types-of-braces

Orthodontic treatment has gone through some major changes in recent years, giving patients more options than ever before when it comes to achieving a healthy, confident smile. Using state-of-the-art technology and innovative techniques, Dr. Chuck Carlson and the team at Surf City Smiles are able to successfully treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, including:

  • crowded teeth
  • gaps between teeth
  • protruding teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • impacted teeth

We’re able to do this using a variety of treatment methods, including multiple types of braces. These are the most common type of orthodontic treatment, and have seen a number of changes to their design, shape, size, and even color! The days of bulky brackets that stand out are long gone—today’s braces are smaller, more aesthetically pleasing, and are able to more efficiently move the teeth. 

If you’ve been considering pursuing braces treatment to improve your oral health, you may be wondering what options are available to you. Your initial appointment with Dr. Carlson will include a thorough orthodontic examination that will help him determine which treatment option is right for you, your unique smile, and your lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at the different types of braces available, how they differ, and how Surf City Smiles can use them to give you a beautiful smile you can’t wait to show off!

A note about traditional braces

Braces are incredibly good at fixing complex tooth issues and can work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. This has the potential to shorten your treatment time! Since every case is different, there is no “one size fits all” treatment time with metal braces will. In most cases, however, the average tends to be anywhere from 14-24 months. Signs of improvement are often visible in just a short period of time, which can be very encouraging! 

The maintenance involved with traditional braces can come with a slight learning curve in the beginning, but it gets easier over time. A good dental hygiene routine is essential for oral health, especially during your orthodontic treatment. There are many orthodontic accessories available that have been designed to make cleaning braces easier, such as waterpiks, which help rinse any hard to reach areas, and ortho picks to assist with flossing. 

Some foods must be avoided while you’re wearing braces in order to keep them safe. This includes anything sticky or crunchy since these foods can damage the brackets and wires. Remember this won’t last forever, though, and it will all be worth it once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile!

As a patient wearing traditional braces, you can expect follow-up visits with us every eight weeks or so throughout the treatment process. During these appointments, Dr. Carlson will check the progress your teeth are making, change the bands that are attached to the brackets, and replace any wires that may be worn out. These check-ups tend to be pretty quick, and though there may be some slight residual soreness after each adjustment, it should only be temporary. These visits are a very important part of the overall treatment plan and will help to ensure the best results in the least amount of time, so try your best not to miss them. 

types-of-braces

Metal braces

Metal braces are one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics, and also the most common type of treatment. Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, the brackets are very durable and long-lasting. 

Modern metal braces are much more comfortable and lightweight than they used to be, and they’re also customizable, thanks to a variety of fun colored bands to choose from! These braces deliver excellent results and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complex.

Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments might, 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 for orthodontics, year after year. 

Ceramic braces

Also referred to as clear braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces, ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do. However, they have the added benefit of semi-translucent or 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 a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option. Although ceramic braces are tough, the material they are made from can be prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made. 

Ceramic brackets are often slightly more costly 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. That said, ceramic braces can be an excellent option for many patients. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties, they are an incredibly discreet and efficient way to straighten smiles! 

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

The Invisalign system consists of clear, removable aligners that are customized to fit comfortably over the teeth. Like traditional braces, the aligners gently move the teeth into the desired positions. This is accomplished by wearing them 20-22 hours per day throughout the course of treatment, and replacing 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! 

types-of-braces

Braces to work with every smile at Surf City Smiles

No two smiles are the same, and what will work for one patient may not be a good choice for another. That’s why the team at Surf City Smiles creates a personalized treatment plan for every patient! Dr. Carlson has the education, skills, and experience necessary to recommend the course of treatment that’s best for your unique smile. 

If you’re in Huntington Beach, we’d love to meet you and talk more about how braces can give you a confident smile you love! Get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation.