Say Cheese: What Are the Different Kinds of Braces?

Say Cheese: What Are the Different Kinds of Braces?

For most people all over the globe, braces are a rite of passage.

Many a youth (and even adult!) has had one of the several types of braces adorn their crooked, albeit quirky, smiles. About 4 million people wear braces in the US alone, with 25% of that number covering adults. Dental braces are largely painless, can be a permanent remedy, and have the added benefits of boosting self-confidence for years and years to come.

So, is it time for you to fix your misaligned jaw or out-of-place teeth? If so, you’ve got options. From the traditional braces to the modern ones and every style between, we highlight your choices below. 

Traditional Metal Braces

These are the types of braces for teeth you’re used to seeing: metal brackets that affix to your teeth and are connected by a wire.

Using the connection between the wire and brackets, these braces work to straighten your teeth all the way to the root of the tooth. If you’ve got crooked teeth or gaps in your teeth, this option is a common route for many.

The cost of traditional braces starts at about $5,000 for those without dental insurance and can go up depending on X-rays, orthodontic visits, and more.

Invisalign 

When it comes to Invisalign vs braces, there are several noticeable differences.

Invisalign is just that: virtually invisible. Using pressure from the clear aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth by fitting them to the mold. They’re also removable, unlike traditional braces, so you can take them out for meals, flossing, and such before returning them to your teeth.

Invisalign is meant to be worn all of the time otherwise. Every 8-10 weeks, you’ll get fitted for new clear trays that advance your teeth-straightening progress.

Invisalign typically costs about $3,500 to $8,000, and often, dental insurance doesn’t cover them.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are almost the same as traditional metal braces, with one big exception: they’re located on the back of your teeth instead of on the front. Because of their location, they may give wearers a lisp, as the tongue can’t fully hit the back of the teeth to enunciate. That also means that most of the discomfort with these braces is also on the tongue.

Lingual braces are perhaps one of the more expensive options, ranging from $5,000 to $13,000.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional braces, but they utilize clear- or tooth-colored brackets inside of metal. This color allows the braces to be more “invisible” than traditional dental braces.

The average timeline of ceramic braces is about 18 to 36 months, depending. 

Of course, ceramic does come with some downsides.

For example, they’re about two times more likely to fall off or fracture when compared to metal braces. Debonding may also result in enamel damage. Additionally, they’re about $1,000 to $2,000 more than metal braces.

Which Types of Braces Are Best for You?

That’s for you to decide!

Now you have all the information you need about the various types of braces on the market today. Depending on your lifestyle, your goals, and the severity (or not) of your orthodontic situation, different kinds will be better or worse for you.

We wish you all the luck in making a decision. Keep coming back to our blog for more great advice like this!

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About the Author: Wayne Probert

Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.