If your teeth are misaligned, you may be anxious to have them corrected. However, every orthodontic appliance is not suitable for every patient. Your orthodontist will prescribe a teeth-straightening option that fits your individualized needs. Here are a few questions that he or she may consider when prescribing an orthodontic solution for you:

Are you self-conscious about having metal brackets on the outside of your teeth?

If you feel self-conscious about metal brackets due to their effect on your appearance, the orthodontist may suggest more discreet options, such as clear braces. Clear braces are fashioned just like metal conventional braces, but the brackets are made of tooth-colored ceramic. Thus, they are more difficult to see on the teeth. 

Are there additional concerns, such as regular participation in contact sports?

If you regularly play basketball, soccer or other contact sports, the application of metal brackets on the front surface of the teeth can be a safety issue. If you do regularly risk a blow to your mouth, the orthodontist may suggest lingual braces.

Lingual braces straighten teeth as effectively as conventional metal braces, but the brackets are applied to the side of the teeth that is adjacent to the tongue. As a result, there is no metal between the front surface of the teeth and the inner lips.

The placement of the brackets of lingual braces make the appliance discreet, but it also makes it more comfortable for people who are active in sports or who play musical instruments that involve movement of the lips.

Is your palate fully grown?

Traditional braces can be used for children. However, if you are a teen or adult whose palette is fully grown, you may be offered additional options, such as clear plastic aligners.

Clear plastic aligners are transparent mouth trays made of hard plastic. The trays are designed to straighten your teeth over time. When an orthodontist prescribes clear plastic liners, you are given multiple sets of aligning trays. Each set is worn for a couple of weeks and then replaced by the next set in the alignment series. By the time the last set is worn, your teeth should be properly aligned.

Clear plastic aligners offer great discretion during your treatment and can be removed for brushing and eating. Thus, they are often preferred by adult patients.

To learn more about orthodontic options that may be suitable for you, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist in your area.