What to Know Before Getting Braces

Dentist Blog

Braces are becoming common today with more adults and teenagers getting them to straighten their teeth. Unlike some years back where braces were only made of metal, today braces come in different materials, colours and designs depending on the preference of the patient. Braces involve a a large time commitment, even up to three years; therefore, before getting them, you should be ready to dedicate time and effort to maintaining them.

There are various factors to be considered once you decide to get braces. They are:

Payment plan

Braces are expensive and getting them is an added financial responsibility that you should be ready to take up. How are you going to pay for the braces and dental procedures involved? If you have a medical insurance cover, you can consult with your insurer to find out whether the insurance will cover the cost. If not, you should be in a position to pay for them out of your pocket.

Types of braces

Nowadays, braces come in different materials, styles and colours. Different braces have different costs depending on the material used. You need to determine the best type of braces you need depending on your financial status and your dental requirements. You can consult your orthodontist when choosing the best braces. The different types of braces that are commonly used include:

Metal braces

Metal braces are the most inexpensive type of braces today. They are made of stainless steel brackets. The braces hold a thin wire in place with rubber bands to apply pressure on teeth and move them to the right place. Metal braces are quite visible when worn. They require one to watch what they eat; therefore, one should avoid food that will stick to the braces or hard foods that may dislodge them.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces are more costly than stainless steel braces, but they are designed to blend with the teeth so they are less visible. You can choose between white metal ties and clear elastic ties to hold the braces in place. Ceramic braces can be easily discoloured by foods and beverages that stain teeth, such as coffee. You should therefore watch your diet once you get them.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces use the same brackets and wires used in metal braces, but they are installed behind the teeth to keep them hidden. Due to the complexity of the procedure, lingual braces are more expensive than metal and ceramic braces.

Invisible braces

Invisible or Invisalign braces are the most expensive types of braces. They are practically invisible. They are made of a series of customized plastic aligners that are removable when eating or brushing your teeth. Invisible braces require replacement after every few weeks in order to keep the teeth moving in the desired direction. In order to achieve the best results, you are required to wear these braces for a specified minimum number of hours every day.


27 July 2015

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.