Teeth Straightening Appliances For Children and Adults

Crooked teeth and an uneven bite are common problems that affect the health of your smile. But they are easy to fix today with more options for children and adults than ever before.


Teeth straightening refers to orthodontic treatment that corrects crooked teeth and improves the alignment of your bite by using external pressure and force over time. Read on to learn more about traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and invisible aligners.

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of teeth straightening appliances. They are typically made of small metal brackets that are linked to each other with thin wire. The wire helps apply consistent pressure to the teeth so they can move slowly and correctly into their new alignment.

The wire is most often constructed from a stainless steel alloy, which provides the right amount of flexibility and force to help teeth shift correctly. It is also very durable, and can withstand the pressure of chewing and biting.

While there have been advances in other technologies like clear aligners, metal braces remain popular because they are a reliable treatment option that can correct severe crowding, spacing, and bite issues. Plus, they are still the most affordable teeth straightening options.

Misaligned teeth can affect your speech and cause other health problems. This includes a higher risk of gum disease and other systemic health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancers, and diabetes. By treating teeth misalignment with braces, you can avoid these health complications and enjoy a happier, healthier life for the long term.

Ceramic Braces

When most people picture braces, they usually imagine the traditional metal variety featured in many teen movies. However, if you are an adult who needs to straighten your teeth without interrupting your professional life or affecting your appearance at work or school, ceramic braces may be an ideal option for you.

Similar to metal braces, ceramic braces consist of small clear or tooth-colored brackets that are much less noticeable. A customized arch wire is also used to help straighten your teeth, but it can blend in with the brackets on the outside of your mouth or you can choose one that matches your smile’s natural color.

While they look more attractive than traditional metal braces, ceramic brackets can be more fragile and break more easily. They also tend to stain more readily than their metal counterparts and are often a poor choice for active teens or adults who participate in contact sports. You will need to be especially careful when eating or drinking stain-causing foods such as red wine, coffee, tea, berries and mustard. If you are considering ceramic braces, talk to your orthodontist at Jaffe Orthodontics to learn more about the treatment and to discuss how best to care for your teeth while wearing them.

Clear Braces

While traditional metal braces have been around for decades, many orthodontic patients are seeking treatment options that offer a more discreet appearance. One option is clear braces, also known as invisible braces or clear aligners.

Clear braces use the same principles of teeth straightening as traditional metal braces, but their brackets and wires are custom-colored to blend in with a patient’s teeth. The result is a more subtle look that many patients find more comfortable, especially when going about their daily lives.

Additionally, clear braces provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal braces, helping many patients feel more confident throughout their treatment. Because these braces are more discreet, they can be used for both adults and teens who want to straighten their smile without drawing attention to their orthodontic treatment.

Not only do clear braces help improve a patient’s smile, but they can also fix issues such as malocclusion (when a person’s upper and lower teeth don’t sit correctly), crooked teeth, and overlapping teeth. Having a properly aligned bite helps reduce the risk of gum disease and can even decrease abnormal jaw stress and sleep bruxism, which are related to crooked teeth.


Invisalign is a popular alternative to braces for straightening teeth. It is a clear, removable appliance that gradually moves your teeth into alignment without the need for metal wires or brackets. The treatment process typically takes between 12 and 18 months. During treatment, patients wear their aligners daily (except for when they are eating or drinking!) until they get the results they want. Periodic office visits help to ensure that the treatment is progressing as expected.

Aside from being a discreet treatment option, there are other advantages to choosing Invisalign over traditional braces:

Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean properly, which may lead to gum disease or tooth decay. Straightening teeth can also help prevent bruxism, a condition that causes you to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. This can lead to headaches and worn down enamel.


There is a lot of time, effort and hard work that goes into successfully completing orthodontic treatment. Whether you have had braces, aligners, or both, retainers are an important part of the process because they help ensure that your new, straight smile doesn’t shift back into its previous, crooked state.

It’s normal for teeth to drift a little bit back towards their original positions after undergoing treatment. Retainers are designed to stop this drifting and keep your teeth in their newly straightened positions for as long as you wear them. Retainers can be temporary or permanent, and may consist of clear plastic (like an Invisalign retainer), metal wire, or a combination of both.

A bonded retainer (often referred to as a “fixed” retainer) is comprised of a thin wire that is glued to the front surface of your lower or upper front teeth. A fixed retainer tends to have the most lasting effect because it works 24/7, training your teeth to stay in their new, straightened position. Wearing your retainer as directed by your doctor is essential to ensuring that your smile stays straight for life.