Braces and Appliances
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using archwires and accesories. With this type of braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Today, they are much smaller, flatter, and more comfortable than in the past. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.
What Braces are Made of
Traditional metal braces are made of high quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:
- Brackets — They are attached to the teeth using special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place.
- Archwire — It is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into place.
- Ligature Elastic (also known as the “rubber bands”) — They are the colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the elastics at each appointment. Elastics may come in a variety of colors.
How Braces Work
Once placed on your teeth, braces place constant pressure on your teeth, and the force delivered by the pressure helps move teeth into proper position. At each appointment, your orthodontist may tighten the archwires. In addition to braces, some patients may need to wear rubber bands or headgear. Patients wearing braces may notice their teeth feeling a little loose. This is normal and temporary; once the teeth are done moving this feeling will go away.
Metal Braces for All Ages
Traditional metal braces are still the most popular, quickest, and most cost-effective orthodontic treatment available. Your orthodontist can help you determine what treatment is best for your individual case. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment and learn more about how braces can enhance your smile.
At our orthodontic practice, we’re always looking for ways to give our patients more comfort, more confidence, and more reasons to smile! Ceramic braces provide an advanced and esthetic alternative to traditional metal braces, allowing you to smile, even during orthodontic treatment!
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Wearing elastics or rubber band improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth together. Wear rubber bands as instructed and remember that the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they’re worn as prescribed.
The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to maintain the expansion and to prevent regression.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment.