The field of orthodontics has been around for a few centuries, but modern advancements in dentistry have given us virtually endless possibilities in today’s world. Over the past few decades, braces have evolved to be more sleek, comfortable, and aesthetic. At Knight Orthodontics in Louisville, KY, and Radcliff, KY, Dr. Knight offers several different types of braces to meet your individual needs and goals. Now, orthodontic patients have more options than ever before.

Metal Braces

Silver in color, metal braces are the most common and cost-effective type of appliance used in orthodontic treatment. Composed of surgical-grade stainless steel, metal braces have become more sleek and comfortable in recent years. A combination of brackets, wires, and bands is used to apply a gentle, constant force to your teeth. This mild pressure will gradually move your teeth into their desired new positions.

The archwire is held in place with small elastic ties, that are wrapped around each bracket. These elastic ties come in a wide variety of color choices. Some patients choose subtle, monotone colors. Others choose more bright, vivid, colorful options. You may even choose to wear your beloved sports team’s colors, or festive hues to celebrate your favorite holiday. There are endless ways to make braces fun, and express your individuality!

Ceramic Braces

Clear or tooth-colored braces are a popular choice for patients who desire a more aesthetically pleasing option. These braces work the same as traditional metal braces but are made of ceramic or porcelain materials. The metal archwire is frosted to make it white in color, for a less noticeable effect. This choice is quite common in our adult patients or anyone who prefers a more discreet orthodontic appliance. Ceramic braces are more costly than conventional metal braces, but many patients find the added aesthetic benefit is well worth it.

Because ceramic is more fragile than metal, these braces can be slightly less durable. However, should anything happen to your archwire or brackets, we can fit you into our schedule right away to address the issue. It is wise to limit coffee, tea, and red wine while wearing ceramic braces, as the elastic ties around the brackets tend to stain. However, this is not an urgent situation, as the elastics are changed at each monthly appointment. You can also avoid staining by maintaining excellent dental hygiene throughout your treatment and brushing your teeth after every meal. As always, we recommend abstaining from tobacco products. Not only does smoking stain your teeth and elastics, but it also compromises your overall health.

Aside from minor challenges, clear or tooth-colored braces are the preferred choice for many patients. We can help you decide if ceramic braces are a practical option for you.

Invisible Braces

Clear aligner trays have become very popular with teen and adult patients, especially since it is the least conspicuous style of orthodontic corrective treatment. Some patients can benefit from this type of appliance. However, it must be noted it is not for everyone. Because proper orthodontic treatment is comprehensive, many patients may not achieve the full benefit of orthodontic treatment with invisible braces alone. The cost for invisible braces is notably higher than traditional options.

A primary cause for concern regarding invisible braces is they lack the ability to treat comprehensively. While they can effectively correct minor misalignment, they are not recommended for patients who need more extensive modifications. Invisible braces cannot move teeth vertically or rotate them, nor can they repair issues with back tooth occlusion. Additionally, many patients find it is easy to forget to wear invisible trays. A lack of compliance can result in a longer treatment time.

Though invisible braces are not for everyone, Dr. Knight is happy to see you for a free consultation to determine if you may be a candidate.