These are devices used in the dentistry that help align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health.
They are often used to correct under bites, as well as, malocclusions, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw.
Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. Dental braces or orthodontic braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws. While they are mainly used on children and teenagers, adults are also big contributors to this type of market including people seen on television, such as actors, Tom Cruise, Katherine Heigl, and R&B singer Fantasia.
Traditional braces are stainless steel, sometimes in combination with nickel titanium, and are the most widely used. These include conventional braces, which require ties to hold the archwire in place, and newer self-tying (or self-ligating) brackets. Self-ligating brackets may reduce friction between the wire and the slot of the bracket, which in turn might be of therapeutic benefit.
"Clear" braces serve as a cosmetic alternative to traditional metal braces by blending in more with the natural color of the teeth or having a less conspicuous or hidden appearance. Typically, these brackets are made of ceramic or plastic materials and function in a similar manner to traditional metal brackets. Clear elastic ties and white metal ties are available to be used with these clear braces to help keep the appliances less conspicuous. Clear braces have a higher component of friction and tend to be more brittle than metal braces. This can make removing the appliances at the end of treatment more difficult and time consuming.
Lingual braces (Incognito Braces) are custom made fixed braces bonded to the back of the teeth making them invisible to other people. In lingual braces the brackets are cemented onto the backside of the teeth making them invisible while in standard braces the brackets are cemented onto the front side of the teeth. Hence, lingual braces are a cosmetic alternative to those who do not wish to have the unaesthetic metal look but wish to improve their smile.