An Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry: Facts, Questions and More

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Understanding Your Choices for Orthodontic Braces

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Orthodontic braces can be a very good choice for anyone, even adults, as they can make your smile look its best. Braces also protect teeth from unnecessary wear, as teeth that are crooked and pushing up against each other can cause enamel erosion; this can make teeth more susceptible to cracks, chips and even breakage. Note a few choices you might have for braces to ensure you know what to discuss with your dentist or orthodontist to help you choose the best option for your oral healthcare needs.


Ceramic braces are similar to traditional wire braces, except the wires are made of a clear or lightly colored ceramic material, rather than grey wires. This makes ceramic braces far less visible; they are then a good choice for adults who need to look their best for their careers, or for self-conscious teenagers who aren't comfortable with having a mouth full of metal! In some cases, the ceramic can become slightly discolored, so talk to your orthodontist about how to ensure these braces don't stain.

Slider braces

Slider braces look like traditional wire braces, except that they don't have elastic bands that keep them in place. Instead, the brace itself works with a type of slider that is used to tighten them and keep them snug against the teeth, gently nudging the teeth into position. Slider braces are sometimes more expensive than traditional wire braces, but there is no risk of the bands snapping, and less discomfort from standard elastic bands rubbing against the mouth while the braces are installed.


If your teeth are very crowded, expanders can work to push them into better alignment. These expanders sit on your palate, or the roof of your mouth and push the teeth from behind. These expanders may be less obtrusive than standard wire braces, and may mean less discomfort. However, they do need added cleaning, as they can hold germs and bacteria against the roof of the mouth, and they aren't designed for teeth that have gaps and spaces between them.

Lingual braces

LIngual braces are placed at the back of the teeth rather than the front. Even though this makes them invisible, it's more difficult for an orthodontist to install and adjust these braces, and they may cause more interference with eating and speaking than traditional braces. Use caution in deciding on these braces, and ensure your orthodontist is skilled in installing and adjusting them.

Contact an orthodontist who offers custom braces for more information.