Is a brand new, beautiful, straight smile on your Christmas list this holiday season? Since Santa’s already working overtime, our team of elves here at Newpark Orthodontics thought we’d tackle something that gets talked about a lot when braces for teens are being discussed – are there any alternatives to traditional braces, and if so, what are they?
Before we explore these options, it’s important to remember that the type of braces you end up getting will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The extent of treatment needed
- The severity of your bite issues and/or tooth crookedness
- If extractions are necessary
- If jaw surgery is necessary
- If headgear or other special appliances will be necessary
- The amount of time you’ll need to wear braces
- Your orthodontist’s preferences
- Your budget, as well as what dental insurance will cover, if anything
- Your preferences
The final choice in which type of braces will be the best fit for you will depend on a combination of your preferences and your orthodontist’s preferences and expertise.
Alternatives to traditional metal braces
Let’s take a look at what’s available if you’re looking for orthodontic treatment that blends in rather than stands out!
Ceramic braces: these braces offer the effectiveness of more traditional metal braces with the benefit of being less visible. They’re very strong and generally won’t stain.
This is a great option for patients that are concerned with the cosmetic look of having braces because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. Tom Cruise actually sported ceramic braces in recent years!
There are some downsides to ceramic braces that are worth taking into account when looking at all options. Patients will need to be more careful about the foods they eat, as ceramic is more brittle than its metal counterparts.
These braces are slightly larger than metal brackets, so they’re often used more frequently on upper teeth rather than the lower teeth. It’s also worth nothing that if you severe dental problems, orthodontists will not want to use ceramic braces in many cases, since they may not be strong enough to withstand certain types of treatment.
Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are metal braces, but they are unique in that they are positioned behind the teeth rather than in front. This allows the braces to be virtually invisible to other people. Models, athletes, musicians, and other professionals often choose this option.
Lingual braces are completely customized to fit the unique shape of your teeth. Orthodontists actually need special training to be able to treat a patient with lingual braces, and as luck would have it, Dr. Nima has had this training and is able to provide them.
Lingual braces can hurt your tongue and make it difficult to speak at first, but this is generally a temporary problem.
Invisalign: Invisalign is a set of removable, comfortable, and invisible aligners used to straighten your teeth. The “braces” are strong plastic trays created especially for your mouth. Because they are completely transparent, nobody can tell you are wearing them, which is of course a major attraction! Invisalign is a good choice for people who don’t have any severe dental issues, whose bite is not severely off, and whose teeth are not severely crooked.
Another benefit of Invisalign is that they are removable, allowing you to eat and drink whatever you want while in treatment. Brushing and flossing are much easier. Because the aligners aren’t made of metal, they are also more comfortable and gentle on the mouth.
You’ll still have some tooth pain with Invisalign aligners, because your teeth will move just like they do with traditional braces. In addition, you must commit to wearing your aligners for 20-22 hours every day in order for treatment to be effective.
In-Ovation Braces: In-Ovation is a new and modern system to give you the beautiful, radiant smile you’ve always wanted, but in less time, and without uncomfortable and unsanitary ties and elastics.
In-Ovation braces are self-litigating, which means that the brackets don’t need rubber bands or metal tie wires to hold the archwire onto the bracket. As a result, there’s no need to have your braces constantly tightened.
With In-Ovation treatment, you’ll experience fast results, less discomfort, fewer office visits, and an improved appearance!
There are different In-Ovation styling options, allowing you to choose, along with your orthodontist, which is best for you.
In-Ovation L MTM
As an alternative to tray aligners, L MTM offers a completely invisible option for people requiring 6mm of movement or less. These work within just a few months to achieve that beautiful, straight smile you’ve always desired.
R style brackets have a smaller profile than other self-ligating brackets. Because metal and elastic ties are eliminated, the R style brackets are more comfortable and provide better protection against plaque, since they make it easier to keep your teeth clean.
C style brackets are translucent ceramic brackets that provide more comfortable treatment while also providing a much better appearance than traditional braces.
Your next step
Each smile that we create here at Newpark Orthodontics starts with a complimentary consultation. Each consultation includes exams, x-rays and photographs as needed. If you’ve been exploring the idea of braces, or alternatives to braces, for teens, we’d love to chat with you about all the options we offer.
Our friendly and experienced team provide orthodontic service for most of North Atlanta including Cumming, John’s Creek, Milton, Roswell, and Suwanee. We even have early morning, late evening, and Saturday appointments available for your convenience, so get in touch with us today to get started on the smile you’ve always wanted!