According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association, around four million people in the United States have braces, and over 25 percent of those patients are adults. While most of us are familiar with traditional metal braces, there are actually quite a few different styles to choose from.
Traditional Metal Braces
These metal braces are what most of us grew up seeing on our friends and family members. Not only are they quite durable, but they can also be incredibly effective for even the most severe cases of misalignment.
Depending on one’s age and the layout of their teeth, metal braces will need to be worn for anywhere from 12 to 36 months. Once the braces are removed, most patients will need to wear retainers for the rest of their lives. The primary drawback is the fact that they are highly visible.
Ceramic braces are a relatively new treatment option and have helped countless patients straighten their smile in a much more discreet manner. Instead of shiny metal brackets and posts, ceramic posts will be used. These posts can be stained to perfectly match the color of the patient’s natural teeth, and this means they are more difficult to notice. Patients will need to care for them.
Lingual braces take discretion a step further by hiding the posts and brackets behind the patient’s teeth. Once installed, they are practically invisible. They require quite a bit of additional maintenance, but it can be worth it for the discretion they provide.
Clear aligners have become quite popular in recent years with millions of successful cases. Unlike braces which cannot be removed, the aligners can be taken out of the patient’s mouth at any time to eat or brush their teeth.
When they are in the mouth, the clear material makes these devices both comfortable and discreet. Aligners are not always the best treatment option for severe malocclusion. Patients should also realize that they will need to keep their aligners in for at least 22 hours a day.
Choosing the Ideal Orthodontic Device
All patients should speak with an orthodontist about the pros and cons of these treatment options before making a final decision. With locations in Panama City Beach and Destin, Runnels Orthodontics is here to help you every step of the way. We can evaluate your smile and then determine which treatment option is best for you. There is no single orthodontic device that will work in every situation, and patients must begin their treatments with realistic expectations.
Luckily, with the proper aftercare and impeccable oral hygiene habits, the results could last a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule your orthodontic appointment.