Types of Braces: Part I

Believe it or not, different types of braces have existed since the Pharaohs ruled Egypt. Some of the mummies that have been uncovered have catgut wrapped around teeth to close gaps. The pre-Roman Etruscans used gold dental bridges to give their deceased better-looking smiles heading into the afterlife.

Obviously with the advancements in both materials and technology modern braces look a little different, but striving for more effective ways to straighten teeth and align jaws has been a practice that has spanned the ages.

There are numerous options to choose from, ones that suit your budget a little more closely and options that suit your lifestyle. You will also need to factor in that there is considerations when deciding which of the different types of braces work best for you.

That being said, we’ll take a two-part look at the different types of braces that are available with some of the associated advantages and disadvantages.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most commonly used type of braces. And for those that have cost considerations, they are also generally the most inexpensive type on the market.

As technology continues to develop, these braces are also becoming more discrete. Orthodontists work with their suppliers to create the most effective stainless steel brackets on the market, which means smaller and more comfortable brackets for patients.

The multi-colored varieties of ligatures (or elastic rubber bands that attach the arch wire to the bracket) are also handy in adding a little spice.

They are also extremely hardy, able to take the rigors of almost all treatment types. However, you will have to be careful with your diet (as discussed in one of our previous posts) and potentially amend it a little so as to give your braces every opportunity to be successful.

Some wearers indicate that their gums experienced a little irritation at first but after a few weeks the gums and cheeks adapt to them being there.

Ceramic Braces

Probably because this type of braces is less visible in social situations (like photos), ceramic braces are a more popular option.

Ceramics are more expensive that their stainless steel counterparts as you are paying for composite ceramic alloys that can be translucent or match the color of your teeth, which gives you that cosmetic camouflage.

Although these types of braces will not stain, the ligatures can become so with habits like coffee drinking or smoking; but this issue can be managed with frequent and proper teeth brushing. Fortunately, they are replaced at every appointment so it will be temporary. If you are committed to keeping your braces out of sight though, you might have to consider a habit change.

They are also more fragile than steel so again caution is advised and slight amendments to your pre-braces habits or rituals should be considered. Ceramics are also generally not recommended with certain types of tooth or biting patterns as they is increased wear against the softer enamel underneath in these instances.

 We will look at different types of braces in future posts. We trust that this post (and the rest of the series) will prove helpful if you are considering braces. If you would like to learn more about your options and recommendations, we hope that you will choose one of our expert staff at any of our 8 convenient Baltimore locations to talk to about your options. We look forward to seeing your smile!


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