How Should I Choose Between the Different Types of Braces?

Types of Braces by Michael Bryant Orthodontics in Windsor Mill, MD

Properly aligned teeth can greatly enhance a person’s look, boost their confidence, and provide plenty of overall health benefits. When left uncorrected, overcrowded, crooked, or unevenly spaced teeth can cause gums to become irritated, red, or swollen. Crooked or overcrowded teeth can even lead to serious periodontal problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth that are difficult to effectively brush and floss are one of the leading causes of plaque buildup, which can lead to dental caries. Another problem with improperly aligned teeth is uneven wear of enamel due to inefficient chewing. Headaches can also be associated with crooked teeth.

Braces can provide a permanent solution for teeth that aren’t properly aligned. But with all the different types of braces out there, it can be confusing to know which type is right for you. We have two primary types of braces we use here, locking and self-ligating. Here is some helpful information about the different braces types available, advantages of each type, and how to choose the type that would best suit your individual needs.

What Are the Different Types of Braces Available?

Metal Braces

These are the conventional braces have been used to straighten teeth for generations. Using this method, an orthodontist uses bonding adhesive to affix high-quality stainless steel or titanium brackets to the teeth. These brackets are attached to wires with elastics that are changed at each orthodontic appointment. The wires connect the brackets and guide the teeth into place over time.

Lingual Braces

These braces include the same type of hardware as conventional braces, such as brackets, wires, and elastics. The difference in this type of braces is their placement. They are affixed to the back surface rather than the front surface of the teeth.

Self-ligating Braces

The placement of these braces is like conventional braces, but they don’t use elastics or metal ties. Instead, the brackets themselves are designed with doors that hold the archwires in place and allow them to gradually align the teeth. The doors are adjusted at orthodontic appointments. The orthodontist can change the size of arch wire throughout the course of treatment, using different types of brackets called passive and active brackets to apply the varying amounts of pressure needed to move the teeth into their proper place. Damon® System is an innovative brand of these braces that is increasing in popularity.


How Can I Determine Which Type of Braces Is Right for Me?

Consider Your Aesthetic Preferences

Some patients are not concerned about whether or not their braces are extremely noticeable to others, while other patients want their braces to be as unnoticeable as possible. If you fall into the first category, conventional braces may be a sensible option for you. However, if you’re more self-conscious about the appearance of wearing braces, you could discuss which of the more discreet options would be best suited to your particular situation and budget.

Consider Your Timescale

If you want your treatment to be finished as quickly as possible, and you’d rather not have to make frequent trips to the orthodontist for adjustments, you may want to consider the self-ligating method, such as the Damon® System. Some patients have found that this method significantly decreased the amount of overall time they spent undergoing tooth alignment treatment. This is especially important to consider if the patient is hoping to have their braces off before a certain milestone, such as before having pictures taken before their senior year of high school.

Consider Your Budget

Not all braces are the same in terms of cost. Some insurance providers also may only cover conventional braces. If you’re concerned about the cost of braces, you may want to consider conventional braces or speak to your insurance provider about which alternative types may be covered under your insurance plan. You may also want to speak to your orthodontist about what type of payment plan options would be available to you.

Long gone are the days of one-size-fits-all braces. Thanks to innovations in the field of orthodontics, patients now have a whole host of choices available for straightening their teeth. With all the exciting different options to select from, it’s common to feel a bit overwhelmed. With the right advice and guidance, however, you can find the type of braces that will best fit your budget and your lifestyle. If you or a loved one are considering braces for a healthier lifestyle and more confident smile, you can speak to your orthodontist about which of the current tooth alignment systems would be ideal for you.