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How do I choose which orthodontic product best suits me?

So, you've been told you have an orthodontic problem; the next step is to choose a treatment plan. Orthodontic treatment is a significant time and financial commitment. Make certain you're using the correct product. Our Grande Prairie dentists describe common devices and products in this post.

What are some popular orthodontic products?

The nature of your orthodontic issue, its severity or complexity, and other factors will most likely determine which orthodontic treatment option or product will work best for you. Financial concerns are also a factor. These are just a few of the orthodontic treatment options recommended by orthodontists and dentists to help patients straighten their teeth. You and your orthodontist or dentist will have to decide which option is best for you.

Traditional Braces

Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, traditional braces have received some upgrades in the past few decades to become more streamlined, and lighter in structure and weight than in years past.

Braces are made of high-quality stainless steel with metal brackets connected by a thin archwire and tiny elastics to gradually move teeth into their prescribed positions. Braces can be used to correct a wide range of issues, including misalignment, excessive spacing, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and crossbite.

Braces are fixed, which means you can’t remove them to eat, drink, brush or floss. Though braces treatment will necessarily eliminate some foods from your diet (very hard or sticky foods, for instance), you won’t have to do the mental work of counting your hours of wear time during the day as you would with clear aligners (see below).

Ceramic Braces

These braces work much like traditional braces. The difference is that the brackets are made out of tooth-coloured ceramic, making them appear to be transparent.

A popular choice for adults who need orthodontic treatment but may not be candidates for clear aligners, these braces are lower profile in appearance than traditional braces. Keep in mind though that the elastics can become discoloured, and will require extra special attention when brushing and flossing.

Clear & Removable Aligners

For adults who require orthodontic treatment but prefer a less noticeable option, clear aligners are a popular alternative to braces. Because clear aligners are removable, you can remove them to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Many patients find that they fit into their daily routines and allow them to continue eating the foods they enjoy.

However, you’ll need to wear them for 22 hours a day for them to work, so sticking with your custom treatment plan and remembering to track your daily wear time, meal times and any time your clear aligners will not be worn is critical.

You’ll also need to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat or drink anything other than water, before you put your braces back in, to prevent bacteria from getting trapped between your teeth and the aligners and causing tooth decay and cavities.


A custom-made retainer is typically made of wires and clear plastic and can be fixed or removable. They're mostly used to keep your teeth straight after braces or clear aligners have been applied. If it's removable, you should wear it all the time at first, except when eating or brushing your teeth.

Like braces, retainers also require careful care and maintenance to work as they should and keep your teeth in place.

Palate Expanders

Commonly used for patients with overcrowded teeth, palatal expansion and tooth extraction are two common options.

Though tooth extraction was once more common, orthodontists now frequently recommend a palate expander, which is custom fitted to your palate and applies pressure to the backs of your upper molars, gradually moving your teeth apart.

Over time, this expands your palate, making it possible for other types of braces to be used to correct the position of misaligned teeth.

Forsus Appliances

Children as young as 7 years old can now be screened by orthodontists and dentists to see if they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. If they are, various appliances, including a Forsus appliance, can be used to treat them.

A spring on the Forsus appliance attaches to braces to bring the upper or lower jaw into position. These have mostly replaced the use of headgear for braces and are commonly used to help correct stubborn overbites.

Are you wondering which orthodontic product best suits you? Contact our Grande Prairie orthodontists today to book a consultation.

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Looking for a orthodontist in Grande Prairie? We're happily accepting new patients at our orthodontic clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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