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Posts for tag: braces

By Special Care Dentistry
December 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

Choosing braces is a little more complicated than you might think. Although you probably associate the word "braces" with metal wires and brackets, today's choices aren't limited to metal braces alone. Your Landover and Suitland, MD, dentist, Dr. Nekia Staley-Neither of Special Care Dentistry, can help you evaluate your orthodontic options—read below to see an overview!

What types of braces are available?

Orthodontic treatment options include:

  • Metal Braces: Metal braces consist of metal wires threaded through brackets attached to the teeth with dental cement. Regular adjustments gradually realign the teeth to improve their appearance. Metal braces close gaps between teeth, eliminate crowding, and correct mild to severe orthodontic bite problems, including overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.
  • Clear Braces: Clear braces are a good choice if you would like your braces to be a little less noticeable. These braces consist of clear or tooth-colored ceramic brackets and clear, metal, or tooth-colored wires. The braces are recommended for mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces attach to the back of teeth, keeping your braces out of sight. The braces are more expensive than metal or clear braces because they're custom made for your mouth.
  • Invisalign: The Invisalign system repositions teeth using clear removable aligner trays that resemble mouthguards or nightguards. Trays are worn for approximately 22 hours per day for two weeks, then replaced with the next set in the series. Invisalign is a good choice if you're looking for a more convenient, discreet orthodontic treatment option and have mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
  • Retainers: Retainers are worn after you complete your treatment and they prevent your teeth from moving. Removable retainers may be worn constantly for a few months after the completion of treatment, then worn at night only. Permanent retainers, another option, are cemented to your teeth and are never removed.
  • Other Orthodontic Appliances: Your Landover or Suitland dentist may also recommend several other appliances during your treatment, such as palatal expanders or lingual arches. Palatal expanders relieve crowding and improve breathing by widening the space in your upper arch. A lingual arch prevents teeth from shifting if you've lost a baby tooth prematurely.

Are you ready to find out which type of braces are right for you? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Nekia Staley-Neither of Special Care Dentistry by calling (301) 850-5015 for the Landover, MD, office or (301) 735-3006 for the Suitland office.


Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

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