What are Traditional Braces?
Traditional (metal) braces are made of stainless steel or titanium.
Often when people think of metal braces, they think of the old-school “metal mouth” type images. However, braces have come a long way since then!
Modern metal braces are smaller, flatter, and more lightweight than they used to be.
Traditional metal braces consist of small brackets that we attach to each tooth with a special dental bonding adhesive. We then attach a dental wire (called an archwire) to each bracket, connecting them together. Elastic bands, also called O-rings, attach the archwire to the brackets.
After we apply the braces, periodic follow-ups are required to adjust them. This involves repositioning the archwire, which puts subtle pressure on the teeth to slowly move them into their correct position. As the teeth move over time, the bone surrounding the teeth changes shape, which allows the teeth to stay firmly anchored into their correct alignment.
What Conditions are Treated with Traditional Braces?
Traditional braces can treat just about any condition, including:
- Class 1 Malocclusion – when the teeth are biting correctly, but the teeth themselves are crooked, overcrowded, or twisted
- Class 2 Malocclusion – includes underbites, overbites, buck teeth, and crossbites
- Gaps between teeth
- Misalignments in the jaw
What are the Advantages of Traditional Braces?
Metal braces can correct all conditions. They are the most durable option because they don’t break easily. Additionally, they are usually the least expensive type of braces, and they provide the shortest treatment duration compared to other types of braces.
What About Colored Braces?
We can personalize traditional metal braces with color! The elastic bands that you use to attach the brackets to the archwire come in just about any color that you can imagine.
Colored elastic bands can completely alter the look of your braces — and we can change the colors every time you have them adjusted. So, whether you want to sport your school colors or just make a fashion statement, many options are available to you!
If you prefer a more traditional look with no added bling, you can always choose clear elastic bands. These will make your braces less conspicuous.
Can Adults Get Braces?
Yes, absolutely! There’s no age limit. Currently, about 20% of patients wearing braces are adults, and that number is climbing every year.
The American Journal of Orthodontics completed a study and found that 68% of adults with braces got them to improve their smile, and 35% of them got braces to improve the appearance of their faces.
If you need braces, it’s okay if you didn’t get them as a child or teenager. It’s never too late to improve your health.
Braces help prevent dental issues that can stem from crowding pressure, tooth decay, or abnormal wear of tooth enamel. And let’s not forget that the result is having a beautiful and healthy smile!