Types of Braces

Types of Braces

Your Local Palo Alto Orthodontist

Types of Braces

Post Date: July 5, 2024

Author Name: Twin Smiles Orthodontics

Braces can help correct problems with teeth like crowding, misalignment, spacing, or crooked teeth. There are several types of braces including metal, ceramic, lingual, and self-ligating. Metal braces are the most common, and some people opt for aligners like Invisalign for a more natural looking option.

  • Metal braces – metal brackets are attached to the teeth and connected by archwires to apply pressure
  • Ceramic braces – function like metal braces, but the brackets attached to the teeth are ceramic so they’re less noticeable
  • Lingual braces – sometimes called “invisible braces”, instead of having the brackets attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces have brackets attached to the back of the teeth so they’re not visible
  • Self-ligating braces – Less common, the brackets have a built-in mechanism which holds the archwire in place so you may have shorter in-office appointments and can go longer between adjustment appointments.
  • Aligners – Aligners are different from braces, but are another option for aligning your teeth that uses a clear tray that looks like a retainer instead of brackets that also gradually moves your teeth through gradual force

Read more about Invisalign vs braces here.

Each of the above options can work to straighten your teeth or correct conditions where your teeth don’t fit together properly (like crossbites, overbites, and underbites) through applying gentle, continuous pressure to move your teeth into the correct position over time.

Braces can improve your smile, but they can also improve your oral health and function of your teeth and jaws, reducing the risk of abnormal tooth wear. We recommend starting treatment as soon as you can, including children 7+ years old to avoid more serious problems down the road, but it’s never too late to discuss ways we can enhance your smile. We’d love to see you at Twin Smiles Orthodontics in Palo Alto!

Types of Braces for Kids and Teens

Again, it’s best to start early to prevent more severe cases and unnecessary complications when your child is older. Seeing us when your child is 7 or older allows us to guide your child’s oral development as we can see the position of the teeth growing in and look at the shape of the developing jaws to address some problems before they develop or worsen. We can preserve space for future teeth to grow in properly, guide the development of the upper and lower jaws to improve symmetry and appearance, reduce tooth crowding and need for extractions.

Braces Retreatment - How Do I Know If I Need To Get Braces Again?

Teeth naturally move over time if you don’t wear a retainer, and people usually get more casual with their retainer use after a few years of getting their braces off. If your teeth have majorly shifted and you no longer have a straight smile, your teeth are crowded, your bite has changed, or there are gaps now, you may want to consider getting braces or Invisalign again. Not everyone who doesn’t wear their retainer needs retreatment though, some people’s teeth won’t move so much that it bothers them again. It’s also possible you could just have a new retainer made that you start wearing again, or have a short treatment time to realign things with braces or Invisalign.

Types of Braces for Adults

It’s becoming more common to see adults with braces. Though many people might be hesitant or embarrassed, they are happy with the investment once they finish treatment and wish they had corrected their tooth alignment sooner so they could enjoy their improved smile for longer.

Braces can improve aesthetic things that may bother you about your smile, but they can also improve long-term health like proper wear on your teeth and aligned bites as you age. It’s never too late to do something to improve your smile and healthy teeth can be moved at any age!

If you’re considering getting braces, come visit us at Twin Smiles Orthodontics in Palo Alto! Schedule a free consultation through our website and we’d love to answer additional questions you might have.

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