More than 4 million Americans are under an orthodontist’s care for braces.

What we now call dental braces are actually ancient inventions. But we’ve come a long way since the crude contraptions used in ancient Egypt.

There are now many types of braces to choose from when you have orthodontic health issues that need addressing. These include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligner trays. To learn more about each and find out which are the best dental braces for you, keep reading.

What Are the Different Types of Braces

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the oldest and most common types of braces. With these types of braces, high-grade stainless steel brackets are glued onto the individual teeth with orthodontic cement. The brackets are connected by an archwire, which is held in place with elastic ties.

Every 4 to 8 weeks, the orthodontist adjusts the archwire. It’s these adjustments that straighten the teeth and bring them into alignment.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces function in the exact same way as metal braces. That is, they require individual brackets connected through the archwire. Adjustments are made every 4 to 8 weeks to bring the teeth into alignment.

However, with ceramic braces, the brackets are made of clear or tooth-colored material. This makes the braces system less visible.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are far less common than the other two types of braces we’ve already mentioned. These are braces that are placed behind the teeth. They work the same way as metal and ceramic brackets except the brackets and wires are completely invisible on the backside of the teeth.

It may be difficult to find an orthodontist that does these types of braces. This is not taught in orthodontic training and it’s therefore up to the individual orthodontist to seek training in these types of braces.

Clear Aligner Trays

You might know these types of braces as Invisalign. These braces involve invisible, custom-made trays that are replaced every few weeks. Slight changes are made to each tray to encourage the alignment of the teeth.

The benefit of these types of braces is that they’re completely invisible. They can also be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing. And if you’re wondering “does Invisalign hurt?” the answer is that these are the least painful option on our list.

What Types of Braces Are Right for You?

Choosing the right type of braces depends on a number of factors. The first of which is the age of the patient. Adults and adolescents may prefer to hide their orthodontic treatment and can opt for Invisalign or lingual braces, for example.

The best dental braces for you also depend on the issue that needs fixing. While Invisalign can fix alignment issues, it won’t help with severe under or overbites or other more serious dental issues.

You’ll also need to consider cost and time. Traditional braces may be more affordable than Invisalign, but there are now many new and innovative clear aligner services, such as Byte and NewSmile, that are priced much more affordably than braces. Plus, some clear aligner services offer the option to do nighttime only treatment, which tends to be more expensive than the standard treatment but is a much more discreet option.

More Beauty on Our Blog

If you’re trying to improve your smile, there are many types of braces that can help you. Traditional and ceramic braces work in the same way, but the latter is less visible. Lingual braces are invisible but require expertise that not all orthodontists have and clear aligner trays are a great option if your dental issues aren’t too serious.

For more beauty advice and info, be sure to check out our Beauty, Skincare, and Hairstyles section.

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