‘Orthodontics’ is the area of dentistry specialising in straightening teeth. Modern orthodontics has dramatically improved since the days when all braces were unattractive fixed metal braces. You’ll be surprised at just how many options are now available.
Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and healthy so people with them are more at risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment can improve oral health as well as the person’s smile and confidence!
In terms of functionality, modern braces can produce results in a shorter time frame, which is particularly appealing to those wanting straight teeth in time for a special occasion. Materials used today are more comfortable and also more durable, meaning less visits to the dentist are required.
There is also far greater flexibility in the type of braces available: braces can be fixed to the front or back of the teeth, or take the form of a removable tray.
Traditional braces were always fastened to the front of the teeth. Although this is still a popular option, some people prefer lingual braces that adhere to the back of the teeth; they tend to be more expensive and can result in a longer treatment time than other types of brace. However, their popularity lies in the fact that they are not visible at all.
Traditional braces were always made from stainless steel. Modern options include ceramic braces which have tooth-coloured brackets, meaning they are far less visible than old metal braces. There are also options for coloured wires in between the brackets – a popular choice for children’s braces.
Ceramic braces are more prone to breaking and staining so good oral care is important to keep them in good condition.
Removable transparent aligners are another popular orthodontic option. As well as being barely noticeable, they can be removed for convenience when brushing and flossing teeth, and eating. They are more suitable for teens and adults with minor alignment issues than those who need major orthodontic work.
It’s important to note that not all of these options are suitable for everyone. The orthodontist will be able to recommend all suitable options and they will certainly be far better than old-school ‘train track’ braces!