A perfectly straight, vibrantly white smile used to be something most of us would only ever see in Hollywood films but knew we could never attain. Due to cost and availability, it wasn’t until recent decades that braces became available to the average American as a way to permanently straighten their teeth and help give them a more attractive, confident smile. Nowadays, it’s almost a rite of passage for teenagers to go through this process to achieve a new smile, but more and more adults are having their teeth straightened every year as well! Did you know that there are actually many different kinds of braces in addition to the metal brackets we’re used to seeing? Each type has benefits and drawbacks, so today we’re setting the record straight on the pros and cons of various types of braces!
Traditional Metal BracesUsing metal brackets attached to the surface of your teeth, metal braces use wire and pressure to move your teeth into a new position over time.
- Pros: These braces are the traditional, tried and true method to straightening teeth. They’ve been around the longest of these options, and for good reason: they work! Colored rubber bands also give children the ability to customize their smile while it is transforming.
- Cons: These braces are the most noticeable type of braces and aren’t always the top pick for adults who would like to keep their smile subtle.
Express Smiles™These orthodontic devices work in a similar way to traditional braces, but the brackets are placed on the back of the teeth rather than the front.
- Pros: Express Smiles braces offer clear and tooth-colored wires so they are completely invisible when you smile. These devices cost less than half the price of traditional braces, and often straighten your teeth in as few as two to four months.
- Cons: This device is typically best for minor to moderate smile imperfections, so it isn’t for everyone.
Ceramic BracesCeramic braces utilize ceramic instead of metal to achieve a more natural appearance than traditional braces. Some dentists even offer clear wires to help minimize the appearance further.
- Pros: Ceramic braces are much less noticeable than normal metal braces and they work in the same amount of time.
- Cons: If not cared for, the ceramic will stain and become unpleasant. Ceramic braces are also more expensive than their metal counterparts.
InvisalignInvisalign utilizes clear plastic trays to move teeth into place over time. The trays are replaced about every 2 weeks.
- Pros: Invisalign is nearly invisible, offering a discreet way to straighten your teeth. The trays are also entirely removable, meaning your diet remains the same as well as your brushing and flossing routine.
- Cons: These trays are more expensive than traditional braces and can’t be used in the most serious dental cases. Additionally, the trays can be easily lost and aren’t cheap to replace.