It seems to be an American rite of passage, and perhaps you are or were one of the millions of kids or teenagers sporting a mouth full of metal and rubber bands. You may also be one of an increasing number of adults getting braces. Americans love the look of straight, even teeth, and will do just about anything to get it, even if it means spending months or years with braces. Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wires, but newer technology has produced braces made of a thermoplastic substance that is nearly invisible. Below, you will learn the differences between metal and invisible braces. Offices such as Drake Dentistry usually offer both options, so knowing the facts will help you make better decisions.
Braces are designed to gently move your teeth into an ideal alignment. Metal braces, which have been used for decades, do the job handily. Your dentist will attach a bracket to each tooth, positioning them so that they will be perfectly aligned once your teeth are straight. Each of the brackets is connected by a wire, called an “arch wire.” The arch in the wire supports a perfect tooth alignment, but as your teeth are not yet perfectly aligned, your dentist will bend and shape the wire to fit between the brackets. The desire of the arch wire to return to its original arch will gently pull your teeth into alignment, and the bone in your jaw will accommodate such movement. At scheduled visits, your dentist will replace the arch wires with new wires. Rubber bands are also used in the process. Slowly, your teeth will be repositioned into the desired alignment. Once the bone has reformed and grown solidly around the teeth in the ideal alignment, your braces can come off.
The advantage of metal braces is that once they’re on, they’re on, and you will only visit the dentist for periodic tightening. You won’t lose them, and as long as you brush regularly and well, they won’t bother you too much or be detrimental to your teeth. Another advantage is the lower cost compared to invisible braces.
The newest innovation in tooth-straightening technology is invisible braces. Your dentist will create a plan for the straightening of your teeth using computer software that generates an image of your mouth. The first braces are then custom-created for you. These braces slip over your teeth much like a tray, the hard plastic slowly forcing your teeth to move to new positions. Every few weeks, you will return to your dentist to receive the next set of braces, much like those with metal braces return for tightening.
The biggest advantage to invisible braces is that they are invisible, which makes them far more attractive to adults who don’t wish to sport the youthful metal-mouth look, though teens and children can also use them. You can take them off to eat or brush and floss your teeth, though the danger is in losing them, of course. They cost more than metal braces, but the end results are the same. Now that you know more about metal and invisible braces, you can visit an experienced and reputable office such as Drake Dentistry and discuss your options further.
This is a guest post provided to Me, Myself & the City for its readers.