Orthodontics mostly known as Braces, a word to all the pre-teens out there who are suffering through constant taunts of “metal mouth”: at least you’re in good company. Braces go all the way back to the days of the mummies; some of them have been found with crude metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Archaeologists think those bands were connected by catgut, stretched taut to pull the teeth together. Hippocrates and Aristotle are both on record wondering about ways to straighten teeth, too, and the Etruscans (precursors of the Romans) buried their dead with their dental appliances still installed. One Roman who died in Egypt even had a super-deluxe version; his teeth were bound with gold wire, which may make him the first recorded person in history to sport a binged-out grill.

Types of Braces

A. Self –Ligating
Self-ligating braces are similar to traditional orthodontic braces in their material make-up and have the same basic function. As with traditional metal braces, there are several variations of self-ligating braces. Self-ligating means that the bracket can basically tie itself to the arch wire.

There are no metal or elastic ties necessary with self-ligating braces as a built in “trap door” can be slid or flipped closed to engage the wire. This trap door holds the wire loosely in position, which reduces friction, but also allows less control of tooth movement.

B. Sapphire
Sapphire Inspire is made of pure monocrystalline sapphire and is very translucent. They are very strong and do not stain. It will more or less disappear if your teeth are already very white. The pros and cons for Sapphire brackets are the same as those for Ceramic brackets.

C. Ceramic
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth. It is made of a high tech glass-like composite material developed as a spinoff material by the NASA space program. They are very strong and generally doing not stain. These are the type of braces many celebrities had worn/wear. Adults like to choose ceramic because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal and don’t make our smile look metallic. A clear or tooth colored tie is used with ceramic braces. Most family and friends will not even notice your braces. Ceramic braces are guaranteed not to stain by the manufacturer, barring some foods, coffee, coke, curry, smoking etc and are expensive.

2. Invisalign
Invisalign are great for people who do not have severe problems. The treatment trays are computer-fabricated by Align Technologies, the company that makes Invisalign. The “braces” consist of strong plastic trays that are custom fabricated especially for you, as everybody has a unique jaw structure. But the patients with severe malocclusions, the better option would be to wear traditional metal braces. Your orthodontist only has some control over your Invisalign treatment. It is best to get Invisalign done by a trained orthodontist so, if your orthodontist says that you are not a candidate for Invisalign, you should probably believe it! If he or she says that Invisalign will work for you, then go for it! The cases are replete with people who have had very successful Invisalign treatment and who have been very happy with the results. These braces are indeed invisible; these appeals to adults; no irritation to gums; they do not stain.

3. Myofunctional Appliances
The Myomunchee is essentially a preventive tool, which can be used by parents to overcome bad habits in young children (2 to 5yrs) which are detrimental to their overall health such as mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, poor chewing habits, resulting in weak muscle tone in the facial muscles and inferior quality alveolar bone which holds the teeth.

The Myo comes in a range of sizes and shapes, to accommodate various oral problems, such as crooked teeth, bleeding gums and TMJ joint pain. Very often, these oral difficulties simply require dedication to daily use of the Myo. Using it to exercise the muscles, stimulates the gums, promote salivary flow to keep the mouth and stomach healthy, or to prevent clenching of the teeth nocturnally.

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