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from the Academy of General Dentistry


Sunday, September 15, 2019
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth

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Evidence shows that older Americans are at risk for greater oral health problems than other groups because of age and the inability to get to a dentistís office due to an existing medical condition or lack of transportation.



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CHAPTER_1125.4: Types of Braces

 

Braces are custom-made appliances that use gentle pressure to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. While some practitioners still favor metal braces as the most reliable, new materials and other advances offer smaller, less noticeable braces than were available a generation ago, and these materials are equally effective. Instead of metal, you can opt for clear or tooth-colored ceramic braces, or removable invisible aligners. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on which type of braces would provide the best results for you.

 

Options available:

  • Metal braces, made of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the front of teeth, are the most common. Some patients may complain about discomfort from metal brackets rubbing against the skin. If you experience any pain or discomfort, ask your dentist or orthodontist for some dental wax to place over the brackets. 
  • Clear ceramic braces are worn on the front of the teeth just like traditional steel braces. Unlike metal braces, they blend with the color of the teeth for a much less noticeable appearance. They may look better but also may break more easily than metal braces.
  • Lingual, or concealed, braces have brackets that attach to the back of teeth, so they are hidden from view.
  • Invisible braces are a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. Not only are these braces invisible, but they also are removable so they won't trap food and plaque between your teeth like metal braces. You'll wear each aligner for about two weeks and only remove it for eating, brushing and flossing. This may be an option for individuals with mild spacing problems.

Reviewed: January 2012