One of the most common orthodontic options - and usually prescribed for children - metal braces are the least expensive option and also the most noticeable, with one downside being that they can limit the hardness of the foods you eat.
“For children we have the metallic braces and we make sure that wearing them is a pleasant experience for them by changing the colours of the bands on every visit and explaining to them every step of the treatment,” says Dr Salam Alkhayyat, Orthodontist Specialist at Drs. Nicolas & Asp Centers. “According to the American Academy of Orthodontics, it’s recommended to have the first orthodontic consultation before the age of seven. By diagnosing and treating an early problem, you can avoid or shorten the whole orthodontic treatment.”
Using the same metal brackets and wires that are used in traditional braces, lingual braces are fitted behind the teeth, meaning they’re hidden. This does however make them harder to clean, and they can be less effective than braces worn on the front of the tooth. Adjustments can also take longer than with metal or ceramic options.
“Lingual braces offer a complete invisible look to patients as they go on the back-side of the teeth,” says Dr Yahya Tosun, Orthodontist at the British Dental Clinic. “They are bonded to the teeth with a special adhesive and deliver great results similar to fixed ceramic braces on the facial surfaces of the teeth.” Adding, “Thanks to cutting edge technology, the treatments today are much more comfortable and far shorter compared with the past. Typically, an average case alignment takes about 12 months. However it could take three to 18 months depending on [other] factors.”
If you’re looking for braces that are less noticeable than other variations whilst being just as effective, ceramics are a great option. The same as metal braces in both shape and size, they are made up of tooth-coloured or clear brackets meaning they blend more naturally into your smile, and you can even opt for tooth-coloured wires as well.
“We have see-through braces, also called ‘Ceramic Braces’ which transmit the same colour of the patient’s teeth minimising the visibility of their braces,” says Dr Salam Alkhayyat. “It’s never too late to enjoy a beautiful smile. Braces can be done at any age from childhood to adulthood; during baby, mixed or permanent dentition, only the orthodontic appliance will vary.”
Invisalign and Clear Aligners
This fully-customised option is made up of clear, BPA-free plastic aligners that are removable and usually replaced every two weeks. Using these types may extend your treatment time, and could work out more expensive. You will also need to brush teeth after eating to prevent staining.
“Clear aligners are series of clear plastic sheets produced by a specialised laboratory according to a software for a particular patient,” says says Dr Yahya Tosun. “Patients wear these aligners starting from number one and change them every two weeks or longer according to the doctor’s instructions. Every time the aligner is changed it delivers a gentle force on the tooth to bring it to an alignment. Patients can remove their aligner for specific occasions during the day, but should wear it for an average of 20 hours a day for better and faster results.”