The Different Types of Braces: Breaking Things Down

If you were someone who had a bite and/or tooth-related issue in the past, you ultimately had one option available to you: braces. Many generations of people have lived with metal brackets and wires in their mouths for years at a time, all in the name of dental health. In the past, these options were as uncomfortable as they were unsightly – but thankfully, that’s no longer the case.

In fact, there are not one but three types of braces that you can now choose from depending on your needs.

Traditional Metal Braces

These are referred to as “traditional” braces for a reason – they’re a time-honored design that has been worn by many, many people over the years. They’re constructed out of a high-grade stainless steel and use a wire to connect brackets that are strategically located on each tooth. The tightness of the wire, coupled with those brackets, slowly shift the position of your teeth over time.

The major benefit of traditional metal braces is that they are highly durable. Unfortunately, they are also very noticeable – which may not make them the right choice depending on the lifestyle you’re trying to lead.

Ceramic Braces

These are a relatively new advancement (at least when compared to traditional braces) and, as the name implies, are constructed out of a high-grade ceramic. They work just like traditional braces in that wires are used to connect the brackets together that, over time, will shift your teeth into the correct position. The brackets themselves are “teeth colored” and, because of that, they’re far less noticeable than their traditional alternatives.

Self-Ligating Braces

Last but not least we have self-ligating braces, which also bring with them a large number of benefits that can’t be ignored.

To better understand how they work, you must first know that braces typically have two main components – the bracket (also commonly referred to as a brace) that is glued to each tooth, and the wire (or archwire) that connects to the brackets and places the appropriate amount of pressure on your teeth to shift their position.

Each bracket can attach to the archwire by itself with self-ligating braces. Unlike their traditional counterparts, you don’t actually need elastics or rubber bands to connect the archwire to your braces.

Ultimately, the major advantage that this system brings with it is one of speed. It’s a far faster overall treatment, especially when compared to the other two types of braces mentioned.

Self-ligating braces also require fewer visits to the orthodontist, which alone may be worth the decision for many people. You’ll still need to participate in periodic check-ups to make sure your treatment is proceeding along as it should be, but beyond that, you won’t have too much out of the ordinary to worry about.

All told, self-ligating braces offer an increased level of comfort due to their organic design AND the most discreet of the three treatment options that are available. If you really want to correct your bite and/or your teeth but don’t want to draw attention to yourself, self-ligating braces are absolutely an option worth considering for most people.