Imperfect teeth can ruin a perfect photo-op with the uneven pearlies hogging unwanted attention. But wait. There is help in the form of braces that have long transformed buck-toothed smiles into million dollar ones.
However, many shy away from wearing braces as the very word conjures up images of ugly metal bands that keep the teeth in vice-like grip. What people don’t realise is there are many options available in the market today which are neither unsightly nor painful.
Today, there are different types of braces available, including those made of metal, ceramic, tooth-coloured ones, clear ones, lingual braces, invisalign braces and damon braces.
Speaking about damon braces, Dr Amit Kapoor, chief dental consultant at Nova Speciality Centres says, “They have an advantage over traditional braces, they do not require rubber bands, instead the bracket allows the wire to slide, making them more comfortable.”
It’s not that faced with new age braces, regular metal braces have lost out on popularity, far from it. Dr Taroon Giroti, conservative dentist and endodontist at The Sterling Dental Clinic, New Delhi says, “Though there are many types of braces available, but essentially people opt for regular metal braces as they are cost effective.”
On new age braces he says, “Invisalign braces—tooth coloured invisible orthodontic wire—are best suited for young ladies, working girls and people working in organisations where looks matter. I often get requests for such braces from senior business executives, who are also able to afford them.”
Invisalign braces are virtually invisible. These alignment trays are created from molds and can be removed for brushing and flossing.
Talking about the advantages of invisalign braces, Dr Kapoor says, “They do not make you conscious as they are invisible. They are high-tech and your treatment can be computer simulated. They will not stain or damage your teeth. But these braces are costlier and cannot be used in severe cases.”
Another coming of the age braces is clear aligners. Dr Giroti comments, “Patients’ models are scanned and computer generates a series of models with well aligned teeth. A series of transparent plates are generated which help to bring the teeth to a more desirable position.”
Choice of braces is patient’s discretion, but one should always abide by the doctor’s advice. Dr Kapoor says, “Not every case is same and therefore you cannot use the same treatment on every person needing braces.”
The type of braces that one needs will depend on the condition of the teeth. Some extreme cases may require teeth removal or surgical jaw changes; while some just needs simple retainers to shape the teeth. The time varies from case to case.
Dr Kapoor takes pride in saying, “Orthodontics, a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites) is making fast progress. So we hope to offer better ways than the existing methods for straightening teeth with braces.”
Colourful braces find many takers among children. Dr Kapoor says, “Colourful braces are a great option for kids, who enjoy putting up braces of their favourite colour and not get bored of it.”
There is a whole new range of colours to choose from: red, blue, yellow, pink, green and many more.
Mehak Gupta, a 14-year-old girl has opted for pink braces. She says, “Many of my friends use coloured braces. That inspired me to go for them. It has a girly look and I always have the option of changing their colour at a later period.”