Orthodontic issues can be more than just an aesthetic issue – many orthodontic problems require attention to improve the functionality of the teeth and jaw.
Whether you are a child, a teen or an adult, orthodontic braces are an effective way to align teeth and achieve the straight smile you always dreamt of, all while helping you to chew, speak and go about life as you should.
Orthodontic braces are a big investment for any person, so it important to get the low-down on what braces are, the different types that are available and what you can expect as a patient.
What Type of Braces Exist?
Fun Fact: there are actually a number of types of braces that can be used to align teeth into a desired position.
The main types are metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign, which is an alternative to braces
These braces are the type that most people would be familiar with. Metal brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth using dental cement, connecting each bracket together with wire and elastic bands.
Ceramic braces are similar in design to metal braces, as the ceramic is bonded to the front of the tooth in the same way metal braces are. The main difference is that ceramic braces can be tinted to match the colour of your teeth, making them a little less noticeable than metal braces.
These braces are the same as metal braces, except they are installed onto the back of the teeth instead of the front. This makes lingual braces practically invisible to others, which makes it an ideal option for those who are incredibly self-conscious about their appearance. However, lingual braces may be more uncomfortable for the wearer.
For patients with minor orthodontic issues, Invisalign may be a great alternative to metal, ceramic or lingual braces. Invisalign uses a set of custom plastic trays – referred to as aligners – to slowly move your teeth and jaw into the desired position.
This option is gaining more and more momentum as an orthodontic treatment, as the aligners are not highly visible.
You can read more about Pitt Street Dental’s Invisalign treatments here.
How Do Orthodontic Braces Work?
Orthodontic braces work through the application of pressure to the teeth, which slowly moves teeth into position over time.
The brackets, which are bonded to the front of the teeth, are connected to elastic bands and wires. At each check-up, your dentist will add slight tension to the wires, which is transferred through the elastic band to the teeth.
Throughout the duration that the braces are applied, it is important for you to keep up with regular check-ups, as your dentist will amend your braces as required to ensure you achieve the right alignment for your teeth and mouth.
The Difference Between ‘Aligners’ And Braces
Aligners are a relatively new orthodontic treatment, with many dental clinics now advertising brands of ‘invisible’ braces, such as Invisalign. At Pitt Street Dental Centre, we use and love Invisalign braces as a treatment option for some of our patients.
Invisalign is a modern alternative to braces, using more subtle clear aligners to move the teeth over time.
Some of the main differences between aligners and traditional orthodontic braces include appearance, severity of treatment, flexibility to suit your lifestyle and orthodontic visits required.
Invisalign’s almost invisible nature is a drawcard for both teens and adults, as it means they can align their teeth without impacting their appearance, particularly when compared to the more visible appearance of traditional metal and ceramic braces.
Severity of Treatment
While aligners can be used to treat a variety of orthodontic problems, they are better suited to more simple cases such as crowded teeth, crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, open bites and gapped teeth.
Orthodontic braces are an effective treatment for both simple and severe problems, including malocclusions, extremely crooked teeth and crossbites.
Flexibility to Suit Your Lifestyle
Invisalign must be removed before a patient eats, which provides the flexibility to consume food and drink as required. Teeth need to be cleaned after each meal before Invisalign trays are reapplied to the teeth. It is recommended that Invisalign trays are worn for at least 22 hours per day for the best treatment.
In comparison, traditional braces are not removable and may hinder a patient’s ability to consume certain foods and drinks, particularly sticky or hard foods that could cause damage to braces.
Orthodontic Visits Required
Patients who opt for Invisalign receive all their trays at the beginning of their treatment so that they can change trays every two weeks at home, without needing to visit their dentist. However, regular visits should be scheduled every four to six weeks to ensure your teeth are moving as required.
Patients with orthodontic braces need to visit their orthodontist for an adjustment every four weeks.
How Long Do Braces Take?
The length of treatment time with orthodontic braces can differ depending on the extent of your orthodontic issues.
On average, patients need to wear the orthodontic braces for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for around two years. Regular appointments with your orthodontist ensure that any issues with your braces can be promptly attended to and adjustments can be made as necessary.
Orthodontic Braces at Pitt Street Dental
Don’t put off your orthodontic treatment any longer – our team at Pitt Street Dental Centre are committed to helping you achieve a straight, aligned smile with orthodontic braces.
At Pitt Street Dental, our team is made up of highly experienced and qualified dentists with a passion for transforming your smile and self-confidence.
If you want to know more about orthodontic braces or you are ready to get started on the path to an aligned smile, contact the team at Pitt Street Dental Centre today to book a consultation.