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Braces: Your Guide to a Perfect Smile

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment option among both children and adults. They can help correct various orthodontic problems, such as crooked and crowded teeth, jaw problems, and a misaligned bite. Not only that, but braces can also eliminate problems you or your child may have with keeping teeth clean, speaking properly, or even eating. With the recent advancements in dental technology, braces are now more comfortable, sleeker, and less conspicuous than they once were. Get in touch with an orthodontist to see how braces can get you the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Do I Need Braces?

Signs that you may need braces:

  • Teeth are visibly crooked or crowded
  • Difficulty flossing and brushing
  • Frequently biting your tongue or cheek 
  • Teeth that don’t align properly when your mouth is at rest
  • Speech difficulties
  • Jaw pain or clicking when you chew or first wake up
  • Mouth breathing
  • Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
  • Adult teeth that came in delayed or late
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • An under- or overbite
  • Missing or extra teeth

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are affixed to the front of the teeth. A wire is then threaded through the brackets where it is tightened to place more pressure on different areas of the mouth to gradually move the teeth into proper position. In addition to wires, some patients also have metal bands encircling the back teeth as well as tiny rubber bands called “ligatures” or “o rings” that hold the wires to the brackets. See your orthodontic specialist for the treatment option that is best for your individual needs.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional metal braces. Just like traditional braces, brackets are affixed to the front surface of teeth and wires are threaded through slots in the brackets. Wires are held to brackets by tiny “o ring” or “ligature” rubber bands. The brackets are made of ceramic or porcelain materials, which makes them next-to-invisible. It is this reason that many people choose ceramic braces over metal braces. The wires are made of metal alloys, which makes them gentle and comfortable while still exerting enough force on the teeth to move them into the proper position.

Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces

Self-litigating braces are less visible than traditional metal braces. Rather than using rubber bands to keep the wire attached to the brackets, self-ligating ceramic braces use built-in clips. Because the wire is sturdily held in place, this applies less friction on your teeth for a comfortable treatment option.

Self-Ligating Metal Braces

Self-ligating metal braces are nearly identical to traditional metal braces with one exception. Instead of requiring rubber bands to keep the wire attached to the brackets, the brackets have a built-in clip that keeps the wire in place. The brackets are typically made of stainless steel and the wires are typically made of metal alloys.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces offer a great cosmetic alternative for those who want their teeth straightened without the braces showing. Lingual braces work the same way traditional braces do and are effective at correcting the alignment of teeth and the bite. Get in touch with an orthodontist to see how lingual braces can get you the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Designer Braces

Designer braces are specially designed brackets that come in a variety of fun shapes including stars, hearts, flowers, footballs, and soccer balls. These braces provide the same level of quality and effectiveness as conventional braces. Your child will receive the same excellent treatment outcome with designer braces as they will with conventional braces. Designer braces are comfortable and safe for all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our list of frequently asked questions about braces. If you can’t find an answer to your question, contact us and we will supply you with an answer and any other information you may need.