There’s never been a better time to get braces! Orthodontic technology has come a long way in recent years and Hunter Family Orthodontics is proud to offer our patients a wide variety of treatment options, including different types of braces. Our expert team is educated and trained to successfully diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of orthodontic issues in patients of all ages, including:
- crowded teeth
- gaps between the teeth
- protruding teeth
- impacted teeth
We do this using several treatment methods, including traditional braces. Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and the most easily recognizable. But far from the bulky contraptions they once were, today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and more efficient than ever before. This transformation has resulted in a better orthodontic experience for you and your orthodontist.
If you’ve been considering braces as a way to improve your oral health and achieve a healthier smile, you may be wondering what options are available to you. When you schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ross Hunter, he’ll be able to determine the treatment option that would be best for you and your unique smile. Keep reading as we take a closer look at the types of braces we offer, how they differ, and how this orthodontic staple can give you a beautiful smile you’ll want to share with the world!
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces are made up of metal or clear brackets that have been attached to the teeth then tied together by wires and tiny rubber bands or elastics. This method is especially useful for fixing complex tooth issues and can work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatment methods might. This can result in shorter treatment times, although of course, this will vary from patient to patient. In general, however, the average time spent wearing braces tends to be anywhere from 18-36 months.
While the maintenance involved with traditional braces can come with a learning curve in the early days, it gets easier with time and practice. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, and it’s even more important for patients in braces since food and bacteria can get stuck in between the wires and teeth. If you struggle with brushing and flossing effectively while wearing braces, there are several tools designed to make it easier. Waterpiks help rinse any hard to reach areas and ortho picks can assist with flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Patients in braces will need to avoid sticky and crunchy foods throughout the course of treatment since these can damage the brackets and wires. While it can be an adjustment, just remember that it won’t last forever! Any minor frustrations will be more than worth it once your braces come off and you get a look at your beautiful new smile.
While in braces, you can expect follow-up visits in our office every 4-8 weeks or so throughout the treatment process. During these appointments, Dr. Hunter will check the progress of your teeth, change the bands that are attached to the brackets, and replace any worn-out wires. These check-ups tend to be fairly quick, so you can get back to school or work quickly! There can sometimes be some slight residual soreness following these adjustments, but it should only be temporary.
These visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan. To help us ensure the very best results in the least amount of time, you should always try your best not to miss them!
Types of braces
Made out of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, metal braces are very durable and long-lasting. Modern braces are much more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, with smaller brackets and customizable bands to choose from. They have a long history of delivering excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated.
Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option. The overall strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness of traditional braces keep them the top treatment in orthodontics, year in and year out.
Sometimes referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or aesthetic braces, ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, with the added benefit of tooth-colored ceramic brackets. While ceramic braces are about the same size and shape as metal braces, they’re better able to blend in with your natural smile for a more discreet straightening option.
Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made out of is slightly more prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option if you need severe corrections.
Ceramic brackets can often be slightly more expensive than metal brackets, as well. Since they can be more expensive and are more prone to breakage, we believe ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly subtle and efficient way to achieve a beautifully aligned smile.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system is made up of clear, removable aligners that are custom-designed to fit comfortably over your teeth. Like traditional braces, these clear aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. To accomplish this, you’ll need to wear them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment and replace them every 1-2 weeks for the next aligner in the system.
Invisalign offers patients a bit more freedom and flexibility than regular braces do. There are no food restrictions since aligners are removed when eating or drinking, and it’s easy to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy since you don’t have to work around wires and brackets. You simply remove the aligner, then brush and floss the way you normally would!
Find the braces that work for you at Hunter Family Orthodontics
Here at Hunter Family Orthodontics, we know that every smile is unique. What works for one patient may not be the best choice for another, and that’s why Dr. Hunter creates a customized treatment plan for every patient he sees. He will take your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals into consideration when recommending the course of treatment that would work best for your smile.
If you’re in The Woodlands or the surrounding communities, we’d love to give you more information about how braces can give you a beautiful, healthy smile. Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Hunter!