What Are Metal Braces?
When it comes to straightening your teeth, the doctors at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists know that there are many options out there. But the most common and traditional choice is orthodontic metal braces. These braces are made up of medical-grade stainless steel brackets that are fastened to the surface of your teeth. The brackets are then connected by a metal archwire that is then tightened at various intervals to keep the brackets under constant tension.
How Do Orthodontic Metal Braces Work?
The archwire threaded through the metal brackets bonded to your teeth is regularly tightened at various points by your orthodontist. By tightening the wire, your orthodontist can place pressure on different parts of your teeth. Eventually, the shape of your jaw changes to conform to this pressure, allowing your teeth to move into the correct position in your mouth.
A common belief is that our teeth are connected directly to our jawbones, making it difficult or impossible for them to move. In reality, teeth are connected to a membrane under your gums that is surrounded by the bone. This membrane responds to the constant pressure placed on your teeth, allowing them to move freely.
Teeth are moved in two stages. In the first, the tooth moves. In the second, the root of the tooth moves to match the tooth. This movement must be done slowly and gradually to avoid undue discomfort.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Traditional Metal Braces?
Metal dental braces can be applied to almost anyone. They are typically used on younger patients, such as pre-teens and young adults since their mouths are more malleable and their teeth can be moved more easily. However, both children and adults can also benefit from metal braces for teeth.
In general, the following individuals are appropriate candidates for the application of metal braces:
- Those with crooked teeth
- Those with an overbite, underbite, or crossbite
- Those with spacing issues in their teeth, such as gaps or overcrowding.
- Those who are willing to make lifestyle improvements to assist with fixing orthodontic imperfections or underlying health issues.
If you think you require braces, be sure to consult with your orthodontist. The professionals at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists can determine if metal braces are a good fit for your teeth.
Benefits Of Traditional Metal Braces
A common misconception is that braces are used for cosmetic purposes only. While straightening your teeth does improve the appearance of your smile, braces can solve several health issues. These issues, if left unchecked, could easily worsen and cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Traditional braces are better than aligners at fixing cases of extreme overcrowding. The design of metal braces allows your orthodontist to move teeth in slight increments at a time. This prevents undue discomfort from sudden shifts in your gums. It also gives better control over the direction of straightening and puts more pressure on difficult areas.
Also, unlike clear aligners, braces cannot be removed. With clear aligners, you can remove them to eat, brush your teeth, or sleep. While touted as being more comfortable, it also lengthens the time of treatment. The more time you spend not wearing a correctional orthodontic apparatus, the longer it will take for the apparatus to do its job. You also run the risk of teeth moving back into their former position if you don’t wear your aligner enough.
Finally, traditional braces are slightly more affordable than clear aligners. Some popular brands of aligners and their treatment can cost you between $3,000 and $8,000. Meanwhile, you may end up paying between $3,000 and $7,350 for traditional braces. If your insurance covers orthodontia, it may help with the cost of both metal braces and clear aligners.
What Is The Length Of Treatment For Metal Braces?
The amount of time you spend wearing metal braces depends on the severity of your condition and how well you care for your teeth. Typically, you wear braces for a period between 18 and 24 months. If you follow your orthodontist’s instructions closely and go for regular appointments to have your braces tightened, you can keep the length of treatment as short as possible.
Caring For Your Braces
Once your metallic braces are applied, your orthodontist will schedule regular checkups and appointments to have them examined and tightened. It’s important to follow up with these appointments and attend them so that your treatment will progress as intended. Missing too many of them may result in the stagnation of your treatment or even in your teeth moving back into the wrong position.
You should take steps to avoid any foods that may become stuck in your braces, such as chewing gum, caramel, or taffy. It would help if you also cut back on sugary, acidic, or starchy foods that can become trapped and cause tooth decay as they remain in contact with your teeth. Hard foods and foods that you have to bite into, such as nuts, hard candy, corn on the cob, apples, or popcorn kernels, run the risk of potentially damaging the wires of your braces.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, especially after meals. This will help prevent foods from becoming trapped in your braces. Your orthodontist will provide you with a special floss that can get around the archwires of metallic braces. Alternatively, you can purchase a Waterpik flosser that can navigate around your braces. A special brush called an interdental toothbrush can effectively clean under and around the archwire and brackets.
Talk to your orthodontist about oral health products that can be used with metal braces. Some kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinse contain harsh or abrasive ingredients which, while effective at removing plaque, may cause damage to your braces. When choosing a mouthwash, be sure to find a type that doesn’t contain bright red, green, or blue dyes that could discolor the metal or elastic parts of your braces.
Contact Us Today!
The health of your teeth is essential, even beyond the appearance of your smile. The professionals at Northeast Orthodontic Specialists can help you maintain both the appearance and health of your smile. For over 25 years, our team of specialists has provided our patients with the best service available in both the Cincinnati and Loveland areas. If you would like more information or schedule a free consultation, you can call us at 513-793-4770. You can also request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to helping you!