When you have misaligned teeth, you may be considering seeing an orthodontist to have adjustments made. Unfortunately, the idea of having traditional metal braces on your teeth can be unappealing, and cause you to not schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. Know that there are some alternative treatments that provide straight teeth.
The way traditional braces work is that they shift the teeth in your mouth using elastic bands, archwires, and brackets. These brackets are all bonded to the front of the teeth, with the archwire used to connect the brackets on each tooth together. The role that the elastic plays is connecting the brackets on each tooth to the archwire, which creates friction. The force needs to be strong in order to move the teeth over time. Your orthodontist will make adjustments to them to gradually shift the position of the teeth into their intended position.
The self-ligating variety of braces are different because they don't use those elastic bands at all. The brackets attached to the teeth have small holes that are used to feed the archwire through. The holes are what hold the archwire to the tooth, so elastic bands are not needed. This results in the self-ligating variety of braces working quicker than traditional metal braces, as well as being painless. They should require not as many visits from the dentist to make adjustments as well.
The brackets used for self-ligating braces will also be smaller when compared to the brackets used for traditional braces. Self-ligating brackets can also come in different colors so that they are less noticeable.
Plastic Aligning Trays
Another alternative to traditional braces are plastic aligning trays. They look like mouth guards, and they are made using plastic that is transparent. An orthodontist will make several sets of plastic alignerss that you will rotate through after a few weeks, then use the next aligner in the set. Once all aligners have been worn, adjustments to your teeth will be finished.
This method is ideal for people that want their orthodontic work to be discrete. The trays are clear, and others will not be able to see that you're wearing them. The removal of the aligners also makes it easy to brush your teeth, and you can take them out if you need some brief comfort.
Unfortunately, plastic aligning trays should only be used by adults that have their teeth fully grown in. You must also have the discipline to keep the aligners in for the required amount of time.