Fixed Appliances (braces)
Braces have definitely come a long way over the years. There are now literally hundreds of different types of brackets (the part stuck on the teeth) that come in all shapes, forms and sizes.
There are also a number of different systems being marketed by companies and claims being made about the efficiency of their braces.
However, the best scientific studies have found there are no differences between treatment results and periods between a range of bracket systems, such as self-ligated brackets (e.g the ‘Damon’ and ‘Speed’ systems), and conventional bracket systems (e.g. the ‘mini-twin’ system).
There are different options for types of braces you have – these include –
The new metal braces have definitely changed over the years – they are now much smaller, and it takes much less time to put them on the teeth.
Traditional braces on the outside of the teeth – These are most popular with our younger patients, as they are very much a fashion statement these days – my how times have changed! The kids can choose different colours (o-rings) to hold the wire into the bracket, which they can change during the recall visit.
Clear ceramic braces
These are a great alternative to the traditional metal braces.
They are very popular amongst our adult patients, for whom the clear aligner systems do not qualify. Clear wires can also be used in the very aesthetically minded person. However, the Teflon coating on the wires does not always behave!
As the brackets are made from porcelain ceramic, they are very hard. This means they are more brittle and can be more prone to fracture and can also be a bit more of a pain when it comes time to remove the braces.
We also only generally use the braces for the top teeth as the porcelain can wear away the top of the upper teeth if they bite down on the brackets of the lower teeth, which is why we usually use metal brackets for the lower teeth.