Braces for Your Teeth
Orthodontic braces are a device used in orthodontics to align teeth and their position with respect to a person’s bite. Braces are typically used to correct underbites, overbites, cross bites and open bites, or crooked teeth and various other cosmetic or structural flaws of the teeth and jaws.
Orthodontic braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to widen the palate or jaws or otherwise shape the teeth and jaws.
While braces are mainly used on children and teenagers, adults can also use them to correct the position of their teeth.
- Traditional braces are stainless steel, sometimes in combination with nickel titanium, and are the most widely used. These include conventional braces, which require ties to hold the archwire in place, and newer self-tying (or self-ligating) brackets. Self-ligating brackets may reduce friction between the wire and the slot of the bracket, which in turn might be of therapeutic benefit.
- Clear braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in with the natural color of the teeth. Typically, these brackets are made of ceramic or plastic materials and function in a similar manner to traditional metal brackets. Clear elastic ties and white metal ties are available to be used with these clear braces to help keep the appliances less conspicuous.
Invisalign is a new system of straightening teeth without the use of conventional braces. A series of clear plastic aligners are utilized to create tooth movement. Moving teeth with removable aligners is not new. However, the computer program, which can generate a series of aligners with small changes, is new. Invisalign is recommended for orthodontic situations with mild to moderate spacing or crowding. They are virtually undetectable, easy to use and comfortable to wear.