11/07/2012  |  
Posted in orthodontics
Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Adult Orthodontics

Perhaps you're an adult who could benefit from orthodontic treatment — but you're worried that metal braces will clash with your professional image. Did you know that, besides the standard silvery orthodontic appliances, there are a number of other options available?

Traditional metal braces are something you can't help noticing — but even though you may have seen clear braces, you might not have noticed them. Like traditional braces, they consist of small brackets bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, with a horizontal wire running through them. What's the difference? Instead of metal, clear braces use ceramic or plastic brackets, which blend in with the color of your teeth. The thin wire is the only part that's visible.

Removable clear aligners offer an alternative to fixed braces. They're actually a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit precisely over your teeth, and gradually move them to the desired position. Designed with specialized computer modeling, they're nearly invisible and can be removed for a few hours at a time if needed.

Another option is lingual braces: These are similar to the traditional ones, except they're bonded to the back of your teeth instead of the front, so no one can see them! While not all orthodontic appliances are appropriate for every person, your dentist can help determine which one is best for you. Learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

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