Metal

Traditional metal braces consist of metal brackets and arch wires and are popular with young children and some teenagers.

metal bracesThese brackets are glued to the front of your teeth. The wire is shaped into the ideal position of your teeth, then threaded through the brackets. As the wires struggle to get back to their original shape, they gradually pressure your teeth into that shape as well. We then tighten the wires every four to six weeks. You should see a nice, straight smile within two or two an d a half years (though this time period can be shorter or longer, depending on the severity of your problem). Once your braces come off, you will likely wear a retainer for six months to a year to keep your teeth from shifting and your new smile in place.

Metal braces are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first they may irritate your gums, but after a few weeks, when your cheeks get “toughened up” they are not a problem anymore. Most traditional metal braces require an elastic o-shaped rubber band, called aligature to hold the arch wire onto the bracket.

In the past metal braces were not just brackets, but bands that wrapped around the entire tooth. Nowadays, people wear small metal brackets that are glued to the front of each tooth. The former ones are usually reserved for molars or teeth with fillings that spill to the outside surface of a tooth.

Metal brackets tend to be less expensive than other types of brackets. In addition, you can make them colorful with ligatures that come on a rainbow of colors.

Advantages of Metal Braces

  • Metal brackets tend to be the least expensive of all the types of braces.
  • They tend to take the least amount of time among all the types of braces.
  • You can choose a darker ligature, which will not show curry, smoking, or black coffee stains.
  • Self-ligating brackets do not contain rubber ligatures, so staining will never be a problem.
  • They are strong and rarely break.
  • The golden brackets are different, novel, and generally look nice.

Disadvantages of Metal Braces

  • They are more visible than ceramic and Invisalign.
  • They tend to be a bit less comfortable at first, (but that feeling wears off after a couple of weeks).
  • When you have a canker sore, they tend to irritate your gums more than ceramic brackets.