Braces – What You Need to Know

//Braces – What You Need to Know

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    The myth around braces

    At one time, getting fitted for braces was almost considered to be a rite of passage for children and teens. Even at the slightest sign of crooked teeth, parents have been known to waste precious little time in sending their kids to see an Orthodontist. Certainly, most orthodontic professionals feel that it is best to address the issue of misaligned teeth between the ages of roughly eight to eighteen. If braces are needed; then why not just get them out of the way as soon as possible? Times have changed, however, and braces are not just exclusive to young adults. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds in society are now turning to their neighborhood Orthodontist to improve their smile. The social stigma that once was attached to wearing braces is so very yesterday. It doesn’t really matter what your reasons for deciding to wear braces are. Some of us elect to wear braces for professional reasons; to look our best when dealing with coworkers and clients. For others; the reasons are more personal; to promote improved self-confidence and appearance. After all, a stunning smile doesn’t hurt when you’re out there looking for that perfect love match.

    Whatever your motivation may be; congratulations on being proactive when it comes to taking care of your oral health. Quite possibly, though, one of the biggest reasons why more and more adults are turning to braces for their smile improvement solution is the wide range of choices that are now out there. You can say Bye-bye to those traditional “heavy” metal and rubber band braces and say ” Hello!” to fashion-first braces that get the job done in a more discreet manner. And isn’t that what you want? A set of braces that fix those molars, but the whole world doesn’t have to know that you are wearing them.


    Ceramic braces

    Ceramic braces are one of the most popular options for adults and youngsters alike. They are made out of clear materials and don’t have those attention-attracting, highly visible metal brackets that standard braces do. Ceramic braces are much less visible on your teeth. They are a great cosmetic alternative to the metal alloy braces. Orthodontists feel that ceramic braces, also called clear braces, are just as effective as their metal predecessors. However, it is important for consumers/patients to note that; besides their undeniable aesthetic value, ceramic braces do have some drawbacks.  Any type of ceramic or clear braces are going to be at higher cost to you than metal braces. The artisanal work involved in creating the brace as well as the materials used are why clear braces are more expensive. But cost is always relative and if what they do for you is important enough, then ceramic clears are worth looking into. Most Orthodontists do offer payment plans that are designed to fit almost every budget.

    One major stumbling block is the fact that clear ceramic braces use see-through elastic ties instead of wires or rubber bands. Yes, that’s what you want; for the braces to be practically invisible.  So far, so good. But the problem occurs with certain foods and drinks that you enjoy and how they will affect your clear braces visually. Tea and coffee, as well as dark colored, syrupy colas will stain and discolor those clear, elastic ties. Naturally, your orthodontist will show you how to care for your new ceramic braces, but you are going to have to be diligent about cleaning them. There’s no point investing all that money in them, if you are going to allow the braces to become discolored. Due to their very nature, treatment time utilizing ceramic braces will probably take a little longer than it does with traditional braces.


    Invisalign aligners are not just a world, but a galaxy removed from what we consider a traditional brace to be. It is an entirely different concept. If you don’t want people to know you are wearing braces and not have to worry about wires poking into your cheeks, then Invisalign should be on your radar. There are no metal brackets here that can cut your mouth or cause other abrasions. Invisalign takes, if you’ll pardon the pun a very straightforward approach to straightening your teeth. You will be wearing custom-made trays (aligners) that are made out of smooth as silk plastic and are comfortable to wear and virtually invisible. You wear the aligners over your teeth. The aligner trays will gently and methodically shift your problem teeth into their correct positions.

    One of the great benefits, in this type of orthodontic treatment, is that the aligner trays are removable. This makes eating, as well as brushing and flossing easy and you can keep to your normal routine. On average, you will put in a new set of aligners around every two weeks. You will be asked to keep them inside your mouth for about twenty hours per day. Sleeping should be no problem, but, as we alluded to earlier, you will have to remove the trays to have lunch or dinner as well as for oral hygiene. Aligners are a bit like mouth guards, but not as bulky. Invisalign aligners are perfect for busy adults on the go. Their day to day impact on your life is minimal. By and large, you will make fewer trips to the orthodontists’ office if you choose this option. But, the caveat here is that clear aligners may not address every patient’s’ misalignment issues. When relatively minor orthodontic work is called for, they are great. Your orthodontist will discuss this particular option with you and see if it makes sense for your needs and treatment plan.

    Lingual braces

    You are used to seeing metal braces on the front of your friends’ teeth. That’s how it’s always been, right?   Well, the Lingual variety of braces changes the conversation, since they are worn behind the teeth.  Absolutely no one will know that you are wearing them. Lingual braces are metal appliances, just like traditional braces. First, your dentist or orthodontist will make several impressions of your teeth. Yes, I know, impressions are kind of nausea inducing and unpleasant, but you have to have them done no matter which type of braces you choose. After your orthodontist sends the impressions to the dental Lab, the technicians will utilize computer technology to create the metal brackets that are custom designed to fit on the back of each tooth. These brackets are then cemented into place by your Orthodontist.

    One of the leading companies behind lingual braces is called, Incognito. Your Orthodontic professional will be more than familiar with the expert work that Incognito does. These lingual braces are not in any way mass produced or based on a generic formula. Incognito braces are customized to precisely fit the contours of your teeth. Working with your orthodontist, the Incognito Lab uses computer-aided design and manufacturing, 3D printing technology and robotics to custom make your brackets and wires. The brackets are cast in gold and are extremely smooth, to ensure comfort. No one wants to deal with nicks and cuts on their tongue or cheeks. Gold was used during the nineteenth century in making braces. Back then, only the wealthy could afford braces, due to the cost of the materials like gold. The gold that the Incognito lab uses is safe for anyone who has Nickel allergies.

    Lingual braces are good for adults who might have worn braces when they were very young children, but over the years they have seen their teeth become crooked and out of alignment once again.  Of Course, as any magician will tell you, things are not always as they may seem. Incognito Hidden braces are considerably more expensive than any other option that is available. They are fantastic, but may not be within everyone’s budget. Let’s talk keeping your hidden braces clean, shall we? Due to their very nature of being behind your teeth, lingual braces, whether they are made by Incognito or any other Lab, are more difficult to keep spotless. Debris and food particles accumulate with ease behind one’s teeth.  You will have to” up ” your daily dental hygiene game, that’s for sure.  Floss regularly and you might want to invest in an electric toothbrush. The folks over at Incognito recommend that you use a “tree brush” for easier removal of food debris in hard to reach areas of your mouth.

    Many people who are thinking about braces want to know if the appliance will affect their speech. Initially, it might seem strange to you speaking with a foreign object in your mouth, but you will get used to it. During the initial transition period, of a few weeks, you might pronounce certain words or vowels a bit differently.  The braces themselves won’t interfere with your ability to speak and carry on a conversation, so no worries on that score.


    If you are one of the millions of adult Americans who are seriously pondering getting braces, then Dental.Net sincerely hopes that this overview of the types of different braces available on the market, has given you food for thought…as well as some solid talking points to bring up to your dentist.


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