People of a certain age will naturally respond with a shudder at the thought of braces. The unseemly and uncomfortable fixed metal brackets that made it impossible to eat certain foods, made eating normal food messy and worst of all, made you stand out a mile off. Being forced to wear a brace in your teenage years, because that is when braces are most effective, always seemed like some sort of cruel irony, but luckily for this and future generations, orthodontic treatment has definitely changed.
Modern braces are almost unrecognisable from those of the past. Smaller, slicker and more discreet to the point of invisibility, the reign of the train-track metal brace is over. Today, patients are faced with a choice of many different types of treatment, all with their own distinct advantage ranging from the discreet to the ultra fast. If discretion is the top priority, retainer braces such as Invisalign offer teeth straightening with one millimetre thick clear plastic retainers that are almost invisible. They are also completely removable so can be taken out for important occasions and, crucially, for eating. By using a system of twenty or so retainers worn for two to three week periods, Invisalign offers straightening without any aesthetic damage.
For patients looking for a quick fix, after all some braces do require more than two years of treatment, revolutionary new braces such as the Inman aligner and Six-Month Smile can straighten teeth 75 per cent faster than most conventional braces. By focusing more on the teeth visible when smiling, these braces use tooth coloured titanium wires to put the finishing touches to smiles in record time. Because of the incredible straightening power of these new braces, they are increasingly being used in the run up to special occasions and are very popular with brides-to-be.
For perfectly straight results patients can use the newest version of the fixed metal brace. The Damon brace bears a slight resemblance to the old train-track braces, with the emphasis being on slight. The system uses small fixed brackets made of clear plastic and white ceramic and a revolutionary self-ligating wire that requires no tightening.
All these new braces vary in cost and suitability for each patient. A Central Leeds dentist will be able to give a further guide to prices and assess which brace would be most suitable for your teeth. What is for sure however is that thankfully dental technology has progressed and braces are no longer something to be feared.