There are many different types of dental braces, and all of these orthodontic devices have their own pros and cons. Some of them are designed to quickly treat severe malocclusion while others can be taken out at any time. Our team believes that you should carefully weigh all of your options before you decide on a treatment plan for yourself or a loved one. Here is a closer look at some of the most common types of dental braces and a few signs that it may be time to realign your smile.
Side Effects of Untreated Malocclusion
Malocclusion is a blanket term that is used to describe any misalignment of the teeth, and that includes overbites, underbites, gaps between the teeth, and overcrowding. Those issues might seem like cosmetic problems, but they can have a major impact on your oral health when left untreated. Long-term studies have shown us that untreated malocclusion can result in chipped teeth, severe dental fractures, tooth decay, bone loss, and facial deformations. Luckily, treating malocclusion is easier than ever, and patients have many different orthodontic devices to choose from.
Traditional dental braces have a few distinct drawbacks, but they are still extremely effective. These devices are affixed to the front of the teeth with sturdy posts, and their metal wires pull those teeth back into alignment. They can be used to treat almost all forms of malocclusion, and many people choose them for their younger children because they are exceptionally durable. The biggest drawback of traditional braces is the fact that they are quite conspicuous, but we can use ceramic posts to make them slightly less visible.
These dental braces have the same overall structure as traditional braces, but their brackets are made out of either clear ceramic or porcelain, making them less visible. Teenagers don’t usually care if their braces are bright colors, but older patients tend to want to correct their teeth without so much attention being drawn to them. Clear brackets offer this discretion.
These devices have become very popular over the last few decades. Instead of using wires and posts to pull the teeth back into alignment, we can use clear plastic trays. Clear aligners are similar to retainers, but they must be worn for at least 20 hours a day. They should only be taken out when you are eating or cleaning your teeth. Instead of heading to our office to have your braces tightened, you will simply receive a new pair of trays every two weeks.