Different Types of Braces: Which Is Right for Me?

If you’re like most people with crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, you’re probably faced with a dilemma: Live with your dental problems or endure braces. But we think there’s a more positive way to approach it by asking: Which of the several innovation treatments will best suit my lifestyle?

Our team of orthodontic specialists at LM Orthodontics understands that correcting your wayward teeth is important for dental and cosmetic reasons. We also know that braces present a few aesthetic challenges. That’s why we offer several different teeth straightening treatments so you can choose the one that’s right for you. Here’s a closer look at all of your braces options. 

Metal braces

These traditional metal braces remain the gold standard in orthodontic treatments. They’re so effective because our orthodontists have complete control over the gradual movement of your teeth. 

Metal braces use small metal brackets that are glued to the front of your teeth and attached to an archwire by orthodontic ties. The archwire acts like a track, connecting the brackets and putting pressure on your teeth. 

Sometimes, we include extra rubber bands to link the brackets on your upper teeth to the brackets on your lower teeth, adding pressure and helping your teeth shift faster. 

Are they right for you?

Metal braces are one of the most effective orthodontics treatments and can address virtually any bite or alignment problem. Though they’re still a financial investment, they can often be one of the most cost-effective options. 

It’s likely that you’ll experience some discomfort as you get used to your metal braces or when wires break, but we can make the necessary adjustments to help you feel comfortable again. Bonus: Today’s braces come in a variety of colors, so you can express yourself when smiling and talking. 

Clear braces

Similar to traditional metal braces, clear braces sit on the front of your teeth and involve wires and bands to gradually shift your teeth. They’re made from plastic, making them nearly invisible, or ceramic, which closely matches the shade of your teeth. 

Are they right for you?

If you have a serious alignment issue but dread the thought of having a mouth full of metal, then clear braces might be right for you. Clear braces work just as fast as metal braces, without making you feel self-conscious about your smile. 

Clear braces often require more financial investment than other orthodontic treatments and come with similar side effects as metal braces. 

Lingual braces

Lingual braces use a similar network of brackets and wires, but the metal appliances are placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. 

Are they right for you?

Lingual braces are one of the best options if you’re looking to fix your smile without telling the world about it. Because the brackets and wires are attached to the back of your teeth, they’re hard to see when you smile, talk, or laugh. 

Depending on your needs, lingual braces may be more expensive than your other options, and they may cause discomfort because they’re placed closer to your soft tissue than clear and metal braces. 

Lingual braces also can’t address all bite and alignment issues. For example, if you have a significant overbite, you’ll likely need traditional braces to avoid frequent problems with your brackets. 

Self-ligating braces

Rubber bands are great for helping to give your braces the added pressure they need to shift your teeth quickly, but they can be an eyesore. Self-ligating braces don’t need rubber bands for extra pressure. Instead, they use small, specialized brackets that clip directly onto the archwire to achieve the same effect. 

Are they right for you?

Self-ligating braces do everything traditional braces can do and often for the same price. No rubber bands means fewer and shorter trips to our office. 

Because they use smaller brackets, self-ligating braces might not work for you if you need to move larger teeth. Smaller brackets do come with some inherent perks as they’re easier to clean and can be more comfortable. 

Of course, if none of these options fits your needs, we also offer clear aligners, an excellent alternative to braces in many cases. If you’d like more information or are ready for a consultation, request an appointment online or over the phone at our McLean, Virginia, office today. 

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