across your teeth. It is held in place in each tooth’s bracket with an elastic band. In the case of ceramic braces, a silver wire is sometimes used. As a more esthetic alternative, a “frosted” or esthetic (white) one can be used instead, so it’s a little less obvious that you have braces. While treatment with ceramic braces is very similar to that with conventional braces, there are some differences. One example is that ceramic brackets are more fragile and for this reason, treatment modifications may be necessary.

Here are some examples:

  • Your treatment may take longer than when ceramics are used. Bracket failure can occur, which could cause some inconvenience and aggravation for all involved and slow down treatment process.
  • Ceramic braces may be more irritating to soft tissues.
  • Sometimes, ceramics can not be placed on the bottom teeth, depending on the patient’s bite.
  • Ceramics tend to cost more than metal braces
  • Ceramic brackets tend to be larger.
  • You’ll still be using the same practices that you would with more conventional braces, such as the use of an archwire and wearing elastic bands.

Clear Aligner Trays
Plastic tooth aligner systems are a relatively new option for orthodontic patients. Unlike having conventional dental braces made up of brackets, wires, and elastic bands, these systems straighten your teeth via the use of clear, removable plastic tooth aligners. This makes having orthodontic treatment practically invisible, and gives you the big advantage of being able to take your braces out whenever you need to. They look a lot like bleaching trays, but are made out of a thinner, stiffer type of plastic that is more optically clear (usually medical grade polyurethane). This makes wearing them less obvious than trays. They are also very similar to clear plastic vacuum-bolded orthodontic retainers. The appliance’s edges usually have a more scalloped outline.

Some of the advantages of using aligner trays are:

  • They’re less irritating to soft tissue in the mouth, including your lips, cheeks, and tongue.
  • Eating food is a lot easier; you simply just take them out to eat.
  • Cleaning your teeth is simpler as well.

Clearly, there are some available options if you are looking to keep your orthodontic business under wraps. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so careful research and discussion with your local orthodontist are the best steps you can take to make a good decision.