Can I Get My Teeth Straightened Without Using Metal Braces? – Exploring Different Types of Braces for Teeth
The simple answer to this question is ‘YES’. You can get your teeth straightened without using metal braces and you do have several options to choose from. This includes invisible braces; Invisalign® and ceramic braces. Self-ligating braces are also available options among other types of braces.
Braces are dental devices used in correcting misaligned or crooked teeth. Asides from teeth straightening, they also fix gaps between teeth and improve their positions with regards to biting. Generally, they improve the dental health of a person.
When you tell someone, you’re getting braces for your teeth, the first impression is you’re getting the traditional braces – metal, this is because they are the most popular around. Metal braces can be used for most orthodontics treatment and have proven to be very effective in teeth straightening. However, other types of braces can be used in correcting crooked or misaligned teeth as well.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign®)
When discussing the types of braces for teeth, it is impossible to forget clear aligners. These plastic clones of teeth are unlike the traditional braces in quite a lot of ways. Clear aligners are an advancement on the braces, but like the braces, they are used in correcting misaligned or crooked teeth.
They are worn on the teeth and unlike the braces, clear aligners can be removed at will. Although, it is advised by the American Association of Orthodontists that they are worn for not lesser than 22 hours daily. Since they can be removed, easier brushing and flossing of your teeth is guaranteed. Each treatment comes in packs and a tray is usually worn for one or two weeks. After that, the tray is switched and this series continues until the treatment is complete. Ideally, a set of aligners is meant to move the teeth to a particular position before being changed. Clear aligners are made by several companies, the most popular of which is Invisalign®.
Advantages of Clear Aligners Over Metal Braces
- Comfortability – they are more comfortable to use when compared to braces, especially as they can be removed by the user.
- They are virtually invisible to the public.
- Better hygiene – using Invisalign® or other clear aligners, you’ll be able to brush and floss your teeth just as you normally do with no braces and wires in the way.
- Lesser visits to the orthodontist as there will be very few emergencies in contrast to traditional braces.
- It allows you to engage in your favorite sport (especially if you’re into contact sports like boxing), without fear of getting your lips or gums damaged.
With Invisalign® and other clear aligners, you can enjoy your favorite food without the fear of having food debris in your arch wires or corrosion in terms of drinks.
Disadvantages of Clear Aligners
- There is a tendency to lose them as they can be removed, unlike braces which are fixed.
- They cost more than braces.
If you are concerned about how metal braces will affect your appearance or take your beautiful smile away, you can try ceramic dental braces. In principle, it works very much like the metal braces by gently applying pressure on the teeth. This pressure is applied constantly and over time it causes the teeth to move and change shape to match that of the braces wire.
Unlike the traditional braces that are made of metal brackets, ceramic dental braces are made of clear porcelain materials making them less conspicuous. However, they are only partially inconspicuous as the arch wires can still be visible. Full invisibility can only be guaranteed by the clear aligners (Invisalign®).
Advantages of Ceramic Braces Over Metal Braces
- Comes with clear brackets making it less visible in comparison to metal braces, but the best option if you’re worried about visibility is the Invisalign®.
- The brackets of ceramic braces are made of porcelain which makes them stain resistant.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Braces
- Like traditional braces, they are fixed to the teeth and can’t be removed unless for a change or after completing treatment.
- The brackets are stain-resistant but the arch wires can still store food debris in them if not properly cleaned.
In metal and ceramic braces, the structure consists of brackets (metal brackets for metal braces and clear brackets for ceramic braces), arch wires and rubber bands (ligatures) that holds the brackets in place on the arch wires. However, in the case of self-ligating braces, there are no ligatures to hold the brackets to the arch wires. Rather, it employs a mechanism that sees the bracket get clipped to the arch wires directly, hence the name – self-ligating.
Self-ligating braces work like the traditional braces in principle, the only difference is in the way the arch wires are connected to the bracket. What’s more interesting is they can also come in clear brackets; this means you can opt for self-ligating braces that have ceramic brackets instead of the traditional metal brackets. You still have to worry about the arch wires though, which is why Invisalign® and other clear aligners are the best option in place of metal braces.
Advantages of Self-ligating Braces Over Metal Braces
- Less periodic visit to the orthodontist. You still need to visit your orthodontist periodically to tighten your braces as with traditional braces, but that’s about it. Unlike traditional braces that need regular visits for change of ligatures.
- They come in clear brackets also, which are less visible compared to traditional braces.
- More comfortable during treatment when compared to metal braces.
Disadvantages of Self-ligating Braces
- They tend to be more expensive than traditional braces.
- Although they do not contain colorful ligatures (rubber bands) and they are available in clear brackets, self-ligating braces are still noticeable with the arch wires.
There are a few more options to straighten your teeth asides from the different types of braces and clear aligners listed above, however, only an orthodontist has the knowledge and expertise to prescribe what will work for you. Dr Kalange, an orthodontist, dentofacial orthopedist and certified Invisalign® provider is at your service to keep you or your child ever smiling. Book a consultation with Dr Kalange HERE.