When it comes to the various options available to patients who want to straighten their teeth, braces are the most common and most associated method. What people might not know is that there are many different types of braces that can do the job; some of which will not earn you the nickname ‘Brace Face’.
The 5 Different Types of Braces
Fixed Orthodontic Braces
Dreaded by teenager and adult alike, these are the infamous railroad braces of most people’s nightmares. They are the most common method of straightening crooked teeth and are required to be worn for a period of time between two to three years. The time period is dependent on how much your teeth need to move. The time required and their very metallic and prominent appearance is often the reason why people are reluctant to wear braces. Besides the negative effect they might have on a person’s self confidence, the long term positive effects are definitely worth it.
These braces are similar to orthodontic braces in that they use a system of wires that are gradually tightened to straighten the teeth. The big advantage that lingual braces have over traditional orthodontic braces is that they are applied to the back of the teeth, so that they are hidden from view and virtually invisible. However, like all braces they can initially be uncomfortable and will take some getting used to. They can also be more difficult to keep clean than normal orthodontic braces, but specialised dentist tools can help you to clean the hard to reach places. All in all, they are a great way to get straighter teeth without anyone noticing the braces.
Invisalign/ Clear Dental Aligners
Invisalign Aligners or Clear Dental Aligners is an increasingly popular method of acquiring straight teeth since it does not use visible wires. Instead it relies on a system of clear aligners which gradually move the teeth back into position. While you would be visiting the dentist every few months to have your braces tightened, with Invisalign, you dentist visit will consist of receiving a new invisible aligner. They can be removed to eat and to clean your teeth, making it a generally easier and more pleasant experience to achieve straighter teeth. However, they are not as effective as fixed or lingual braces when it comes to fixing more severe orthodontic problems.
The Inman Aligner is a mixture of fixed braces and the Invisalign system. It is not as invisible as Invisalign as the system does have metal wires, however, it is still removable and works quicker than fixed braces. The Inman Aligner is also more economical than Invisalign.
These braces are similar to fixed or lingual brace systems but they use a ‘friction free’ method of alignment. Since they do not use any elastic ties that can cause friction or irritation, they are more comfortable that many other options. They also provide quicker results than conventional braces.