What are Traditional Braces?
Traditional (metal) braces are made out of stainless steel or titanium. Modern metal braces are smaller, flatter, and more lightweight than they used to be. Oftentimes 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!
Traditional metal braces consist of small brackets that are attached to each tooth with a special dental bonding adhesive. A dental wire (called an arch wire) is attached to each bracket, connecting them together. Elastic bands, also called O-rings, are used to attach the arch wire to the brackets.
After braces have been applied, periodic follow ups are required so that they can be adjusted. This involves repositioning the arch wire 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 are most commonly selected and they can treat just about any condition including:
- Class 1 Malocclusion – this is when the teeth are biting correctly, but the teeth themselves are crooked, overcrowded, or twisted
- Class 2 Malocclusion – this includes underbites, overbites, buck teeth, and crossbites
- Gaps between teeth
- Misalignments in the jaw
What are the Advantages of Traditional Braces?
Metal braces can be used to correct all types of 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?
Traditional metal braces can be personalized with color! The elastic bands that are used to attach the brackets to the arch wire come in just about any color that you can imagine. The use of colored elastic bands completely alter the look of your braces and the colors can be changed every time you have them adjusted. So, whether you want to sport your school colors, or just make a fashion statement, there are many options available to you!
If you prefer a more traditional look without any added bling, you can always choose clear elastic bands which will make your braces less conspicuous.
Can Adults Get Braces?
Yes, absolutely! There’s no age limit whatsoever. 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 face.
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 end result is having a beautiful and healthy smile!
At Love Orthodontics, we provide a free consultation for anyone interested in getting braces. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and discuss which treatment options would be right for you.