Types of Braces: Which One is Right for You?
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Types of Braces: Which One is Right for You?

If it's finally time for you or your child to get braces, what options do you have? Orthodontics of Long Beach is here to help.

When orthodontic treatment is recommended to improve the appearance and functionality of your teeth and smile, braces are often the chosen solution. There are several types of braces available to Orthodontics of Long Beach patients, including metal braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, and porcelain ceramic braces. Each of these systems has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, as well as its own special considerations when determining the best fit for the patient.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of braces, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and provide an overview of which type may be right for you.

What Are Metal Braces?

Metal braces are the most common type of braces. This system utilizes metal brackets that are adhered to the front of the patient’s teeth and connected with a metal arch wire. Metal braces are designed to apply pressure to the teeth and move them into the desired position. This type of braces is particularly effective at treating crowded teeth, spacing issues, overbites, underbites, and incorrect tooth angulation.

What Are the Advantages of Metal Braces?

A few of the key benefits of metal braces are their effectiveness and affordability. Metal braces are often the most cost-effective teeth straightening system available, making them an attractive option for those who are budget-conscious but still desire effective treatment. In addition, metal braces are one of the most reliable and effective systems on the market. Your orthodontist can adjust the pressure applied to the teeth by tightening the metal arch wire as needed throughout the course of treatment.

Metal braces are also a good solution for younger children precisely because they cannot be removed (like Invisalign®), so you don't have to worry about compliance, or your child losing a clear aligner in the schoolyard or cafeteria. Modern braces offer colorful elastics, which can be customized to your child's tastes, making them much more popular than in the past.

What Are the Disadvantages of Metal Braces?

One of the main disadvantages of metal braces is their visible metal components. Sometimes, metal braces can be distracting or unsightly. In addition, metal braces can be uncomfortable to wear, as the metal components can rub against the inside of the mouth. Finally, metal braces require more maintenance, as brackets can become loose throughout the course of treatment and need to be tightened or replaced accordingly.

What Are Invisalign® Clear Aligners?

Invisalign® is an innovative approach to correcting misaligned teeth without the visible metal components found with traditional braces. The Invisalign® system uses custom-made clear aligners made of comfortable plastic that fit snugly over the teeth. Each set of clear aligners has a slight difference in the way in which it moves the teeth, and patients must wear each set of aligners for a certain amount of time before progressing to the next set.

What Are the Advantages of Invisalign® Clear Aligners?

The primary advantages of Invisalign® are its discreetness and convenience. Since the aligners are made of clear plastic, they are almost invisible when worn and won’t distract from the look of your smile. In addition, since the aligners are removable, patients enjoy greater flexibility in terms of which foods they can eat, as well as easier maintenance since there are no metal components to be adjusted.

Invisalign® clear aligners are often a popular choice for adults who never got the braces they needed as a child. Because clear aligners are somewhat invisible when worn, they make a great option for working professionals.

Southern California actors who need to straighten teeth can also use Invisalign®, which can be removed for filming (mind you, this can significantly slow down treatment if the clear aligners aren't worn for long enough each day).

What Are the Disadvantages of Invisalign® Clear Aligners?

The main disadvantage of Invisalign® is its cost. Invisalign® is more expensive than traditional metal braces. In addition, since the aligners must be taken out to eat and to thoroughly clean the teeth, this system requires significant patient compliance to be effective. Additionally, Invisalign® is often not as effective as metal braces at correcting more complex misalignment issues.

What Are Porcelain Ceramic Braces?

Porcelain ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in that they use brackets and archwires to move the teeth. However, instead of metal, the brackets used in this system are ceramic, which makes them far less visible compared to metal braces.

What Are the Advantages of Porcelain Ceramic Braces?

Porcelain ceramic braces are an attractive option due to their cosmetic appeal. The brackets are designed to be color-matched to the patient’s teeth, which makes them nearly invisible when worn. In addition, ceramic braces have a smoother surface, which can be more comfortable for the patient. Finally, since this type of system uses archwires for adjustment, it is as effective as metal braces for correcting more complex misalignment issues.

What Are the Disadvantages of Porcelain Ceramic Braces?

One of the main drawbacks of porcelain ceramic braces is that the brackets are more prone to staining than metal braces. Since the ceramic material is more porous than the metal, it can be more easily discolored by food, beverages, and bacteria in the mouth, which can be difficult to remove. Still, porcelain is fairly stain resistant, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

In addition, ceramic braces are more expensive than metal braces and are also more delicate, which can make them less durable in the long run. However, costs can be mitigated by using metal braces on the bottom teeth, which aren't easily seen, and using ceramic braces for the top teeth.

Which Braces Will You Choose in Long Beach?

When it comes to braces in Long Beach, there are many different systems to consider. Metal braces are the most common and affordable option, while Invisalign® provides a discreet and easy-to-maintain alternative. Porcelain ceramic braces are aesthetically pleasing and effective systems that can treat more complex misalignment issues. If you are unsure which braces are right for you, our orthodontics team at Orthodontics of Long Beach will be happy to help.

Improve Your Smile With Braces!

Orthodontics of Long Beach offers multiple types of braces to make your smile amazing. Contact us today at (562) 667-2973 to get started.


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