Having braces does not have to completely alter your appearance. Although you might already be uncomfortable with the misalignment of your teeth, the thought of large metal brackets protruding from your mouth may make you even more uncomfortable. Nevertheless, there are orthodontic alignment options available that are not as noticeable on the teeth as traditional metal braces. Here are a few of these options:
Plastic Trays That Align the Teeth
Plastic aligners are clear trays that are used to help the teeth shift into position. If these appliances are used to treat your dental misalignment, you can expect to be given a series of aligning trays. Each tray in the series is worn for a few weeks and subsequently replaced by the next tray in your treatment progression plan.
The aligning trays fit comfortably into the mouth, covering your teeth. Since you wear them as you would a mouthguard, the trays can be inserted and removed by the patient.
The ability to remove the trays can be quite handy, especially as you eat or clean your teeth. However, it is important to wear the trays as much as possible. Your dentist will expect you to wear your aligners for the majority of the day so that your treatment progression is not delayed.
Brackets That Are Positioned on the Back of the Teeth
The brackets of traditional braces usually rest on the front of the teeth, where they are readily visible. However, there are braces that can be positioned on the back side of the teeth. These devices are called lingual braces due to their placement near the tongue.
Lingual braces provide the same amount of alignment force as traditional metal brackets, but they are not visible when you talk or eat.
The brackets are still made of metal, and the aligning force is adjusted through the repositioning of an archwire that is situated through the brackets in a manner similar to the archwire of conventional braces.
Brackets That Are Made of White Ceramic
Even if your braces are on the front of the teeth, there are options available to minimize their appearance. One of these options is the use of ceramic brackets.
Conventional metal braces are often noticeable because of the obvious difference in color between the metal and the tooth enamel. However, with ceramic brackets, the braces are white like your teeth. As a result, the brackets blend better with your teeth and are much less noticeable.
To learn about more orthodontic options that are difficult to discern in the mouth, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist like John C. Matunas D.D.S., PA in your area.