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How to Choose the Right Braces or Aligners for You

From metal braces with colourful or clear elastomerics that you can change at every visit, to a range of discrete yet still effective options, the world of braces, aligners and general tooth alignment has come a long way. But with so many choices available, it can be hard to know which braces or clear aligners are right for you. The team at The Orthodontic Hub has made this guide to understanding your teeth straightening options as simple as possible.


Metal braces

These are your more traditional braces. Strong with their metal construction, yet low profile with minimal bulk. These braces can even be decorated with bright colourful elastomerics to match your personality.

Who should wear them: These braces are suitable for everyone.

Ceramic braces

A modern version of the classic metal braces, ceramic braces get as good a result as metal braces. Their glass-like construction makes them a discrete, aesthetic option when straightening your teeth. We use one of the most aesthetic, least bulky and high quality ceramic brackets on the market which ensures optimal comfort throughout your braces treatment.

Who should wear them: These braces are suitable for both children and adults. Ceramic braces allow us to correct a wide range of alignment and bite problems and are perfect for anyone who wants a less noticeable bracket.

Incognito lingual braces

As the name suggests, incognito braces are hidden away, with brackets and wires placed on the inside of your teeth facing your tongue and palate. The only truly aesthetic braces option on the market.  Not commonly used in New Zealand, our orthodontist is one of the few in New Zealand to offer this technology.

Who should wear them: Anyone from children to adults who are a little more self-conscious about the look of braces and want an ultimately discrete option.

Fast braces

Good orthodontic treatment takes time. However, if you want a quicker solution to achieve some teeth straightening before a big event such as a wedding, or if the thought of a long treatment period is a deterrent to you getting the smile you deserve, fast, shorter term braces treatments may be a possibility for your individual case. Sometimes we can achieve great results in as little as six months.

However, be sure to not confuse this shorter term treatment with the ‘Fastbraces’ you may see being advertised at your general dentist practice. Fast braces advertising claims an innovative triangular bracket design that allows your teeth to straighten more quickly than any other bracket on the market. The fact is, no New Zealand Specialist Orthodontist uses Fast braces brackets in their practices as there are no well conducted academic studies to back up claims of superior benefits to patients. Often times the Fast braces system allows for premature braces removal. Results celebrated by Fastbraces disciples would often be considered subpar by an Orthodontist’s standards.

Clear Aligners

With Aligner treatment, patients use a series of custom-made plastic (thin mouthguard-like) aligners to produce subtle movements over time to straighten their teeth. Users find that being able to take these clear aligners out of the mouth gives them more confidence during significant events such as work presentations or weddings.

Spark Aligners

Spark Aligners are very aesthetic. They are the ‘new kid on the block. They can be a great solution for more simple to moderate aligner cases and be much more affordable than the original aligner producer, Invisalign.

Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign is possibly the better-known aligner brand. Invisalign aligners offer great aesthetics and are good quality. Invisalign treatment produces great results in well selected orthodontic cases, however are the more pricier aligner option.

3M Clarity Aligners

These are also a new player in the Aligner market and an Aligner product we offer to our patients too.

Who should wear clear aligners: Adults with who want to straighten their teeth while having the flexibility to remove aligners from time to time. Children and teens who are compliant and want a more discrete teeth straightening solution.

Who should not: Aligners (such as Invisalign, Spark or 3M Clarity) are not usually appropriate for children and teens who are not compliant and are likely to misplace something than can easily be removed from the mouth. They also aren’t the best option for complex dental and orthodontic issues.

Although aligner technology has improved greatly over the years, high quality outcomes are not always possible in all types of cases, so it is important that your Orthodontist explains the best options for your individual case so you can make a decision that will allow you to not only get a great smile, but a well functioning bite!

Book an appointment with an orthodontist

If you want to discuss your braces or aligner options in more depth, talk to the team at The Orthodontic Hub – we have clinics in Mt Maunganui (Tauranga) and Whakatane.


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