Orthodontics is a specialty discipline of dentistry that focuses on alignment of the teeth and jaws to improve a person’s smile and oral health. Malaligned teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean and are at risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
Your orthodontist may recommend any of the following types of braces or dental appliances
Traditional braces are made from a high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that are attached to each tooth using a type of cement. The brackets are linked to each other with a thin archwire, which puts pressure on the teeth to cause them to move slowly into the correct position.
The archwires are connected to the brackets using tiny elastics known as ligatures or o-rings, which your orthodontist will change each time he tightens the braces. Some types of braces have brackets that don’t need o-rings, and these are called self-ligating braces.
Brackets are made from a clear, transparent ceramic material. The braces are less visible to others, which makes them a popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that you can use instead of metal or ceramic braces. This involves a range of clear plastic aligners that resemble mouth guards, which are custom-made for you. They are removable for eating and cleaning, and you change them out for a newly made aligner every two weeks. Each new aligner takes the adjustment of your teeth one step further.