Human kind has been trying to come up with ways to control their outward appearance since they were able to articulate opinions about aesthetic physical beauty. One thing that some people had that others clearly did not was straight teeth. Naturally straight teeth are actually quite rare and although many people have teeth that look good, they are not totally straight and their upper and bottom jaw do not necessarily come together properly. Someone could have what appear to be perfect teeth but when examined more closely, they have a specific malocclusion that is clear.
Orthodontics is the study and correction of malocclusions and although typically braces are the best way to deal with them early in life, there are materials that can be used to make them more discrete and some that are not actually braces at all. Knowing what options are available is important when someone is looking into doing something that will make them eventually feel better about their teeth is important because without the proper knowledge, one cannot make an informed decision. Here are some basic options that one may or may not be interested in when it comes down to the idea of correcting their smiles so they can eventually feel great about their teeth:
Clear braces – Clear braces are like normal fixed straight wire appliances that are made out of stainless steel brackets and have wiring connected between them but the brackets are made out of hard, transparent brackets instead of metal. These brackets can make the process of wearing braces for an adult or a teenager a little less nerve-wracking because they have better aesthetic appeal than metal. They are not as durable as stainless steel and may require more trips to the orthodontist for maintenance but if they are taken care of well, that will not necessarily be the case.
Ceramic braces – Like clear braces, the only difference between these, clear and traditional braces is the material used to construct the bracket out of. It is a matter of personal opinion as to whether one believes that ceramic braces or transparent plastic ones blend in better, but also like plastic braces, ceramic braces are not as easy to maintain because they are not as strong. With the right care though, they do not necessarily require any more trips into the orthodontist for repairs on top of the normally scheduled adjustment appointments that are always required with braces.
Retainers and Spacers – Sometimes retainers and spacers can be proactively applied during one’s childhood when their permanent teeth are coming in and their smiles are beginning to take shape. Retainers are custom-designed by orthodontists and their purpose when trying to avoid braces is to help properly shape the developing bones in the patient’s mouth. One’s ridge lines need to develop correctly in order for their teeth to come in at the right angle. Properly applied spacers during this time can encourage that the teeth that are coming are doing so by being moved into a position that allows other teeth enough room to come in properly. This approach is used in some cases because an orthodontist truly believes that it can make adjustments that make braces unnecessary, and sometimes it needs to be done in preparation for braces.
Invisalign – Invisalign is the best possible teeth-straightening method available to those who do not have a malocclusion that is causing them any kind of health problem like, uneven wear of their teeth, TMJ, tensions headaches or dental or gum disease. These issues can necessitate the need for braces or other maxillofacial adjustments that require surgery but when the need is to just increase the aesthetic appeal one one’s smile, Invisalign is a great way to go. This is an especially popular choice for teenagers and adults because the ‘aligners’ used to straighten their teeth instead of brackets and wires are made out of transparent plastic that are custom-fit around their teeth. Digital computer imaging technology and 3-D printing make this method possible and any orthodontist can determine whether one is capable of achieving desirable results with Invisalign.
The fact is that no matter what options it is that one has available to them, if they are uncomfortable with their smiles it is indeed affecting their lives. If Invisalign is not an option, having braces for one to three years will always provide benefits for the rest of one’s life once they have beautifully straight and healthy teeth. Often, the most difficult choices make the biggest difference in our lives.