The most commonly known orthodontic treatment is braces: an orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. Braces can be prescribed for teens, adults, and children who have permanent teeth. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances prescribed to widen the palate or jaws or to shape the teeth and jaws. The average treatment time for braces is just over two years, but treatment time varies by the individual patient. There are two major types of braces: fixed and removable.
Fixed braces are worn 24/7. Only an Orthodontist can remove fixed braces.Several types of fixed braces are available. Traditional braces (the most commonly needed orthodontic appliance) Conventional braces (the type that most people think of) require elastic or metal ties to hold the archwire in place. Self-ligating braces (the type our Orthodontists recommend most often) do not require elastic or metal ties. Self-ligating braces create proper tooth alignment faster, more comfortably, and with fewer adjustments (and office visits) than conventional braces. Ceramic braces are less noticeable than traditional braces because they tend to blend with the wearer's natural tooth color. They are similar to conventional braces, but because they are made from porcelain, they are more expensive and susceptible to damage.
Removable braces (sometimes called aligners) are prescribed when teeth only need to be moved horizontally and the patient is highly motivated to follow a strict regimen. Removable braces are worn 24/7 except for time eating and drinking, or brushing and flossing. This means that patients must be diligent about replacing their removable braces several times each day. If removable braces are worn less than required, treatment time will be longer.