If you need to get braces, then you might have a few concerns about the process. To help ease your mind, here are some common questions and answers regarding braces, such as how they work and what the different kinds of braces are.
First of all, how do braces actually work?
The general idea behind braces is gradual adjustments over a long period of time. In order to do this, an orthodontist uses small adjusters that are attached throughout the mouth. Each individual adjuster forces a very small change to the relative position of your teeth. Every few weeks, they will tweak the adjusters a bit. Over a number of adjustments, your teeth will finally reach a straighter position and your mouth will look and feel much better.
Are there different kinds of braces?
There are several different types of braces, and the differences mostly have to do with cost and the visibility of the braces.
- Traditional Braces - The most popular type of braces consist of a very visible metal frame that spans across the teeth. If you open your mouth with traditional braces, then everyone will know that you have braces. That being said, traditional braces are also generally the cheapest of the options and are pretty easy for the orthodontist to adjust. This ultimately minimizes the time that you will need to spend at the orthodontist while getting your frequent adjustments.
- Lingual Braces - These braces are also metal, but they rest entirely on the inside of your mouth. They are hidden behind your teeth almost all the time and are pretty hard to spot. However, they are also a bit more uncomfortable than braces since they have to cram so much important stuff behind your teeth. They also tend to be more expensive and more difficult to adjust for your orthodontist.
- Ceramic Braces - While they are shaped like traditional braces, ceramic braces are much harder to spot than metal braces. Due to their coloration, they blend in quite well with your teeth, but they do have some drawbacks. The ceramic can stain fairly easily and ceramic is quite a bit more expensive than metal.
- Transparent Aligners - Finally, you do have the option of getting transparent aligners. These are clear, plastic, and disposable, which means that you can easily remove them whenever you want. You need to wear your transparent aligners for the vast majority of the day, but no other option allows you to remove your braces whenever you want. They also tend to be pretty expensive since you will need to get a new set of aligners every few weeks or months.