Most orthodontic appliances function on the same principle, consistent pressure to move bone or tissue to a new location. That’s why you need months, if not years, of treatment and very sturdy and durable orthodontics. In the same manner that jaws and teeth grow over time into misaligned positions, they can, with the help of external tools, move back to a healthier location. Orthodontics just guide your bones to where they need to be and keeps them there until your body heals and sets them in place.
What Are the Types of Orthodontic Appliances?
Fortunately for everyone, orthodontists nowadays have an arsenal of orthodontic appliances at their disposal. From appliances for children to appliances for full-grown adults, orthodontists truly almost always have the best tool for each orthodontic problem. While regular metal braces are common and treat a whole plethora of orthodontic issues, there are more appliances that can suit your lifestyle better with similar results.
Additionally, there are many appliances with completely different purposes than braces. Some appliances work on expanding your palate, while others maintain the space between your teeth, and some even fix your bite by preventing your teeth from fully closing shut. Whichever your specific case may be, you can rest assured that your dental specialist in Issaquah will find the appliance that is best suited to fix your orthodontic issue and is most comfortable for you to wear at the same time.
Traditional Metal Braces
Metal braces are the classic, time-tested, durable appliance that we all know of. They have three main components. Firstly we have the archwire, which is a stainless steel metal wire that goes all along your upper or lower set of teeth. Then there are the metal brackets. They are little metal pieces that your orthodontist cements to the teeth that need work done. Sometimes brackets will have a hook on the side for elastic to attach to if your orthodontist thinks it is necessary. Lastly, braces require ligatures to attach the archwire to each bracket. Ligatures are either tiny rubber bands, also called O-rings, or small metal wires that create pressure on each tooth when they are pulling the archwire and bracket together.
Once your orthodontist puts your orthodontic braces on you, you’ll have to respect a very strict diet for the rest of your treatment, and you’ll have to come back to the office every couple of weeks for readjusting and to check your treatment’s progress.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are almost identical to regular metal braces. They have the same components as metal braces have; they also require the patient to have regular checkups with their orthodontist and will need the patient to follow a diet to avoid damage to the appliance and to make brushing and flossing easier for the patient.
The main difference is that ceramic braces are far less noticeable than metal braces, thanks to their ceramic composition. The more natural look that ceramic braces give patients makes them feel more comfortable using the appliance every day in public.
Invisalign diverts completely from the former two appliances, although they serve a very similar purpose. Invisalign clear aligners are a set of clear plastic trays molded to your teeth. They work by snapping onto your upper and lower rows of teeth and applying consistent pressure on each tooth daily. Every couple of weeks, you’ll have to change your aligners, also called trays, for new ones that will continue pushing your teeth to their desired location.
Invisalign is virtually invisible, making it every adult and teen’s best friend. Anyone who wears them won’t have to worry about a metallic smile while wearing orthodontic appliances. Invisalign also doesn’t require your to avoid certain foods. Given that they are detachable, you just need to remember to remove them before any meal and put them back after you’re done.
For Invisalign to work properly, however, patients should remember to use their aligners 22 hours a day every day until their treatment is over. If you or your kid are prone to forgetting and losing stuff, you may want to consider other options. Even a couple of days without your trays could mean losing weeks of treatment progress.
Choose the Best Appliance for You
Here at Egger Orthodontics, we are more than happy to help you or any family member to get the perfect smile you always wished for. Get a checkup with us to see what appliance is best for you. Schedule an appointment with us here, and we’ll help you as soon as possible.