Types of Braces for Teenagers
Braces have come a long way since the days when big metal bands were connected to a wire in your mouth. Today, the wire is still there, but small metal or ceramic brackets have replaced the clunky bands. Another change is that many teens make a statement with their braces, according to Mamashealth.com. They often use school or holiday colors for their main wire or for attachments such as elastic ties and rubber bands.
Traditional stainless steel braces are often used because they’re less inexpensive than many of the newer alternatives, according to Safedentistry.co.uk. Archwired.com says most metal braces use ligatures, or elastic rubber bands, to connect the brackets to the main wire, called an arch wire. Other metal brackets don’t require the rubber bands and are known as “self-ligating.”
The metal brackets are usually silver, but Archwired.com says golden ones tend to be popular with teenage girls because they resemble jewelry. Some teens also are attracted to metal brackets in different shapes such as hearts, stars, baseballs and footballs. You can ask your orthodontist to order these from the Wild Smiles Brackets website.
Made of composite materials, ceramic braces blend in with your teeth so they’re less noticeable than metal ones. Archwired.com says the ligatures are often clear or white and can stain easily, but you get them replaced when you have an orthodontic adjustment.
The downsides are that ceramic braces cost more than metal ones, and you might have to wear them longer. They’re also not strong enough for some severe orthodontic conditions.
Lingual braces, usually made out of metal, are even less visible because they’re fitted behind your teeth. They’re great for teens who are self-conscious about wearing braces, but Safedentistry.co.uk says they have a few drawbacks. It might take longer to get used to them than to traditional braces, and you might cut your tongue or have trouble speaking when you first get them on. Mamashealth.com says treatment time might be longer than it is with regular braces, and lingual braces might not be appropriate for severe problems.
Invisalign is a technology used instead of or in addition to braces. Mamashealth.com says it employs a series of removable invisible aligners instead of traditional wires and brackets, and it’s only appropriate if you don’t have extreme orthodontic issues. It’s used on patients who already have their second molars, which usually grow in by your late teens. The cost can be similar to or greater than traditional braces.
Original Article: http://www.livestrong.com/article/173326-types-of-braces-for-teenagers/
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