Sometimes getting started on your journey to a healthier smile brings a lot of important decisions. One of the biggest decisions in your orthodontic journey is deciding which type of braces are right for you. At Windy City Orthodontics, Dr. Pakravan and the team of experts want to make sure you have all the information you need to have the best treatment. To get you started, here is a guide to help you learn about the main types of braces and the differences between them.
Clear braces are a popular choice for those who want to make a less noticeable impression while going through the teeth-straightening process. Like metal braces, clear braces use brackets and wires to help straighten teeth. They are made of ceramic material and are also applied with orthodontic glue to set the brackets. The main benefit of getting clear and traditional metal braces is that clear braces are translucent. This just means they are designed to blend in with your teeth for a more natural look. However, it’s important to note that clear braces are more fragile than traditional metal braces. They can also discolor from things like juice or coffee between visits, so it’s important to be careful when choosing clear braces for treatment.
In addition, the LightForce custom ceramic braces system harnesses the power of digital treatment planning to create a model of each patient’s teeth. Dr. Pakravan then aligns them in the computer before the braces are 3D printed in a translucent ceramic to fit each patient’s teeth in the position needed to align the teeth properly. To accurately position the braces on the teeth, a 3D-printed positioning jig is used which also speeds up the time needed to glue the braces to the teeth. Almost all of our braces patients wear the Lightforce custom ceramic braces.
Clear braces are a popular choice for patients looking to treat their teeth in style. They are just as effective in straightening teeth as metal braces while having the added benefit of hiding in plain sight.
Traditional Metal Braces
The first type of braces is traditional metal braces. These are the most common braces and are typically the most affordable. Traditional metal braces are made with either stainless steel or gold. They are bridged together using metal brackets and archwires to help straighten your teeth over time. The application process is simple and easy. First, an orthodontist will dry your teeth, making sure saliva doesn’t interfere with the application process. Once your teeth are completely dry, apply orthodontic glue and cement to set the brackets. Once the brackets have solidified, the wires are set to keep them aligned.
Traditional metal braces are pretty common, and they can take some getting used to. However, they are a fast and efficient way to a beautiful, straight smile.
Removable Clear Appliances
Clear aligners are great for patients who had braces when they were younger and just need a “touch-up,” as well as for patients with mild to moderate dental problems. Clear aligners like Spark or Invisalign use a series of invisible aligners to help straighten your teeth. They are typically removable and are designed to fit comfortably on your teeth as they work to enhance your smile. Clear aligners don’t require any metal, making them easy to apply and use during treatment. As you progress in the teeth-straightening process, the aligners will slowly shift your teeth into place. Each tray is made to slightly shift your teeth until they are perfectly aligned into a new and improved smile. Clear aligners can be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances as well and are excellent choices to help treat cases of underbites, overbites, crowding and gaps in between teeth.
While clear aligners are a great alternative to braces, there are a few things to note when using aligners to ensure the most effective treatment possible.
- Don’t get them dirty. Clear aligners are sensitive and easy to stain, so make sure you drink water exclusively while they’re in. It’s best to remove the aligners when possible while eating or drinking to avoid damage.
- Don’t scratch them. Help your aligners last longer during treatment by taking good care of them.
- Be patient. Sometimes the process of using aligners can seem tedious. It’s important to continue to take good care of your aligners and not rush the process to a beautiful smile.
- Keep them safe. As clear aligners are removable, it’s important to always keep up with where you put them. They are essential in the progression towards a brighter smile.
Find Your Way To A Perfect Smile With Windy City Orthodontics
Now that you know the differences between braces, we hope that you feel confident to take the next step in your orthodontic journey. With proper consultation from your orthodontist, there are many ways you can create a beautiful, healthier smile! At Windy City Orthodontics, we want to be your guide to finding that smile. If you are wondering what the best route to your perfect smile is, schedule your free consultation today and let us help you navigate this journey with confidence.