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Orthodontic Braces: Discover Your Options in the Albany NY area
In the world of orthodontics, braces are used to help straighten teeth. You’ve probably seen them on TV, or perhaps you or a family member have had them before. Braces are great at fixing over or under bites, correcting overlapping teeth, closing gaps between teeth, and moving distended teeth (ones that stick out) to a more natural position. You’re probably already familiar with traditional metal braces, which have been used for many decades. Traditional braces are where metal brackets are bonded to the teeth with a special adhesive; a wire is threaded through them to hook them all together. Ligatures are used to hold the wire in place. They come in a rainbow of colors, and you can usually pick out a new color at each treatment, or your could even try the newer ceramic (clear) ligatures. These traditional braces are still the most common type of braces in use today and work for the widest possible variety of patients.
As science and technology have advanced, a lot of new styles and types of braces have become available. These don’t always work for everybody, but they can offer advantages for some patients. There’s more to choose from when shopping for braces now than ever before! Let’s have a look at some of the newer kinds of braces on the market.
Lingual braces are nearly identical to traditional braces, with one major difference—instead of being put on the front of your teeth, these go on the back of your teeth, where they’re almost invisible. This makes them a great option if you’re worried about looking different while wearing traditional braces. They use shorter wires than traditional braces, and they might not be able to correct more complex problems as easily as traditional braces. Installing these types of braces requires more training for staff, and the treatment duration might mean longer appointments and a bit longer time wearing braces if you choose the lingual style. Since they’re on the backs of your teeth, they might feel rough against your tongue for the first few days after you get them, and they might affect your speech for a few days, too. But, all braces require a bit of an adjustment period, and things will get easier after the first week or so!
Self-ligating braces do not use ligatures, so they don’t require as many orthodontist visits or take as long to put on as traditional or lingual braces—you’ll be out of your treatment chair much faster! While they do use a wire, just like other types of braces, the wire is locked into place with a sliding mechanism. It’s more comfortable than standard braces and works faster, too!
While they’re not braces in the traditional sense, clear aligners (like Invisalign) are a very popular choice in today’s orthodontic market. They use clear plastic trays (similar to retainers) to move your teeth over time; at each treatment, you’re given a new set to wear. It can take between 20-30 different sets to achieve your perfect smile, but it is well worth it! This treatment is one of the most cosmetic-friendly options on the market. The aligners are actually invisible, though there might be an adjustment period in terms of speech and feel, just like with other braces. The one downside is that these require a trip to the orthodontist for new aligners around every 2 weeks or so.
No matter which treatment you and your orthodontist choose, you’ll be on your way to your perfect smile in no time! Good luck!