Want to get back you nice smile and you need braces, but don’t know what to expect?
What are the costs? What are the best types available? What are the steps involved? What are the risks involved? Are they painful?
Fear not, by the end of this article, you’ll have an answer to all of these questions and some!
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
What types of dental braces are there available?
You might think of these braces as those awful ones like in The Ugly Betty.
Well, this is what they used to look like. But not anymore. They are now much lighter in weight and structure than they used to be.
They are made from a high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using some kind of cement.
Each bracket is linked to the other one with a thin archwire basically drags your teeth (slowly) in the correct position.
These archwires are in turn attached to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings.
These are very similar to the traditional braces. They work the same way, but the braces are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material.
The advantage over the traditional braces is that they are less visible to others.
The disadvantage is that sometimes patients might occasionally find that the elastics become discolored, which can cause marks on the teeth.
Fortunately, your orthodontist might recommend you to use a special solution to apply to your teeth in order to protect them against cavities.
This is one of the most popular type of dentists because it provides gentler treatment and you have to go less often to your dentist. So you also save time and money.
But this is not the only advantage.
Damon braces are self-ligating and use a slide mechanism instead of elastics to connect the archwires.
This means you will see faster results because your teeth can move on their own, without needing to be adjusted.
And because the braces are self-ligating, they cause put less pressure on your teeth, so you feel less pain.
And there’s one more advantage to this. It’s also easier to keep them clean.
Clear and Removable Aligners
Invisalign is like a mouth guard with the advantage that it aligns your teeth.
You can remove them anytime you want and you can clean them whenever you want.
The disadvantage of this type of braces is that you have to change them out for a newly made one every two weeks. This is because one the aligner brings your teeth closer, it isn’t good anymore. So basically, each new aligner takes the adjustment of your teeth one step further.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children get screened by an orthodontist at the age of 7.
This is because at this age you have the most chances to correct your teeth fast.
As you can see from the picture above, this device basically uses a spring that attaches to the braces and adjusts the upper or lower jaw into position.
When you have overcrowded teeth, you have 2 options: extract the tooth or use palatal expansion.
In the past, tooth extraction was preferred. But today, fortunately, you can save your teeth by wearing this device which basically applies pressure to the back of your upper molars to gradually move your teeth farther apart.
This expands your palate and makes it possible for other types of braces to be fitted to correct the position of your teeth.
What are the best type of braces?
As you’ve already seen, there isn’t a “best type”.
You choose your dental braces based on 3 factors:
- How overcrowded your teeth are (severe cases require different type of braces)
- How visible/comfortable you want them to be
- What is your budget (Invisalign costs a bit more than traditional ones)
Either way, only your dentist can tell you for sure what type of dental braces you actually NEED.
Are dental braces painful?
The answer is both yes and no.
You will feel a mild soreness or discomfort after the orthodontic wire is engaged into the newly placed brackets.
This discomfort may may last for a few days to a week while your teeth will be a bit more sensible when you bite, depending on how hard is the food you eat.
Either way, you won’t feel any deep pains.
Another discomfort you may also feel at first is that you may feel that your braces are sticking out, which is completely normal.
As you get used to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will disappear and will cease to be a concern.
In fact, when you get your braces off, your teeth will feel strange without them for a while, too!
How much do dental braces cost?
Again, it depends.
But here are some numbers, just to get an idea.
- Metal braces (traditional braces) : $3,000 – 7,000
- Ceramic braces : $4,000 – 8,000
- Lingual braces : $8,000 – 10,000
- Invisalign : $4,000 – 7,400
What are the next steps?
If you have overcrowded teeth, only your dentist can give you a pertinent advice. Depending on the severity of your problem, he can recommend you what you should do next.
But one thing is for sure, the sooner you go to a dentist, the sooner you’ll get back your beautiful smile!
About the author
Patrik Bindea is a growth hacking marketer and the owner of Strodin Dental Marketing Company, where he helps dentists get more patients. He obsessively tests different marketing ideas until he finds those details that turn strategies, concepts and words into sales.
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All articles are either written by, or content checked by an ex-General Dental Council (retired) registrant. Information in these articles should not be taken as dental advice and are for general information only, you should always seek advice of your local dentist, if you do not have a local dentist you might like to search our register.