Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are still used nowadays as orthodontic treatments, being appreciated for their effectiveness. Technological advancements have led to more effective metal braces, which can correct both the jaws and teeth. In simple terms, these are standard small brackets, which are connected through arch wire. The respective wire is attached to each tooth, with the purpose of guiding it into a correct position. Small elastic bands apply the necessary pressure, with the dentist supervising the entire process. If you are interested in discovering more information on the topic, all you have to do is keep on reading.

What kind of metal are traditional braces made of?

A unique mix of metals is used for the making of traditional braces. The respective alloy might contain different metals, including nickel, chromium, and cobalt. More recently, metal braces started to be made from steel and titanium, as these are recognized for their long-term resistance.

The cost of traditional metal braces

The cost of traditional metal braces is influenced by several factors, including individual particularities. First and foremost, you have to factor in the initial consultation, which will involve a thorough assessment of your teeth and jaw. The orthodontist will then make a recommendation for the actual braces. The longer you will need to wear these, the higher the cost of the treatment is going to be.

You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000 for traditional metal braces, if you are going with the standard 18-month plan. Of course, the cost of such treatments might be higher, if you will also need additional implements, such as bite correcting springs, anchorage implants, or expansion plates. Insurance plans might cover a part of the treatment, but it is for the best to check with your provider first. Many dental practices offer customized payment plans, so that anyone can benefit from such treatments.

Cons and pros of traditional braces

Cons of traditional braces

If the respective braces contain nickel, they might not be recommended to those who are allergic to such metals. Before going through with the procedure, it might be a good idea to discuss such matters with the dentist, inquiring about nickel-free alloys. Also, if you are allergic to any other metal that might be used for the braces, be sure to mention this allergy as well.

Many people might avoid getting traditional metal braces as these are not aesthetic. Invisalign is preferred instead, but as mentioned below, it is does not offer the same results. Moreover, metal braces have now color options, for both the brackets and the elastic bands. Some patients might perceive the long duration of the treatment as a disadvantage, but one must learn to see the bigger picture.

Pros of traditional braces

Perhaps the biggest advantage worth considering is the overall cost. Traditional metal braces are not expensive, which makes them an affordable solution for those with crooked teeth. Moreover, the procedure is fast, delivering great results in terms of teeth and jaw alignment. The procedure, as well as the actual braces, are 100% safe and approved by the right authorities.

It is worth mentioning that metal braces can be worn by people of all ages, representing one of the most popular orthodontic treatments. Both children and adults can benefit from braces, but the treatment is a bit different, as mentioned below. Metal braces are not painful, with most patients only experiencing an initial discomfort, which passes in a couple of days. They have become sleeker and smaller, with patients adjusting fast.

Traditional metal braces are more effective than other options, such as clear braces or Invisalign, when it comes to the treatment of extreme overcrowding. Your orthodontist will move the teeth in small increments, with satisfactory results over time. This solution is recommended for crooked teeth, misaligned bites, and jaw problems as well. It might help you keep your teeth clean and healthy, with improvements whereas speaking and eating are concerned.

How does the procedure work?

The orthodontist will apply the metal braces through a simple procedure. First, the teeth are dried, then orthodontic glue and cement are applied on each teeth, right in the middle. The brackets will be placed on the teeth, with the dentist waiting for a bit for them to solidify into place. As the last step, the elastic bands will be added to align the brackets.

Even though both children and adults can get traditional metal braces, it is important to understand that the treatment in itself might differ. Adults have the jaw already formed, as opposed to younger patients. As a result, it might take longer for the treatment to provide the desired results. It might be necessary to visit the orthodontist every couple of weeks for the periodic tightening. You will gradually begin to notice that your teeth are straighter and the jaw is aligned. The average length of such orthodontic treatments varies between 12 and 24 months, with patients having to wear a retainer afterwards. This is necessary to ensure that the teeth do not shift again.

Are traditional metal braces for me?

To discuss your options, it is for the best to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist. The dentist will determine whether you need metal braces or not, after a thorough assessment of your teeth and jaw. At the initial consultation, you will discuss the procedure and how long it will take for the braces to work. The elastic bands are not available in a wide array of colors, you might choose the color that suits you the most.

How to take care of your metal braces

Once the traditional metal braces are in place, the orthodontist might offer certain recommendations on how to take care of them. For instance, you will be advised to avoid certain foods, such as those that are hard or crunchy. The same goes for chewy foods, particularly candy or caramels, as these might damage your braces. You will have to cut fruits and vegetables into small pieces, so as to prevent these from getting stuck in your braces. To help you, the orthodontist will provide you with a list of foods to be avoided. Sugary foods must be avoided at all costs, as plaque will accumulate around the brackets, increasing the risk of dental problems.

As the orthodontist might advise, it is for the best to stick with soft foods, as these are gentle on the actual braces. Additional foods to avoid include: popcorn, nuts, sticky and hard candy, gum, ice, pretzels, hard cookies, crackers, etc. It is also recommended to avoid biting into hard foods with the front teeth, as this habit might cause damage to the braces. The following foods should be cut into smaller pieces: raw veggies, croutons, fruit, meat, corn, etc. Best foods to eat with braces are: yoghurt, soft fruits (without pits), cheese, mashed potatoes, pasta. A healthy diet will help you maintain excellent oral health, with great results for the orthodontic treatment.

While wearing metal braces, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is essential. Brushing and flossing as recommended will keep your braces in the best possible state, not to mention you will reduce the risk of cavities and other similar issues. You might be given a special brush to clean your metal braces, with tips on how to brush and floss around these. It is also essential to keep the follow-up appointments, where the orthodontist will adjust the braces as necessary. Even though braces might be inconvenient, you will have to think about the main goal, enjoying your reward in the end.

As recommended, it is essential to brush your teeth at least two times per day, and if possible, after every meal. This will help you remove food debris from around or under the brackets and wires. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash is recommended as well, as this will remove larger food particles. Gentle brushing will keep your teeth clean, without any damage to the braces. Do not forget about flossing, making sure you are covering all the parts of the teeth. Flossing might prove a challenge due to the elastic bands and wires, but practice makes perfect.

Always remember that plaque tends to accumulate around the brackets and wires, increasing the risk of dental issues. Common problems include cavities and swollen gums, but also bad breath and permanent staining. You might have to visit the dentist for professional cleaning, as sometimes special tools are required to remove the tartar from hard-to-reach places. The specialist will also make sure that the traditional metal braces are still serving their purpose.

We all known that braces are meant to straighten the teeth and align the jaw. However, wearing traditional metal braces might come with its own set of challenges, especially in relation to food. As the plaque can build up exactly in the area of the braces, oral hygiene remains one of the most important things to consider. You will need to get accustomed to brushing and flossing as recommended, in order to reduce the risk of problems such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and decalcification. As soon as you have noticed such changes, be sure to call in your dentist and schedule an appointment. Additional dental treatments might be necessary.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to replace the metal braces?

It is not necessary to replace the traditional metal braces, as these are known to last for the entire treatment duration. They are strong enough to withstand the daily pressure of chewing and biting. However, you can ensure their prolonged lifespan by avoiding certain foods, especially those that are crunchy or hard. Do not forget to maintain excellent oral hygiene, in order to avoid the accumulation of plaque around the brackets and wires. How can I reduce the risk of decalcification?

Decalcification, or the appearance of white spots, is sometimes seen in those who are wearing traditional metal braces. Unfortunately, these are permanent, so you need to learn how to prevent them from occurring in the first place. As the orthodontist will teach you, you can counteract such side-effects by brushing your teeth appropriately, at least twice per day.

Straighter teeth, better oral health?

The answer is yes. Upon straightening your teeth with the metal braces, you will be able to brush more effectively. As a result, you will reduce the risk of dental problems, such as bad breath, tooth decay, crowded teeth, or gum disease. Misaligned teeth can lead to all sort of issues, including insomnia, difficult speaking or eating, jaw pain, and headaches. By wearing the metal braces for the recommended amount of time, you will actually solve all of these problems.

What is the psychological effect of such orthodontic treatments?

After the metal braces are removed, patients feel much more confident, including when it comes to speaking and interacting with other people. Straight teeth have a wonderful effect on a person's self-esteem, with one no longer feeling like hiding. In simple terms, the psychological effect is obvious, with the new smile acting like a genuine confidence booster. Finally, you will no longer have to worry about the appearance of your teeth, which is a significant advantage to consider.

Can traditional metal braces help with other health problems?

As studies have recently shown, traditional metal braces can help with other health problems, such as the cleft lip and cleft palate. However, to make sure that you or your child are suited to these orthodontic treatments, it is for the best to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A thorough assessment will determine whether your condition can improve upon wearing metal braces and for how long these should be worn.

In conclusion, traditional metal braces can help you have straighter teeth, reducing the risk of further dental problems. Made from alloyed metals, they are not painful to wear, with the patient experiencing only minimal discomfort in the first days. The orthodontist will explain the procedure in depth, along with the instructions on how to care for the braces and the foods to be avoided. As you have seen, such treatments are not always covered by the insurance, so you might need to check with your provider first.

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