Orthodontic treatment can enhance your smile, benefit your health, and boost your self-esteem. Without orthodontic treatment, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, chewing and speech difficulties, and tooth loss.
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Why Everyone Wants Straight Teeth
Most patients consider orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons and to boost their confidence. But orthodontic treatment can also correct bite misalignment issues such as an over- or under bite, cross bite, and rotated teeth. Straight teeth look great and are easier to clean too!
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Traditional metal braces are still a popular, effective, and affordable option. But there are several alternatives such as ceramic braces, lingual braces, Invisalign®, and other clear aligners for patients seeking a discreet option. These systems are less visible and therefore, preferable to adults and some teens who want to keep their treatment more low-key for professional or social reasons.
If you are looking for teeth straightening, ask your dentist to discuss which orthodontic treatment systems are the most suitable for your smile and lifestyle.
1. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are made from tooth-coloured ceramic, and although smaller and rounder, they yield the same results as metal braces in the same amount of treatment time.
Benefits of Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are more discreet and comfortable than traditional braces. They are designed to blend in with your teeth. They also come with clear or tooth-coloured wires, so no one will notice you are wearing braces, even in photographs!
Modern ceramic braces are less likely to stain, but still, limit your consumption of dark coloured foods and drinks. They also don’t demineralise tooth enamel because they are attached with a high-quality adhesive.
2. Lingual Braces
Lingual braces attach to the back side of your teeth and are customised to fit the contours of your teeth perfectly.
Benefits of Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are another discreet orthodontic system because of their placement behind your teeth. Another great advantage is that if any decalcification occurs, the white spots are on the back of your teeth and not the front.
3. Invisalign® (Clear Aligners)
Invisalign® clear-aligners are plastic aligners designed to fit the teeth like a mouth guard. These aligners are removable for eating and cleaning but should be worn for 20-22 hours each day for optimal results.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign® is a popular, virtually invisible orthodontic method of treatment for minor to moderate alignment correction.
Invisalign® is a comfortable alternative to braces because it does not require brackets or wires, which can irritate the soft tissues in your mouth.
The aligners are removable, so you can eat, brush and floss as normal. You can enjoy all of your favourite foods and have no dietary restrictions. Plus, removable aligners encourage proper oral hygiene, since they are easy to clean, they can’t trap bacteria and food particles in the mouth.
4. Metal Braces
Metal braces are the most common and affordable orthodontic system available.
Small metal brackets are attached with bonding cement, and a thin metal arch wire is threaded through the brackets to pull the teeth together gently. The wire is regularly tightened or adjusted to straighten the teeth.
Benefits of Metal Braces
Metal braces are cost-effective and go to work quickly on complex dental issues and closing gaps. They can’t be misplaced or lost because they are permanently attached to your teeth and work all the time, even when you are eating!
The stainless-steel brackets are durable, making adjustments with different widths of arch wires easy and effective.
Children and teens can customise their metal braces by choosing ligatures (rubber bands) to match their school colours and favourite sports teams.
Cost of Braces
On average, braces cost in the range of £3,500 to £10,000 for an 18-24-month treatment plan. The price depends on the complexity of your case and the orthodontic system you choose to correct the problem. Your dentist or orthodontist can give you an estimate after they have evaluated your smile.
Dentists and orthodontists offer financing options and spread out the cost of treatment to make this critical and life changing dental treatment more affordable.
How Cheap Braces Would be an Expensive Option for Lifetime
While cheap alternatives such as mail-order plastic aligners are inexpensive and can be used without orthodontic assistance, these alternatives can be damaging to your smile in the long term. Unsupervised movement of your teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease as well as a poorly aligned bite resulting in additional costs to correct the issues.
Way to Straighten Teeth Without Braces
Removable plates offer an alternative to teeth straightening without braces. They can be removed when brushing your teeth and eating.
There are also fixed plates that attach to the teeth. Orthodontists and dentists use these in younger children who have not lost their baby teeth yet, and they follow up with braces a few years later. A plate can be worn while the permanent teeth are growing in to prevent the teeth from shifting.
When looking for an orthodontic treatment that is right for you, it’s important you discuss your options for your unique smile with your dentist and orthodontist. They will consider the complexity of your treatment as well as your lifestyle before recommending a solution for helping you achieve the straight and beautiful smile of your dreams.
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