There was a time not too long ago when having your teeth straightened meant having to wear embarrassing metal braces for an extended period of time. But thanks to recent advancements in dental technology, patients now have several different teeth-straightening options to choose from, including the following.

INVISALIGN®

One very popular option among dental patients and dentists alike is Invisalign®. This method involves the patient wearing a custom-made set of clear plastic aligners for at least 22 hours per day, with the ability o remove the aligner trays during meals and for brushing and flossing their teeth. Every two weeks or so, the patient is provided with a new set of aligner trays. Gradually, over the course of many months, the patient’s teeth straighten. These clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible and are said to be more comfortable than metal braces. Because the trays are removable, it’s easier for the patient to brush and floss, and there are no dietary restrictions.

LINGUAL BRACES

Lingual braces are just like traditional metal braces, except that they are worn on the back side of the patient’s teeth, out of sight to other people. Although these braces are virtually undetectable, they are also uncomfortable for the wearer. Lingual braces work in much the same way as traditional braces, so they are not removable by the patient. This means that keeping teeth clean can be somewhat challenging, and the patient needs to avoid eating certain foods that are chewy or sticky.

CLEAR CERAMIC BRACES

These braces are basically the same as metal braces except that the brackets and ligatures are either tooth-colored or clear, which means they are much less noticeable that traditional braces.
Although this is an effective way to straighten the patient’s teeth, they present the same challenges as metal braces: they can be somewhat uncomfortable to wear; the patient must take extra care in order to clean teeth thoroughly; and there are certain foods that the patient should avoid.

TRADITIONAL METAL BRACES

Old-fashioned metal braces are still offered by most orthodontists and many dentists, and with good reason: they work! Although metal braces are quite visible, can be uncomfortable, and present a challenge when it comes to cleaning the teeth and eating some foods, they are still and tried-and-true method to straighten teeth. Traditional braces are usually less expensive than other options as well, which can be a major advantage for many patients.

Talk to your dentist for more information about teeth-straightening methods. While it’s true that all these appliances are effective, they may not be the right choice for everyone. Your dentist can recommend which is the best choice for you.

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