These have come a long way over the years and are no longer the big metal “tin grin” of our parents’ days. Due to the advancement in the types of materials and glues used, metal braces are now much smaller than ever before. The arch wires are held in place with elastic ties (small elastic bands) which can be clear, metal coloured or a multitude of colours and are changed at each adjustment appointment allowing patients to have some “fun” with their braces. Advantages of metal braces is that they are the least expensive, strongest and fastest way to straighten teeth and are the most popular for our patients’.
Clear braces (ceramic braces) are made of an artificial composite material which appears almost invisible when placed on the teeth. They are strong but can be brittle. Adults like to choose ceramic braces because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. These are the type of braces most adults who may be in public positions eg. Actors, receptionists, models. The elastic ties that hold the arch wire on to the ceramic brackets are often white or clear, this looks great at first, but they can stain. These clear elastic ties are changed each time you get an adjustment. It is only the elastic ties that stain, no the brackets themselves. Advantages of ceramic braces are they blend in with most teeth, so they are not noticeable at a distance – however ceramic braces are more expensive, slightly larger and in some cases can slow treatment.
This is a virtually invisible solution by using a series of clear, removable aligners. Change them about every two weeks and your teeth will move, little by little. Invisalign is comfortable to wear and it doesn’t require you to change your busy lifestyle. You visit your Orthodontist every 4-6weeks to check on progression and get new aligners. Because the aligners are removable, you can continue to eat your favourite foods while brushing and flossing normally to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Invisalign works by using 3-D computer imaging technology to map the complete treatment from start to finish. From this plan, a series of custom-made aligners unique to your treatment is produced. Invisalign requires a high level of patient cooperation and compliance.
The term lingual braces refers to the attachment of a brace on the inner surface of the tooth, inside the mouth, where they cannot be seen. They are totally inconspicuous. This would allow your teeth to be straightened without worrying about your appearance being affected during treatment. The lingual appliance (system) we use is the “Incognito System”. Further information can be obtained from the following website www.incognitobraces.com.au Age does not limit the use of lingual braces. However it may be more difficult to construct the appliance for children since their teeth may not have fully erupted. If the teeth are small in dimension it is more difficult to fit the appliance. Most people do notice a temporary change in their speech but this generally improves within a short space of time. The cost of lingual braces is more than conventional braces.
Teeth are straight = What Next?
Once the active period is completed, your braces are removed. The next step is called retention. Retainers are utilised to hold your teeth in their new position. Retainers can either be removable or permanently cemented invisible wires = permanent fixed lingual wire retainers (PFLR).The PFLR has been in existence for over 50years and has been extensively researched and refined by Dr Robert Cerny of Hunter valley Orthodontics. Most patients treated by Hunter Valley Orthodontics will be fitted the PFLR as the results obtained are superior to removable retainers.
Removable retainers are still issued in some cases and your orthodontist will advise you if and when they are required. You must wear and look after your retainer as instructed, otherwise your teeth may move toward their original positions and the benefit of wearing braces will be lost.
The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!