According to a recent study conducted by OnePoll, 57% of Americans feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. Although we may not be based in the US, we would not be surprised if this figure also reflected changing opinions towards dental hygiene in the UK, as more and more people than ever before are looking for a way to achieve their dream smile.
The fact of the matter is that very few of us are born with perfectly shaped, straight, gleaming teeth, and you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about that – we are all human, after all. Just because you weren’t gifted with a picture-perfect smile, that doesn’t mean that it is out of reach! Orthodontic and dental care has advanced significantly in the past few decades which means that tackling teeth misalignment or a crooked smile is becoming easier by the day.
Lots of people are now choosing to have braces to fix their smile, but did you know that there are many different types of braces available? Today, we are going to explore the different types of braces and when and why they are used!
What Are Braces?
Before we get our teeth stuck into the nitty-gritty, we thought we’d give you a quick overview of what braces actually are.
Simply put, dental braces are devices that are used in dentistry to straighten or move your teeth. Although this is usually done to improve the appearance of someone’s smile, in some cases, braces can also provide many practical benefits. These include the prevention of common oral issues, like gum disease or tooth decay, and more complex problems such as a bad bite.
Traditionally, most people who need braces will get them between the ages of 8 and 14. By this time, most people will have lost their baby teeth and had the majority of their adult teeth replace them. Despite popular belief, there is no upper age limit on braces and you can have them whenever you want – as long as your gums and teeth are healthy and strong!
The Different Types Of Braces
In our modern day and age, we have the luxury of being able to choose from a selection of different braces, each coming in a different shape, size and offering distinctive benefits. For example, some are so discreet you won’t even know that they are there, like one of our most popular treatments – Invisalign®.
Whilst it is on the tip of our tongues, we may as well begin with Invisalign® – the leading brand in ‘clear aligners’ and a favourite of our patients. For many people, Invisalign® is the only option they will consider and in the last fifteen years alone, these have seen a staggering growth in popularity.
Invisalign® braces come with a host of benefits. First and foremost, they are custom-made using innovative imaging technology for added comfort. Unlike other braces, they are also easily removed at your convenience. However, as per their name, their main appeal is near-invisibility which allows teenagers and adults to improve their smile in a discreet and less intrusive manner.
Here at Yew Tree, Invisalign® would be our recommendation for a good proportion of our clients if this treatment suits their needs.
For many of us, the thought of traditional metal braces might bring back horrible memories. Though it is safe to say they are highly effective, they haven’t always been the most popular! Despite this, traditional metal braces are the best way of dealing with severe cases of teeth misalignment and are still used frequently by our dental team.
Traditional braces tend to work quicker than the less invasive alternatives, and also offer the best value for money. Furthermore, you won’t ever have to worry about wearing or losing your aligners!
Although the main disadvantage of traditional braces is their appearance, they are significantly more subtle than they were a few years ago. In some cases, a range of colour options may even be available for both the brackets and elastics, something that just wasn’t thought of back in the day!
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces, however, instead of the in-your-face metal brackets and wires found on traditional braces, ceramic ones use clear or tooth-coloured brackets.
You could almost consider ceramic braces to be a mix of Invisalign® aligners and traditional metal braces. Many people opt for these as they’re less visible than metal braces, but move your teeth faster than Invisalign®.
Yet, the trade-off is that they are also more expensive than traditional braces, and aren’t as unnoticeable as Invisalign®. Despite this, they are a great alternative for anyone feeling self-conscious about wearing their braces.
Picking The Right Braces For You
Before you begin your journey towards a straighter and healthier smile, you need to decide on which brace best suits you. For many, this comes down to their unique priorities. For example:
Some people will happily have braces that are more noticeable if it means that they can come on and off as quickly as possible. This could be especially important if you have a big event or celebration coming up.
If you have a limited budget, then you will want to look for the option that gives you the best results possible within your means. Usually, most people find that traditional braces are the most cost-effective option.
For some people, having their teeth straightened is an embarrassing process that they do not want people to find out about. If this is the case, or you just want a less invasive and more comfortable treatment option, then you might want to prioritise aligners like Invisalign®. These may be slower than traditional braces but are far less intrusive.
Sometimes, the choice is taken out of your hands. If you have a particularly complicated issue, such as severely crooked teeth or a problematic bite, then your options may be limited and your dentist might recommend a certain treatment.
Yew Tree Dental
Remember, the above points are things to consider before having your dental treatment, but they are not the be-all and end-all. Every dentist has a specific way of doing things and particular brands or products that they will recommend. You must choose a dentist you can trust and listen to their advice carefully – they are the experts after all.
Yew Tree Dental Care and Implant Centre is an award-winning dental practice that has been established for over fifty years! We have helped generations of satisfied patients with their dental care and hygiene and we aim to build long-term relationships that last.