Orthodontic care is aimed at correctly poorly positioned teeth in order to correct the bite and improve both the function of the teeth and jaw – and the appearance as well. Quite often, braces are seen on children but in recent years, more and more adults have opted to get braces to fix their smiles as well. Orthodontic treatments can be done successfully at any age, but it is usually easier to intervene at a younger age to help facilitate the arrangement of the teeth before all of the teeth have erupted.
A few options for braces are available on the market, including conventional (metal) braces and invisible (clear aligners) such as Invisalign.
When you picture braces, likely you picture the traditional metal braces. These braces are known as conventional braces. In this method of orthodontics, metal or porcelain brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth and connected by a wire which varies in tightness depending on the level of treatment. Conventional braces apply a steady pressure on the teeth to move them into optimal position – this type of braces needs to consistently be adjusted in order to maintain the correct pressure levels.
The clear aligner style of braces offers a more discreet method of aligning the teeth. This type of braces does not use brackets or wire, but instead uses clear aligners that fit directly on the teeth and are removeable. Clear aligners are typically changed out every couple of weeks for the next fit – which puts added or changed pressure variations to encourage tooth movement into the correct place.
Alignment using clear aligners tends to be quicker than with traditional braces, but relies entirely on patient compliance as the aligners can be taken off of the teeth. Additionally, clear aligners may not always be possible depending on the level of treatment needed.
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