- Braces come in many different kinds depending on your dental and cosmetic needs:
Traditionally braces have been made out of metal. Stainless steel is the most commonly used metal. It is sometimes combined with nickel titanium or gold if a person is allergic to nickel. The main types of metal braces are:
Self-ligating Braces – Self-ligating braces differ from conventional braces because they have their own mechanism for connecting to the archwire and hence do not require ligatures or elastic bands. They exert less pressure on the teeth. Treatment with self-ligating braces takes less time and often tooth extraction is avoided. Self-ligating braces are glued to the teeth and therefore the teeth should be cleaned regularly for the braces to work properly.
Viazi Braces – Viazi is a trademarked system of dental braces. It uses triangular brackets and square wires instead of round wires used with traditional brackets. With Viazi braces the crown and root of the teeth are moved at the same time and comparatively less force is used which causes less pain. Viazi braces take around one year to straighten and align teeth. Conventional braces take around two years for the same treatment.
Lingual Braces – Lingual braces are made of metal and attached behind the teeth. They are “invisable” to most people because the braces are not visible from the front view. Lingual brackets are custom-made for each patient because the back side of each patient’s teeth are differently shaped. Specially trained orthodontists provide treatment with lingual braces. Treatment with lingual braces can take longer than with conventional braces and is often more costly. At the start of treatment, the patient may experience discomfort and irritation against the tongue since the braces come in direct contact.
Ceramic and Tooth-Colored Braces
Ceramic and tooth-colored braces, otherwise known as clear braces, are made from composite material. They are not as noticeable as metal braces and are an ideal choice for those who are concerned that the braces will affect their looks. Ceramic braces do not stain easily. The elastic ligatures may stain but these are usually replaced during your monthly visit to the dentist. These braces are more comfortable and cause lesser gum irritation as compared to metal braces. Ceramic and tooth-colored braces cannot be used for treating teeth that require a lot of force or pressure to align.
Another effective clear braces solution is Invisalign. Invisalign uses clear aligners to move teeth into the correct position. This newer technology is a clear plastic covering over your teeth. No brackets and no wires to attach or stretch over the teeth, however, you will receive the same result. The aligners gently shift the teeth into place, changing aligners every few weeks to adjust for the movement of the teeth.
Mini-diamond braces are made from stainless steel. Their chief advantage lies in cosmetic appeal. These braces are 30% smaller than traditional braces and hence are more comfortable to wear. They are also less visible. With mini-diamond braces you do not have to worry about a metallic smile. Orthodontists offer multi-colored ligatures to hold these braces together. The colors can be changed during each appointment with the orthodontist. This idea of using different-colored ligatures makes these braces popular with children.