Traditional braces or metal braces are generally made out of high grade stainless steel. They consist of brackets that are attached to the teeth with dental adhesive, and wires that are then attached to the brackets. The wires, in turn, are attached to the brackets with ties (made of plastic or metal) and are also kept in place by them. Depending on your needs and requirements, your doctor will attach elastics, wires, springs or other objects to create force that will move your teeth to the desired position and bring on that great smile that we are all looking forward to. With metal braces, you can even get colored elastics that will make your braces look like fashion accessories!
Metal braces will correct any crooked and crowded teeth that you might have, fix your misaligned bite and correct your jaw problems should you have one.
Traditional braces remain the most affordable braces for both children and adults. They are much more comfortable to wear than before thanks to modern day technology, and you have options as to how you or your child want them to look – for example, you get different colored bands and even ones that glow in the dark!
Metal or traditional braces work with NASA type heat activated wires. When they are cold they are soft, making inserting them quite easy for your orthodontist. Once you start wearing them though, your body heat will activate them, and let them and your teeth move as they should. This means that you teeth actually move like beads on a string all day and night – which is exactly what we want to happen!
At the end of the day traditional braces do the same job as for instance ceramic or other non-accelerated braces, with the benefit that they are the most affordable.
Braces are designed to move teeth by putting pressure or force on both the brackets and teeth. This is how the force is created:
Braces have four basic parts: brackets, dental glue or a metal band, an arch wire (which runs from bracket to bracket and puts pressure on the teeth), and elastic that attaches the bracket to the arch wire. The arch wire puts pressure on the brackets and teeth, and this is how your teeth are moved into the desired direction and place in your mouth.
When you have your braces put in, our orthodontist will do the first adjustment to the elastic. And the elastics are the things that our doctor will adjust with each visit to us afterward, along with a thorough check-up of all other related things to ensure fast and proper progress!
Adults often think that it is too late for them to get braces and that they are doomed to go through life with their imperfect teeth and small smiles. The truth, though, is that – No! It is never too late to get braces!
Braces serve more than one purpose. When we think of braces, we tend to just think ‘straight teeth’ – but you would also reap huge benefits when you wear braces if you for example struggle to eat due to incorrect bites or misaligned teeth. Getting braces at any age can fix functional problems like eating, and will also prevent further damage to your mouth and jaw as you grow older.
When you come to our practice, your orthodontist will gladly take the time to explain all the benefits that braces for adults have to you, and will even be able to show you what you will look like once your orthodontic problems have been resolved!
When you decide to go the braces route to straighten your teeth, you will have to make the very important decision of choosing which type of braces you are going to go for. After all – you will be wearing them for quite some time.
You might however have to base your decision mainly on your budget; depending on your specific situation. In the event of your budget playing the biggest role in your decision, metal braces will be your least expensive option. You don’t need to worry about the quality of straightening that metal braces will deliver, though. Traditional metal braces actually correct major bite problems and severely crooked teeth better than clear braces, even though they are the most affordable of all braces.
When you first come visit our practice with the desire to improve your smile by having your teeth straightened, your doctor will take his or her time to carefully assess what your metal braces should be able to do and what they should look like. Your doctor will also provide you with all possible information you need to put your mind at ease about your braces and the process.
Once we have got your braces, it will take about an hour and a half to fit them, while we keep you updated as to what we are doing and why. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable with what is happening. There are no needles or shots involved when we fit your braces, and there will be no pain. You might feel a little pressure in your mouth while we are placing them, but the highest requirement from you will be… patience! (You will also have to exercise some patience with the time period that you will have to wear the braces, because it will depend entirely on your personal needs and how good you are at following instructions and keeping your appointments! The braces wearing time could vary between 6-30 months.)
Once we have fitted your metal braces, you will come and see your doctor every 2-10 weeks for adjustments to the braces, depending on the severity of your straightening requirements. Adjustment visits only take a few minutes.
There are a number of ways to care for your braces and to maintain good oral hygiene while you are wearing them. Following a good oral hygiene regime is very important, so here are some suggestions as to which tools would be helpful to you for this purpose.
Floss threaders: Floss threaders make it easier to clean around braces, bridges and implants. There are different brands to choose from, but for the most part they all work the same way. You will take about 16 inches of floss and then pull about 5 inches through the loop of the threader. You will then push the threader through a space between your teeth or under the bracket, remove the floss from the threader – and floss!