Dental braces and appliances are more common these days. You have numerous choices in orthodontic treatments. While in the past metal braces were the norm, there are a lot more types of braces today. Sit down with your dentist to see which dental options are best for your personal situation.
Here are 6 types of braces you can consider.
1. Traditional Braces
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires, and is where the term “metal mouth” originated. The good news is metal braces are noticeably smaller today. Plus, you now have heat-activated archwires that quickly move your teeth into position with less pain.
Pros of Traditional Braces
- Highly effective
- May not be costly as other choices depending on straightening need
- Colored bands
- Kids can express themselves
Cons of Traditional Braces
- Can’t eat sticky or hard foods
- Most noticeable
Costs of Traditional Braces
Traditional metal braces range from $3,000 – 7,000.
Caring for Traditional Braces
Since its too simple for food to stick in your wired braces, those who wear them need to be extra careful about cleaning their teeth. Brush after each meal and floss daily. Regular checkups and dental cleanings are important to preserve your braces. Avoid foods like sticky candy, gum, popcorn and hard food since they can cause damage to your braces.
2. Ceramic Braces
These are the same shape and size as metal braces, but have clear or tooth-colored brackets to help blend in with your teeth. You may even get tooth-colored wires too to make them even less visible.
Pros of Ceramic Braces
- Not as noticeable as metal
- Highly effective like metal braces
Cons of Ceramic Braces
- Might stain more easily
- More expensive than metal braces
Ceramic braces range between $4,000 – $8000.
Caring for Ceramic Braces
Sticking with good oral hygiene is a must when wearing ceramic braces. You have to brush your teeth each time you eat to keep stains from setting in. You’ll not only reduce your risk of stains, but you’ll also be taking proactive measures to keep food out of your braces which can cause tooth decay. Floss and rinse regularly with mouthwash too.
3. Damon Braces
Damon braces are becoming popular with dentists since they provide fewer dental visits and a gentler treatment option for patients. These braces are self-ligating. They don’t use elastics to connect the wires like traditional braces but rather a slide mechanism.
Pros of Damon Braces
- Easy to clean
- Less pain
Cons of Damon Braces
- More costly than other braces
Costs of Damon Braces
Damon braces range between $3,800 to $8,000 depending on how much correction your teeth require.
Caring for Damon Braces
Keep up with good oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth twice a day and ensuring you’re getting all food out of your braces. Use mouthwash and floss daily. If you can’t brush your teeth after you eat, at least rinse your mouth out with water as best you can. Avoid sodas, juices and other sugary beverages.
4. Clear and Removable Aligners
Clear and removable aligners consist of 18 to 30 clear plastic and custom-made aligners. They resemble a mouth guard. You may remove them when you want and replace them every couple of weeks.
Pros of Clear and Removable Aligners
- Eat and drink what you want
- Nearly invisible
Cons of Clear and Removable Aligners
- Don’t work for severe dental issues
- Not available for children, only teens and adults
- Another costlier option
Costs of Clear and Removable Aligners
Clear and removable aligners range between $4,000 – $7,400.
Caring for Clear and Removable Aligners
Don’t eat hot foods or drink hot beverages while you wear aligners. Regularly clean aligner trays and store your aligners in a dry, cool place when not wearing them. Don’t soak them in mouthwash.
5. Forsus Appliances
Some children need these appliances to get difficult overbites corrected. Forsus appliances are quickly replacing headgear for braces. With this appliance, you wear a spring on the inside of your cheeks that connect to your braces to keep your lower and upper jaw in position.
Pros of Forsus Appliances
- Corrects overbite problems quickly and faster than rubber bands
- More comfortable than uncomfortable headgear
- Quicker results than some other types
Cons of Forsus Appliances
- Need to be careful when you open your mouth or yawn since the rod could come loose. Although you can position the rod back into place fairly easy, you still need to be aware this can happen
Costs of Forsus Appliances
Forsus appliance can start at around $5,000.
Caring for Forsus Appliances
You need to take care when you eat. Avoid sticky or hard foods and cut your food into smaller bites. Brush after each meal and twice daily. Be careful not to separate or dislodge the appliance when wearing it. Keep regular dentist appointments since the appliance is made to keep on working and could lead to overcorrection.
6. Palatal Expanders
If your teeth are overcrowded, you can have a tooth extraction or wear a palatal expander. This device fits your palate and puts pressure on your upper, back molars to move your teeth apart gradually.
Pros of Palatal Expanders
- No need for a tooth extraction
- Reduces snoring and mouth breathing
- Makes orthodontic treatment simpler
Cons of Palatal Expanders
- Can be uncomfortable
- Takes some time before you see results
- Time sensitive treatment (works better when used in kids before puberty)
- Requires a lot of attention and maintenance
Costs of Palatal Expanders
Palatal expanders range between $1,100 – $3,000.
Caring for your Palatal Expanders
Swish and rinse with water to wash food out from between the roof of your mouth and your expander. Use a toothbrush to brush the entire expander, even the screw and metal parts. Avoid hard and sticky foods and stick with a soft diet for several days after your initial procedure.
Work with your dentist, insurance provider and budget to determine which type of dental braces is best for you.