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Types Of Braces: Traditional Metal Braces, Ceramic Braces, Invisalign, Propel Accelerated Treatment

Braces have pretty much lost the negative association that used to go with them, because there are many different types in many different styles with different teeth straightening speeds on the market today. Some children actually want to wear them just for their appeal! Here are some types of braces with a bit of information on each one.


Ceramic braces:

Ceramic braces are sometimes favored by our patients because they are clear braces made from a translucent material and are therefore barely visible.

There are a number of reasons to opt for ceramic braces.
•   They were created hugely with aesthetics in mind and are therefore less visible than traditional braces.
•   They are durable and if you follow your doctor’s instructions and keep your appointments, they will last for as long as your treatment lasts.
•   They are just as effective when it comes to aligning teeth as traditional braces.
•   The time that it will take to have them fitted by your doctor, will not be longer than in the case of traditional braces – in other words: about an hour and a half.
•   Similar to metal braces, too: if a wire or bracket should break, fixing it will be easy for your doctor. All you will need to do, is to call the office for an appointment and we will fix it for you in no time!

There are some things to keep in mind when you have opted for ceramic braces, but these are also not so different if you have metal braces placed. Some important things to remember are:
•   Steer away from hard or sticky foods.
•   Brush your teeth 2-4 times daily and also floss every day. If at all possible, consider getting and using a water pick to ensure that you get to the places that a normal toothbrush would not normally be able to reach. (Examples are the areas between your teeth and the wires of the braces.) Also brush your teeth immediately after you have eaten any foods that are bound to stain your teeth (e.g. Kool-Aid or spaghetti sauce.)

Some last thoughts on ceramic braces:

Just like in the case with most braces, your individual needs (how much your teeth need to move and if you have opted for accelerated orthodontic treatment too or not) will determine how long you will have to wear them.

Ceramic braces, like all other clear aligners, are a little more expensive than traditional metal braces due to the materials used to make them.

Whatever your needs are, though – remember that there is no dental problem we cannot assist you with, and you will always be welcome at our ‘home away from home’!

Invisalign:

Invisalign braces are removable braces that are manufactured using 3D computer imaging technology. The process involves using a series of invisible and comfortable aligners to move your teeth to the desired final position in small steps.

Not all people are keen to wear visible braces. Sometimes patients also run a tight schedule and will struggle to fit in many visits to their orthodontist. In this case, we might suggest Invisalign to you, because they are virtually invisible. We would also recommend them because you will be issued with a few numbered trays that you will swap every 2-6 weeks, so visits to your doctor will be much more limited than with many other kinds of braces.

Although Invisalign is a little more expensive than traditional braces, they have benefits that a lot of patients find worthwhile paying the extra bit for. They are removable, for example, so you can eat and drink whatever you want and just put them back in afterward. They are also more comfortable than some other braces, because they do not carry the possibility of irritation to the mouth that is sometimes caused by metal wires or brackets. (You just need to wear them for 20-22 hours/day for around 9-24 months depending on your individual teeth straightening needs.)

The process to obtain Invisalign is really very simple and your doctor will talk you through it while performing all the necessary tasks. He or she will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of your teeth’s current position. We will then create a treatment plan designed specifically for your teeth and how we want them to move, so that the result will be a confident you with a beautiful smile. This plan will include the amount of sets of aligners you will need, when they will be replaced and how long your treatment will last. You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat and drink, or to brush and floss your teeth. As you replace each aligner with the next one in the series, your teeth will move — little by little, week by week — until they have straightened to their final positions. During the straightening period, you will normally visit your doctor every few weeks so that he or she can ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned and that your teeth are healthy and looked after.

When you graduate from your Invisalign treatment and honor us with your gorgeous new smile, there will be joy all round!







Propel:

Sometimes patients opt for braces but want to have some speed built into them as well! When this happens and we find our patient fit to have a brace enhancing procedure done, we might opt for PROPEL.

PROPEL is a sterile, handheld and disposable device that we will use to make a small, virtually painless puncture in the bone so that the bone in which your teeth have to move, is a little less dense. Your teeth will then move faster and align in about half the time that braces alone would have moved them in.

It will take your doctor only about 5 minutes to perform the procedure! Also – if we use PROPEL to shorten the time to the smile you desire and deserve, it will have other benefits too: you will have fewer appointments to the orthodontist – and the bone that we punctured, will actually be stronger than before.





Traditional Metal Braces:

Traditional braces or metal braces are generally made out of high grade stainless steel. They consist of brackets that are attached to the teeth with dental adhesive, and wires that are then attached to the brackets. The wires, in turn, are attached to the brackets with ties (made of plastic or metal) and are also kept in place by them. Depending on your needs and requirements, your doctor will attach elastics, wires, springs or other objects to create force that will move your teeth to the desired position and bring on that great smile that we are all looking forward to. With metal braces, you can even get colored elastics that will make your braces look like fashion accessories!

Metal braces will correct any crooked and crowded teeth that you might have, fix your misaligned bite and correct your jaw problems should you have one.

Benefit

Traditional braces remain the most affordable braces for both children and adults. They are much more comfortable to wear than before thanks to modern day technology, and you have options as to how you or your child want them to look – for example, you get different colored bands and even ones that glow in the dark!

Metal or traditional braces work with NASA type heat activated wires. When they are cold they are soft, making inserting them quite easy for your orthodontist. Once you start wearing them though, your body heat will activate them, and let them and your teeth move as they should. This means that you teeth actually move like beads on a string all day and night – which is exactly what we want to happen!

At the end of the day traditional braces do the same job as for instance ceramic or other non-accelerated braces, with the benefit that they are the most affordable.

Traditional braces remain the most affordable braces for both children and adults. They are much more comfortable to wear than before thanks to modern day technology, and you have options as to how you or your child want them to look – for example, you get different colored bands and even ones that glow in the dark!
Metal or traditional braces work with NASA type heat activated wires. When they are cold they are soft, making inserting them quite easy for your orthodontist. Once you start wearing them though, your body heat will activate them, and let them and your teeth move as they should. This means that you teeth actually move like beads on a string all day and night – which is exactly what we want to happen!

At the end of the day traditional braces do the same job as for instance ceramic or other non-accelerated braces, with the benefit that they are the most affordable.
Braces are designed to move teeth by putting pressure or force on both the brackets and teeth. This is how the force is created:

Braces have four basic parts: brackets, dental glue or a metal band, an arch wire (which runs from bracket to bracket and puts pressure on the teeth), and elastic that attaches the bracket to the arch wire. The arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth, and this is how your teeth are moved into the desired direction and place in your mouth.

When you have your braces put in, our orthodontist will do the first adjustment to the elastic. And the elastics are the things that our doctor will adjust with each visit to us afterward, along with a thorough check-up of all other related things to ensure fast and proper progress!
Adults often think that it is too late for them to get braces and that they are doomed to go through life with their imperfect teeth and small smiles. The truth, though, is that – No! It is never too late to get braces!

Braces serve more than one purpose. When we think of braces, we tend to just think ‘straight teeth’ – but you would also reap huge benefits when you wear braces if you for example struggle to eat due to incorrect bites or misaligned teeth. Getting braces at any age can fix functional problems like eating, and will also prevent further damage to your mouth and jaw as you grow older.

When you come to our practice, your orthodontist will gladly take the time to explain all the benefits that braces for adults have to you, and will even be able to show you what you will look like once your orthodontic problems have been resolved!

When you decide to go the braces route to straighten your teeth, you will have to make the very important decision of choosing which type of braces you are going to go for. After all – you will be wearing them for quite some time.

You might however have to base your decision mainly on your budget; depending on your specific situation. In the event of your budget playing the biggest role in your decision, metal braces will be your least expensive option. You don’t need to worry about the quality of straightening that metal braces will deliver, though. Traditional metal braces actually correct major bite problems and severely crooked teeth better than clear braces, even though they are the most affordable of all braces.

When you first come visit our practice with the desire to improve your smile by having your teeth straightened, your doctor will take his or her time to carefully assess what your metal braces should be able to do and what they should look like. Your doctor will also provide you with all possible information you need to put your mind at ease about your braces and the process.

Once we have got your braces, it will take about an hour and a half to fit them, while we keep you updated as to what we are doing and why. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable with what is happening. There are no needles or shots involved when we fit your braces, and there will be no pain. You might feel a little pressure in your mouth while we are placing them, but the highest requirement from you will be… patience! (You will also have to exercise some patience with the time period that you will have to wear the braces, because it will depend entirely on your personal needs and how good you are at following instructions and keeping your appointments! The braces wearing time could vary between 6-30 months.)

Once we have fitted your metal braces, you will come and see your doctor every 2-10 weeks for adjustments to the braces, depending on the severity of your straightening requirements. Adjustment visits only take a few minutes.

There are a number of ways to care for your braces and to maintain good oral hygiene while you are wearing them. Following a good oral hygiene regime is very important, so here are some suggestions as to which tools would be helpful to you for this purpose.

Floss threaders: Floss threaders make it easier to clean around braces, bridges and implants. There are different brands to choose from, but for the most part they all work the same way. You will take about 16 inches of floss and then pull about 5 inches through the loop of the threader. You will then push the threader through a space between your teeth or under the bracket, remove the floss from the threader – and floss!

Waxed floss: It is better to use waxed floss if your teeth are close to one another or if you are wearing braces. The reason for this is that it won’t shred and will run smoothly through the teeth or under the braces.

Dental picks: A dental pick is a small tool with a thin, pointed metal tip. They are easier to use than floss because you don’t have to wrap floss around your fingers to clean in between your teeth or under braces, and are also easier to use when trying to reach your molars in the back of your mouth. The tip of the pick is as thin as floss, so that it can remove plaque and food particles from your teeth. To use it, you start by putting the tip at the base of your teeth, and then move it between two teeth to remove plaque from between teeth.

Water picks: There are different kinds of water floss or water pick devices e.g. countertop ones, cordless ones and specialty ones for travelers and kids. They are designed to clean deeply and are recommended specifically for cleaning around braces and other dental work. Water picks also can also reach below the gum line and deep in between teeth to get rid of bacteria, and they have the further benefit that they also massage gums. They are also called oral irrigators or dental water jets.

Proxabrush: You can buy Proxabrush kits that contain a comfortable handle and 3 brush head refills, all designed to remove plaque from generally hard to reach areas in the mouth, between teeth or around bridges, crowns and dental implants. The brush has an angled handle tip for optimal between teeth cleaning, and Proxabrush® claims that it removes up to 25% more dental plaque than traditional round bristles.

Toothbrush & toothpaste: Interdental toothbrushes are good when you have a fixed brace, and you can ask your doctor about them. These brushes can get in between your teeth and can also clean around the brackets of a fixed brace. Total care toothpastes have active ingredients like fluoride and tartar control ingredients that make them effective in helping to control plaque, dental decay and gum disease. A fluoride mouth rinse is also helpful.

Do braces hurt?
They might make your mouth hurt a little after you have just had them placed, and each time after you have had them tightened. Remember though that you are trying to move your teeth, so this is normal. A general painkiller or Ibuprofen will help!

How long will I have to wear them?
This really depends on the amount of work that needs to be done in your specific case, whether your follow your doctor’s advice or not, and if you keep your appointments. It generally varies between 6-30 months.

Will I be able to eat anything I want while I am wearing my braces?
Yes and no. Biting with braces takes some time getting used to. You should also not eat sticky, hard or chewy foods or foods like popcorn and nuts that will leave pieces of food in your mouth that will stick to your braces or in between your teeth. However – these are good practices when you aren’t wearing braces too! (Oh – and you will have to stop chewing your pens and pencils.)

Will I talk funny?
Having a new and foreign object in your mouth might make you sound a little different at first, but you will quickly adapt and be able to talk like before.

Can I still play sports?
Absolutely! We just recommended that you wear a mouth-guard for most sports. However – when it comes to high contact sports where frequent hits to the head are part of the sport (e.g. boxing and contact karate), we would advise you to rather avoid those.

Will I still be able to play the flute/trumpet etc?
If you have a fixed brace, it will affect your playing at first, but you will get used to it and master it – just like with eating.

How often should I brush my teeth when I am wearing braces?
You should brush them at least 3 times a day and after every time you have eaten something. Food easily gets stuck to braces and besides – your teeth will be healthier and happier the cleaner you keep them!

Can I wear braces if I have crowns or missing teeth?
Yes! A tooth with a crown will still move. If you are missing teeth, we can still align the remaining teeth.

Am I too young (or too old) for metal braces?
If you are 13 years old or older, you can have braces. It is as simple as that!

Are metal braces expensive?
They are the most affordable teeth straightening devices on the market.

Propel:

Sometimes patients opt for braces but want to have some speed built into them as well! When this happens and we find our patient fit to have a brace enhancing procedure done, we might opt for PROPEL.

PROPEL is a sterile, handheld and disposable device that we will use to make a small, virtually painless puncture in the bone so that the bone in which your teeth have to move, is a little less dense. Your teeth will then move faster and align in about half the time that braces alone would have moved them in.

It will take your doctor only about 5 minutes to perform the procedure! Also – if we use PROPEL to shorten the time to the smile you desire and deserve, it will have other benefits too: you will have fewer appointments to the orthodontist – and the bone that we punctured, will actually be stronger than before.