There are a few modern treatments available to people today who are seeking to improve their smile and otherwise improve on the crookedness of their teeth. This post will focus on the three most common and most useful in a variety of situations. Obviously, if you have some rare condition or issue with your teeth, you should seek more specific treatments relative to the issue you have, this post is just covering basic treatments commonly available throughout the world.
1. Standard Braces
This is pretty much the most common treatment method available to people in the world. When people think ‘teeth braces for corrective orthodontics‘, this is the image that most imagine first. They’ve existed in their current form for nearly half a century, and have undergone numerous updates since the days when corrective dentistry involved things like catgut (which, for the record, is exactly what it sounds like) and crude braces made from metals like gold that were both durable inside the human mouth and malleable enough to manipulate. Of course, during these ancient times people were also buried with their dental appliances still intact in their mouths, in case they needed them in the afterlife to straighten their teeth (and prevent their mouth from collapsing after decades of being buried).
Today, braces consist of a series of brackets attached to teeth with dental adhesive. Then, over the top of the brackets is run a wire, which is then held to the brackets by rubber bands, or, in other cases, the wire is run straight through the brackets and the rubber bands are more a fashionable accessory than a necessary part of the appliance. The brackets can be made from any of a variety of metals, although the metal does affect the cost of the braces. The wide variety of metals is to allow for various allergies that some people may have to different metals and alloys. Ceramic braces are also an option, especially for people looking for more discreet braces for teens or adults.
The main drawback to standard braces is that they make cleaning teeth a much more complex operation. This is problematic, because food getting stuck in the teeth or braces can slowly corrode the braces to the point that they may sustain damage, meaning another trip to your professional orthodontist to have gear reaffixed, which may incur some additional costs. There’s also the possibility that the debris stuck near the teeth, under the braces, may cause cavities, just as any food stuck in the teeth is liable to do.
2. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are very similar to standard braces, in that they’ll be affixed to your teeth by your local professional orthodontist. However, unlike standard braces, lingual braces, used for smile correction, will be affixed to the less visible portion of your teeth; instead of being glued with dental adhesive to the outer side of your teeth, they’ll be affixed to the inner side. Most of the same materials can be used in lingual braces as in standard braces, and a lot of the same pros and cons apply, although the lingual braces are much more discreet than standard braces, as they aren’t easily visible from afar.
3. Invisible braces (Invisalign)
Custom-made invisible adult braces are the most modern widespread treatment available for corrective teeth braces today. The best part is that, unlike most braces, they’re not affixed to the teeth, and are entirely removable. This makes cleaning teeth easier, as the aligners are easily removed for mealtimes to avoid getting debris stuck in them, and to allow for brushing and flossing teeth after mealtime to make sure that, when the aligner is put back on the teeth, it isn’t leaving debris sticking to the teeth that can cause cavities and other dental issues. The removability of these Invisalign ‘aligners’ is important, because it’s not just one aligner, as happens when a child gets a retainer after having had braces, but rather a series of them that will slowly manipulate the teeth into a more proper angle. Each individual aligner will be worn for about 20 to 22 hours a day, before being replaced by the next one in the series. This short-term use of the aligners insures that durability isn’t likely to be a problem, so long as the aligners are being used properly. And, while wearing them 20 to 22 hours can seem like a long amount of time, especially with there being only 24 hours in a day, they’re absolutely see-through, and almost totally invisible, making them the perfect discreet adult braces.
This is just a quick rundown of the common methods of orthodontic treatments for smile correction in widespread use today. Your local professional orthodontist is best equipped to help you choose whichever method and appliance is best for you, so if you have concerns about your smile, seek them out today!