Types of Braces
If you have decided to get a set of braces for yourself, you should know that there are a few main types for you to choose from depending on your needs. The two main options are:
- Traditional metal braces, which are exactly what they sound like (and are the type that most people are familiar with). Here, steel brackets and metal wires are attached to the mouth and are used to correct orthodontic issues.
- Ceramic braces, which are a newer alternative and are made from a ceramic material instead of metal. The major benefit of this is that they are teeth-like in color which makes them nearly invisible in a lot of situations. In fact, if you didn’t come right out and tell someone you are wearing braces, there is a pretty good chance that they might not realize you are wearing them.
If you are having a hard time deciding which type to get for yourself, don’t worry – Dr. Knecht will go over all of this with you in great detail during your appointment so that together you can make the best decision possible going forward.
How Do Braces Work?
Regardless of the specific type of braces you choose, they all work using roughly the same basic concept. First, a series of brackets made from one of a few different types of materials (more on that below) are attached to a patient’s teeth. Then, the brackets on each row of teeth are connected together via a wire.
The strength of that wire (something that is set by your dental professional after careful consideration) is ultimately what gently “pulls” your teeth into their desired position. This process is slow, and yes most people can expect to wear their braces for between one and two years (although that will obviously vary depending on the person in question).
However, it is nothing if not effective which is a big part of the reason why traditional braces have been a favorite option to correct dental issues for generations.
Who is Eligible for Braces?
There’s a common misconception out there that you can somehow be “too old” for braces. In reality, the reverse is true because the types of orthodontic issues that we are talking about can develop at nearly any age, so you have never missed your opportunity to explore this technique.
When most people think about the reasons why someone would get braces, they typically assume it’s because that patient wants straighter teeth. While this is absolutely one if not the most common reasons why people make this decision, there are a number of other conditions that braces can effectively correct. This includes but is not limited to ones such as:
- Correcting a misaligned bite. This can either be an over or underbite. The former happens when the upper jaw sticks out too far in front of the lower jaw when the mouth is closed. An underbite, as the name suggests, is essentially the opposite.
- Correcting bites that are too narrow.
- Correcting spacing issues between teeth.
- And more.
In addition, you get the benefits of a more pleasant smile and the increased confidence that comes with it – two qualities that often make braces a foregone conclusion for many people.