At any one time, millions of Americans are using dental braces. Not that long ago, patients didn’t have any options when it came to their orthodontic treatment. But today, people undergoing orthodontic treatment often have a multitude of choices when it comes to straightening their teeth or correcting their bite.
- Metal braces: These are the traditional braces that most of us remember, made up of stainless steel wires and brackets. In recent years, the brackets used with metal braces have become noticeably smaller. These are the least expensive and among the most effective braces choice.
- Ceramic braces: Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, but instead of stainless steel they are made of ceramic or clear brackets that are tooth-colored. Tooth-colored wires are sometimes also an option with these braces, which are also highly effective but cost more than traditional metal braces.
- Lingual braces: Lingual braces use the same concept and materials as metal braces, but are placed on the inside of the tooth rather than facing outward, which makes them invisible from the outside. They are more costly and sometimes less effective for situations which are severe.
- Invisible braces: These types of braces, made famous by the brand Invisalign®, are actually a process of progressing through a series of clear, molded trays which shift your teeth. They are close to invisible, and are removed when the patient eats or drinks. Patients are required, however, to brush after eating so that the trays do not stain. This option, only available to teenagers and adults, is often the most costly and sometimes require longer treatment times.