Types of Braces & Appliances

Types of Dental Braces

Dental braces are orthodontic appliances used to correct dental issues like crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, and jaw misalignments. The braces are usually fabricated from stainless steel, titanium, copper, porcelain composite, ceramic, or plastic.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces are made from stainless steel brackets attached to your teeth surface with an adhesive. The metallic brackets are connected to each other using archwire and elastic.

Traditional braces are cheaper than most dental braces and you can enhance their aesthetic appeal using colorful bands. However, they are generally noticeable and may feel quite uncomfortable during the first days of use.

Self-Ligating Braces

Just like the traditional braces, self-ligating braces are designed from metal brackets joined by an archwire. However, the metal brackets are attached to the archwire using a special clip instead of the elastic used in their traditional counterparts.

Self-ligating braces are easy to install, comfortable to use, and easy to clean. They also deliver quick results. Moreover, self-ligating braces are less visible than the old-style metal braces. However, they are usually more expensive.

Ceramic Braces

Design-wise, these braces look like the traditional metal braces. However, their brackets are designed from transparent ceramic, a material that is less conspicuous. It is the reason why they are commonly used by teenagers and adults who mind their teeth’s aesthetic appeal.

The ceramic braces move your teeth faster than the clear aligners. On the downside, these braces require thorough oral hygiene since the ligatures are susceptible to discoloration.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are designed from a sturdy plastic that has been fabricated to fit each patient’s unique teeth. The aligners are invisible, removable, and comfortable to use. They are ideal for patients who want an alternative to conspicuous braces, as well as those who need minor dental corrections.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces look like traditional braces. However, they are placed in the back of the teeth, making them practically invisible. These dental braces are designed to match your teeth’s shape and size, and they are more effective than clear aligners. Orthodontic experts recommend the braces to music artists, actors, and other professionals who want invisible braces.

Types of Appliances

Elastics

Wearing this appliance will improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth. Elastics are much more efficient if they are worn as instructed.

ForsusTM

This appliance is a restraint device that helps prevent excessive overbites, improve the fit of the upper and lower teeth, and eliminate the need for jaw surgery. It is an alternative to the old-fashioned headgear.

Headgear

This appliance gently tugs on your teeth to prevent the further forward growth of your upper jaw and teeth. It is used as a treatment option for patients with an overbite or underbite.

Herbst® Appliance

This reduces overbite by helping the lower jaw catch up with the upper jaw in growth. This appliance is usually recommended for young children. It is usually worn for a period of 12-15 months.

Palatal Expanders

The palatal expander is used to widen the upper jaw. It does this by putting light pressure on your upper jaw. Your orthodontist will give you instructions on how and when to adjust it. Once the desired result is achieved, you will still be required to wear the appliance for several months so that the expansion can remain intact.

Positioners

Positioners are used to complete final positioning and retention of orthodontic treatments. You should only wear this appliance for about four to eight weeks if you follow the instructions of your orthodontist.

Retainers

Orthodontic retainers are used to hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after realignment. They may be removable or fixed. Your orthodontist will give instructions on how to use and care for your retainer. Following these strictly is important in order prevent regression of the treatment.

Separators

This appliance, which looks like little rubber bands, may be placed between your teeth to push them apart. This is done to prepare your mouth for braces during your next appointment. They are usually removed before the braces are placed.

Twin Block Appliance

It postures the lower jaw forward in order to lengthen it. This appliance involves a separate piece for the upper arch and another for the lower arch. It is worn permanently but it is removable for easy cleaning. The twin block appliance will strengthen and stabilize your temporomandibular joint and improve your jaw function.

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