Self-ligating Metal Braces
Self-ligating metal braces are comprised of brackets that are affixed to teeth and wires that are threaded through slots in the brackets. Some patients may also have metal bands encircling back teeth. Built-in clips hold the wires to the brackets. Metal brackets are generally made of stainless steel. Wires are made of metal alloys and deliver a constant, gentle force to move teeth.
Self-ligating Ceramic Braces
Self-ligating ceramic braces are tooth-colored, making them next-to-invisible. They are affixed to teeth, and wires are threaded through slots in the brackets. Built-in clips hold the wires to the brackets. Brackets are made of ceramic or porcelain materials. Wires are made of metal alloys and deliver a constant, gentle force to move teeth.
Aligners, such as the Invisalign® System, are clear, thin, plastic-like trays that are formed to fit an individual’s teeth. Patients are responsible for putting in and removing their aligners. A series of aligners is created to move teeth. Each aligner is worn for 2-3 weeks, and moves teeth a fraction of a millimeter at a time. Patients must remove aligners for meals and when brushing/flossing. The number of aligners needed to correct misaligned teeth varies based on the individual’s orthodontic problem and its correction.
Like the Invisalign® System for adults, Invisalign Teen™ is a way to straighten teeth without metal braces, using aligners. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. You can still eat and drink what you want. Also, you can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth, and there are no wires, metal or brackets to cause mouth abrasions.