Metal braces have existed for a long time and are the most commonly used orthodontic appliance for good reason. They work! While there are a host of treatment options available today, metal braces still exist because quite simply they are just the most reliable. While other options used have wonderful advantages, metal braces continue to be the most effective treatment option, both from a usage and budget standpoint.
Patients of all ages turn to metal braces to get the smiles of their dreams. Today’s metal braces are made from sleeker materials, rendering the brackets smaller and less noticeable than every before. Heat-activated archwires make the process much more comfortable than it has ever been.
Traditional metal braces are usually made from a high-quality stainless steel or titanium. They are incredible strong and efficient. There are three main parts to your appliance:
- Brackets are the small metal pieces that are bonded to the surface of each tooth.
- Archwire is the thin metal wires that connects each bracket and is what places the pressure on the teeth needed to cause movement.
- Ligature ties are tiny colored elastics that hold the archwire to the bracket. They are changed out at each visit, and can be customized with your favorite colors.
Braces work by eliciting a constant pressure on the teeth. This constant, yet gentle pressure works to guide the teeth to their ideal positions. At each appointment, your archwires may be replaced and tightened to ensure the proper amount of force is always applied.
Some patients may like the reliability of metal braces, but don’t like the idea of having a mouth full of metal. We have good news; clear and ceramic braces are a wonderful, reliable option. They work in the same was as metal braces, but instead of metal brackets, the brackets will be made of clear or ceramic tooth-colored material. Some clear braces may even use clear wires to make the braces even less noticeable.
Ceramic braces are typically a little more expensive than traditional metal braces because they are slightly more labor intensive and can be more expensive to manufacture. They are also slightly more fragile than metal braces; they can chip or fracture if impacted. Because they are clear or ceramic, they will also have increased ability to stain so it is especially important to brush regularly.