There are several types of appliances that can be used to straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment. The type used for each patient will depend on their individual orthodontic problems and goals.
The most common type of braces are made of metal. Most people that you see with braces probably have this type. Patients frequently customize these braces with different colors that can be changed at each appointment.
Clear braces are very much like the traditional metal braces, except they are made of a translucent material very close to the color of teeth. While not really invisible, they are less noticeable than metal braces.
Both clear and metal braces can work very well to align a patient’s teeth. Both are attached to the teeth and remain in place until the treatment is complete, so the patient does not have to be concerned with forgetting to wear their appliance. For patients with clear or metal braces, appointments are scheduled with the orthodontist every six weeks for adjustments.
Elastics are small rubber bands that the patient attaches to small hooks on the braces. They provide pressure to move the teeth to the desired positions.
After active treatment with braces is completed, all patients are given custom retainers. They are worn to maintain the correction that was accomplished with the braces. Retainers are a very important part of orthodontic treatment. They are worn full time at first, followed by night-time wear for an indefinite period of time. Retainers are an easy and long term investment in your smile.