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The Different Types of Braces (Plus a Quiz to Help You Choose the Right Kind!)

By February 3, 2019September 14th, 2023No Comments

Braces didn’t always have the best reputation. That’s because, back in the day, they used to be pretty bulky and uncomfortable. Plus, the only real option was traditional metal braces. Thanks to all sorts of innovations in orthodontics, there are more options for straightening your teeth than ever before. At 914 Orthodontics, we offer the most advanced types of braces, as well as Invisalign in Tarrytown at our practice. Whether you’d like a splash of color or you’d prefer to keep your treatment under wraps, you’ll find an option to suit your style. Though the only way to truly determine which type of orthodontic treatment will give you the best results is to come in for a free consultation, here are the types of braces we have at our practice to give you a better idea of what your choices may be.

New and Improved Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are usually what come to mind for most people when they think about straightening their teeth. When considering your treatment options, don’t write them off. They’re much more attractive and comfortable than they were in the past and they work really well on a wide variety of cases, which is why they’re still the most common form of treatment. However, there are different types of metal braces and not every one is created equal. Being the high-tech practice we are, Dr. Kothari uses a modern, low profile version with ultra-light, slim brackets that are made of a space age, metal alloy. The brackets are bonded to the teeth and stay in place for the duration of your treatment. Thin, shape-memory arch wires are then threaded through the brackets to act as a track that guides the teeth into place. You can accent them with elastics in tons of fun colors, which is one of the reasons these are the most popular of the types of braces for kids and teens (though many adults love them too). Our metal braces are small and once you get acclimated to them, you’ll forget they’re even there.

The Metal Braces Quiz

1. Are you good at keeping track of things like your keys or your homework?
A.   No. I lose everything!
B.   Yup. I’m responsible when it comes to my belongings.

2. Do you like to wear color?
A.   The more colorful the better. I love showing off my personality.
B.   Nah. I prefer a more conservative look.

3. Do you care if people know you’re straightening your teeth?
A.   Not at all. Bring on the braces!
B.   I don’t want a noticeable form of treatment.

4. Would you be able to temporarily give up certain foods like popcorn if you knew the end result was a fantastic smile?
A.   Yes. See ya on the other side, popcorn.
B.   No. I need a steady stream of popcorn and sticky candy in my diet.

If you answered “A” to one or more questions, metal braces could be a good option for you.

Under-the-Radar Ceramic Braces

Just like metal braces, ceramic braces rely on brackets and wires to transform your smile. However, they’re made of a translucent, ceramic material that blends in with your grin. They’re a lot less noticeable than metal braces. When clear braces first came on the market, they weren’t as durable as their metal counterparts and they were prone to staining. That’s not the case anymore. The type we use are guaranteed not to discolor and are extremely strong. In addition to matching your smile, the brackets are smooth, round and about 30% smaller than conventional clear braces, making them very comfortable. Our clear braces are one of the most requested types of braces for adults and teens who don’t want to draw attention to the fact they’re in orthodontic treatment.

The Clear Braces Quiz

1. Do you lose things often?
A.   Yes. I lose my car keys at least once a week.
B.   No. I have an excellent memory.

2. Do you like drawing attention to your smile?
A.   Not particularly. Maybe once treatment is over I will!
B.   Yes. I like the idea of wearing metal braces.

3. Do you mind if people are aware you’re in orthodontic treatment?
A.   Somewhat. I’m okay if they see that I’m straightening my teeth but I’d rather it not be super noticeable.
B.   I don’t want anyone to know.

4. Do you follow a dedicated oral hygiene routine?
A.   I’m a pro at brushing and flossing and I don’t mind putting in a little extra effort if it means getting my dream smile.
B.   I brush and floss but I don’t know if I’d keep up with cleaning around my brackets and wires.

If you answered “A” to one or more of the questions, keep clear braces on your short list of preferred treatment options.

Virtually Invisible Clear Aligners

Okay, so technically clear aligners, like Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen, aren’t types of braces but they are orthodontic appliances that can give you your dream smile with minimal interference in your day-to-day life. The treatments consist of a series of clear aligners that gradually move the teeth into place. We take a digital scan of your mouth using our iTero® scanner and a computerized, 3D model of your mouth is created. Dr. Kothari maps out your tooth movements directly on the model and then the customized, clear aligners are made based on his prescription. You’ll wear the aligners for about 22 hours per day, changing them every one to two weeks, depending on your treatment plan. As you make your way through the series, your new smile will take shape. Since the aligners are crafted from BPA-free, smooth, clear plastic and they slip right over your teeth with no brackets and wires involved, they’re barely noticeable. You’ll take them out to eat and brush and floss your teeth, which ensures your oral hygiene will stay on track and you won’t have any food restrictions during treatment.

The Invisalign Quiz

1. Do you think you’ll be able to keep tabs on your aligners when you’re not wearing them?
A.   Eh. I’ve been known to lose things on a daily basis and would probably be better suited to having brackets bonded to my teeth.
B.   Sure. That’s what the Invisalign case is for.

2. Are you an avid gum chewer, pizza crust connoisseur, popcorn lover or sticky candy aficionado?
A.   No, and the things on that list I do like, I’m willing to give up to get straight teeth.
B.   I don’t want any food restrictions during my orthodontic treatment!

3. Are you okay if other people know that you’re straightening your teeth?
A.   I don’t mind sporting a metallic glimmer on my smile.
B.   I want to keep it a secret. So, give me the most discreet form of treatment you have.

4. Do you play sports or an instrument?
A.   No or if I do play sports, I’m cool wearing a mouthguard.
B.   Yes, and I’m afraid brackets and wires would get in the way.

If you answered “B” to one or more questions, consider Invisalign or Invisalign Teen.

Now that you’re an expert in the different types of braces and you probably have some idea as to what kind of treatment would be right for you, book a free consultation with our Tarrytown orthodontist Dr. Kothari! To schedule your visit, contact 914 Orthodontics online or by calling us or texting us at (914) 332-0900.

Dr. Kothari

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