Braces come in several different forms and are used to straighten your teeth and align your bite. Braces help improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth but also help them function better for ideal health. Braces can come in regular bracket and band form or tray form, and the best type of braces for you will be recommended based on your individual needs.
Typical braces consist of a set of brackets bonded on each tooth as well as sometimes bands that wrap around the molars for support. The teeth are slowly shifted and aligned with slow movement from various thicknesses of archwires and elastics. The braces usually start with a thin archwire to get the teeth aligned and end with a thick archwire to complete final touches. Sometimes the addition of elastics will need to be used to adjust the way the teeth bite together. The elastics can be hooked in any number of variations from the top to the bottom arch. The typical time frame for braces is around 1.5 to 2 years but varies considerably based on each case.
Aligners will achieve the same final result but will get you there in a different way. Aligners consist of a series of plastic trays that are designed for your specific case. Aligners use “attachments” that are bonded to some of your teeth to move the teeth into position slowly. The benefit of aligners is that they are not noticeable, and it’s easier to clean your teeth, but they require compliance for them to work, you have to wear them at least 20-22 hours a day.