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Types of Braces

If braces are indeed the solution for you, the dentist or orthodontist will prescribe an appliance specific for your needs. The braces may consist of bands, wires, and other fixed or removable corrective appliances. No one method works for everyone.

Metal/traditional braces

Traditional braces are made of metal. They include brackets that are attached to the front of your teeth or bands that fit around each tooth, as well as flexible wires or arch wires that hold the brackets or bands together. 

Ceramic braces

 The brackets in traditional braces are now also made in tooth-colored ceramic, so you don’t notice them as much. They can also be made with stainless steel, clear materials, or gold.

Lingual braces

The brackets on these braces are attached to the backs of your teeth, facing your tongue. Lingual braces are harder to see.

Clear aligners

These are clear plastic trays that fit snugly onto your teeth. They use pressure to gently move your teeth into the correct positions and straighten your smile.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?

The time required for braces varies from person to person. It depends on:

  • How severe your problem is
  • The amount of room inside your mouth
  • The distance your teeth must travel
  • ​The health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone
  • ​How closely you follow instructions

On average, once braces go on, they usually remain in place for 1 to 3 years. After braces come off, most people need to wear a retainer all the time for the first 6 months. After that, you have to wear it only while you’re asleep, but you may do it for many years.

Braces Treatment

The orthodontist will want to see you about every month or so in order to make sure the braces are putting steady pressure on your teeth. They’ll adjust the wires, springs, or rubber bands to create more tension and pressure. In some cases, braces alone won’t be enough to straighten your teeth or shift your jaw. That’s when the orthodontist will suggest headgear.

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