What You Need To Know About The Different Types of Teeth Braces for Adults?

Who remembers those bulky, metallic and uncomfortable big braces you used to see wrapped around a child’s teeth back in the day?  Yes, we do too!  But have no fear as thanks to ample progress in the field of orthodontics over recent years, there are now multiple modern orthodontic options to choose from when it comes to straightening your teeth – and they are far more comfortable, much less bulky and far less noticeable than you might think, making them popular among adults who have always dreamed of having a perfectly straight smile!

You’ll be pleased to hear that the days of ‘‘one size fits all’’ are long gone when it comes to orthodontics with each modern brace type having different pros, cons, specialities and costs.  So if you’re dreaming of the ultimate Hollywood smile and are considering orthodontics, here’s everything you need to know about the different types of teeth braces for adults:

Modern Metal Braces

Let’s start with the traditional brace type that most people have heard of, the ‘‘train-track’’ type brace.  It may sound bulky and uncomfortable, but modern metal braces are now much smaller and far more discreet than ever before, but they are still just as durable and efficient in moving teeth into the desired position.

How they work: When fitting adult braces, Birmingham patients must have metal brackets fitted to the surface of their teeth. An archwire is then placed through the brackets with small elastic bands on either side. The brackets and bands work together by applying a gentle pressure on your teeth to gradually move them into the corrected position.

Duration of treatment: Treatment times vary on the severity of the misalignment, but it can take up to 18 months. During this time patients will need to have their braces adjusted every 6–8 weeks by an Orthodontist.

Aftercare: Once your brace is removed your dentist may fit a retainer to help keep your teeth in their new position.

The cost: Modern metal braces are our most inexpensive orthodontic option and are typically recommended for patients with moderate to severely misaligned teeth.  With Orthodontics For You, our metal braces start from £2,150 per arch (your top row of teeth is one arch, and your bottom row of teeth is another arch); if you want braces on both arches then the cost will be higher (but not usually double).  And with our monthly direct debit option, you can spread the cost of your orthodontic treatment without having to undergo credit checks.

The Pros:

  • An effective treatment option for almost all case types.
  • Affordable (with finance options available).
  • Easy to keep clean and maintain.
  • Robust and incredibly durable.

The Cons:

  • Despite the development of metal braces in recent years, they are still more noticeable than their competitors (ceramic and lingual braces for example).

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces offer all the benefits of a traditional brace, but with a more subtle ceramic bracket – ideal for adults wanting a discreet treatment option.

How they work: So how do braces work for adults, particularly the ceramic kind? Ceramic braces function very similarly to modern metal braces in that they are made up of brackets and bands, but the tooth-coloured brackets are much smoother with more rounded edges meaning they lie flatter against your teeth, making them more comfortable and less noticeable.

Duration of treatment: You’ll need to wear your brace for approximately 12 – 18 months and during this time you will need to visit your Orthodontist every 6 weeks so they can monitor the progress of the brace and adjust it as required to ensure it continues to exert the right amount of pressure.

Aftercare: Once your brace is removed, your dentist may fit a retainer to help keep your teeth in their new position.  Some patients are required to wear their retainer for a set period of time, both during the day and whilst sleeping, whereas others will only need to wear retainers at night.

The cost: Ceramic braces are a great treatment option for correcting gaps between teeth, crowded teeth or mildly misaligned teeth, and they do so with ease!  With Orthodontics For You, our ceramic braces are available from £2,600 for adult patients.

Can’t quite afford to make that payment in one go?  Don’t worry – you can spread the cost of your treatment with our monthly direct debit option.  Click here for everything you need to know about financing your smile.

The Pros:

  • Less visible than modern metal braces, helping patients feel less self-conscious about their smile whilst undergoing treatment.
  • Straightforward to fit (taking no more than approximately half an hour per arch/row of teeth), maintain and remove.

The Cons:

  • More noticeable than other brace types BUT there are many different designs available to aid subtlety of treatment.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign clear aligners are rapidly growing in popularity and are loved by celebrities all over the world… it’s no wonder they are the market leader in clear aligners!

How they work: Invisalign clear aligners are a virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth using cutting-edge 3D computer-imaging technology that compares the current and final/straightened position of your teeth to map out a treatment plan.  Your Orthodontist will issue you with a series of transparent aligners (similar to retainers) instead of traditional braces with brackets and wires, which you will need to wear approximately 23 hours per day, changing the aligner every 1 to 2 weeks (but you can do this from the comfort of your own home).

Duration of treatment: On average, you can expect to wear your Invisalign ‘‘brace’’ for 6 to 12 months, but our Orthodontists will be able to advise of a more exact period during your complimentary consultation.

Aftercare: Wearing a retainer after your Invisalign treatment is a big part of your aftercare journey, but it’s not the only part… You’ll need to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day too.

Cost: Available from £4,000 with affordable finance options.

The Pros:

  • The only removeable orthodontic treatment option; patients can continue to enjoy all the foods they love without restriction (as the aligners are removed for eating and brushing!).
  • Made from a strong material to withstand any bending or cracking.
  • Trimmed to fit your exact gum line.
  • Easy to put in and take out.
  • More comfortable than traditional, fixed braces.
  • Almost invisible.
  • Low maintenance with minimal visits to your Orthodontist.

The Cons:

  • Because they are removeable, they can become lost or broken resulting in additional expense and time added to your treatment plan.
  • Patients must remember to wear them as instructed by their Orthodontist (it can be easy to forget about them or wear them for less time than advised).
  • Progress may not be monitored as regularly by your Orthodontist (compared to other brace types) because you don’t need to visit the practice throughout treatment.

Hidden Lingual Braces

Incognito braces are the hidden lingual braces that will move your teeth without anyone knowing you are wearing a brace… yes, really!

How they work: Incognito braces look and function similarly to the traditional fixed brace, but with one major difference… Instead of fitting the brace to the front of the teeth, the brace is fitted to the back of the teeth (on the tongue side of the mouth – also known as the lingual side).  It’s this ‘‘Incognito’’ effect that makes them such a popular choice, particularly among adults who are perhaps self-conscious about wearing a brace.

Aftercare: Once treatment finishes, you will need to wear retainers for around 4 to 12 months; this could be all day/every day or just at night.

The cost and duration of treatment: Our lingual braces are priced from £4,200 and treatment times vary between 12 to 24 months with many patients starting to see results after only a matter of weeks.

The Pros:

  • Virtually invisible (you can smile, go on dates, apply for your dream job or eat in public whilst undergoing treatment without any worries about how your teeth look).
  • Incognito braces are totally bespoke to each individual, meaning your brace will be designed specifically for you to achieve the perfect smile.
  • An effective treatment option for even the most complex cases.

The Cons:

  • Because this brace type is so effective and discreet, they are our most expensive fixed brace option.

When it comes to dental braces, the list doesn’t end there… Whether you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to wear a full brace, QuickSmile is another orthodontic option well worth considering.  Quiksmile orthodontics only fixes the teeth you want to straighten without the need of a prominent full brace treatment; it is a sectional brace that is only fitted to the few teeth you need straightening and could be fitted using traditional metal braces, ceramic braces or hidden incognito braces.  Prices start from £1,650, but as a rule of thumb, the more discreet the brace system is, the more expensive your QuikSmile brace will be.

Figuring out which brace type would best suit you can be a challenge, but that’s where Orthodontics For You can help!  Our goal is to deliver the smile we know you deserve and to ensure you receive high standards of care, treated by the very best Orthodontists.  We invite all prospective patients for a complimentary, no obligation consultation to assess their teeth and requirements.  A dedicated Patient Co-Ordinator will then talk through which brace options would work best, explaining the process of fitting, wearing and removing that brace, the expected duration of treatment for you, and financing.  So what are you waiting for?  Register for your free consultation today!  Plus, we do teeth whitening too!

Psst! Over 60% of our patients are adults (over the age of 18), proving that braces are no longer ‘‘just for kids.’’


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