When it comes to orthodontic treatment, metal braces take the crown for being the most preferred treatment option. While numerous advancements have taken place in the world of dentistry and smile specialists can offer a range of enticing treatment options, including the use of clear plastic aligners (Invisalign), metal braces remain the gold standard for their effectiveness and affordability. These braces have been tried and tested for decades, and they work pretty well, especially when treating complex cases. At Ganji Dental, we offer different smile enhancement treatment options in Hawthorne, CA, including traditional metal braces. We will consider what needs to be done to perfect your smile and help you select a treatment option that suits your needs, preferences, and objectives.
Even metal braces have advanced over the years. The current ones use archwire technology for quicker and more effective results. They are low profile compared to their predecessors, making them an excellent option for modern kids, teens, and adults.
What Are Traditional Metal Braces?
Metal braces, commonly known as dental braces, are unique orthodontic devices used to align, straighten, and reposition teeth with structural or cosmetic issues.
Some of the concerns we can treat using metal braces include:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Misaligned teeth, etc
Before we recommend this form of treatment, we must first evaluate whether you make a suitable candidate for dental braces.
Some of the aspects we consider include:
- The cosmetic issues we need to correct
- Your general oral health
- Your preferences
Metal Braces Benefits and Drawbacks
Traditional braces have been used for over half a century, and their popularity is not likely to change any time soon. There are good reasons why they have passed the test of time and are still an attractive option for patients with extreme dental misalignments. For orthodontists, these braces provide more control, allowing us to make different adjustments throughout treatment.
Here are some of the benefits of using metal braces:
If your teeth alignment is messing with your self-esteem and you need a surefire remedy, it’s hard to go wrong if you choose metal braces. They are currently considered an art form that is guaranteed to bear desirable results with proper installation, monitoring, and maintenance.
Additionally, traditional braces may be the only treatment option for patients with problematic misalignments. While teeth alignment technology has dramatically advanced over the years, the sole viable remedy for treating extreme cases may still be the use of traditional braces.
Metal Braces are Durable
Unlike other treatment options such as clear trays, traditional braces don’t chip or crack. While it is true that the brackets may fall off or the wires may snap, these are easy issues to fix.
Available In Different Colors
Metal brackets have o-ring elastics available in a range of colors. This makes it easier for patients, especially kids, to find that perfect, personalized appearance.
They Never Stop Working
Because metal braces are fixed permanently, they are always working during the day and night. You don’t have to worry about your kid not wearing them long enough to achieve the desired outcome within a specified time frame.
Traditional Braces are Affordable
Orthodontic treatment is not cheap, irrespective of the treatment options you choose. However, treatment using traditional braces is slightly more affordable than ceramic braces or even clear dental aligners.
Some of the drawbacks of using metal braces include:
Not the Most Comfortable
Metal braces work by applying just enough pressure to move misaligned teeth gradually. The treatment device is installed permanently means that patients have to bear with some level of discomfort for weeks or months.
Patients, especially the self-conscious type, may also feel uncomfortable because everyone will know their attempts to perfect their smiles. On the bright side, the outcome of treatment is often glorious, and this will revamp your self-esteem.
Harder to maintain
Again, traditional braces are installed permanently. This makes daily brushing and flossing routines a significant chore because any food trapped between the wires can cause bad breath, irritation, or tooth decay.
What to Expect During Metal Braces Installation
Metal braces have a range of features that work together to correct dental misalignments. The components include wires, brackets, glue, and rubber bands, just to mention a few.
Here is what typically happens before, during, and after treatment:
Step 1 — Initial Consultation
We will perform an oral examination during the initial consultation appointment to determine the problems that need addressing. We will also inform you about the available treatment options, their pros and cons.
If you are a suitable candidate for metal braces, the next step will be to take a mold of your mouth. This enables us to strategize on correcting various problems and helping you achieve a healthier dental and more aesthetically appealing smile.
Step 2 — Installing the Braces
We use uniquely formulated dental glue to attach the brackets to the teeth. Once the brackets are firmly in place, we run different shaped wires through them to ensure your teeth move in the desired direction to perfect your smile.
When treating bite problems, we use rubber bands along with the braces. This places additional pressure on specific areas of the teeth and jaw to achieve the desired outcome. The installation of metal braces kick starts the active phase of treatment, and some of the teeth movements to expect include:
- Teeth alignment — Straightening of crooked or misaligned teeth.
- Coordination — Ensuring a correct bite by confirming that the upper and lower teeth align at the same width.
- Space closure — Metal braces can help to close unwanted gaps in the teeth. Moreover, treatment will also involve closing any new gaps created as the teeth shift to the correct position.
Step 3 — Adjustments
Braces don’t work overnight. The teeth move gradually to address misalignments, and after a while, adjustments are required to impart more pressure on the misaligned teeth. Adjustment appointments are just as necessary as the installation appointment. It is of paramount importance to adhere to the adjustment schedule we recommend because it is a crucial part of the treatment process.
Step 4 — Removing the Braces
The process of uninstalling braces is easy and fast. However, we must first do the finishing and detailing process before we can remove the device. The idea is to confirm that everything is perfect, including your teeth’ alignment and coordination. Apart from ensuring that the lower and upper teeth align at the same width for a proper bite, we will also confirm their horizontal and vertical overlap before deciding whether to remove the braces or adjustment.
If everything seems perfect, we can begin uninstalling the device. With just a gentle squeeze, the braces lift from the teeth, allowing us to polish off the glue. As long as you took dental hygiene matters seriously all through the treatment process, you don’t have to worry about the brackets leaving marks and discoloration on your teeth.
Step 5 — Retainers
Once treatment is complete and your teeth appear more aligned, we take impressions of your new dental alignment and create customized retainers. These are crucial accessories to the treatment process, and they help keep the teeth in their new, correct position. While the recommended period for wearing retainers may vary from one patient to another, you may need to use the device for about a year on average.
There are two types of retainers, which include:
- Permanent retainers
- Removable retainers
Permanent retainers feature a wire fixed behind the teeth. They are the most ideal for use after correcting rotating teeth, crowded teeth, and extreme spacing between teeth. Their main appeal is their permanence after installation, which ensures we achieve the desired outcome. On the downside, these retainers are harder to clean and may encourage plaque and calculus buildup.
Removable retainers come in two varieties:
- Hawley retainer
- Vacuum form retainer (VFR)
The vacuum form retainer is a transparent accessory shaped like a horseshoe, and it fits perfectly over the teeth. Compared to other types of retainers, this is the most comfortable to use, although it is an ill fit for patients who grind their teeth.
Hawley retainers have a plastic material that fits into the roof of the mouth. The accessory has wires designed to fit over the teeth, adjusting according to a patient’s requirements. While Hawley retainers work pretty well, some patients have difficulty swallowing or talking while wearing the accessory.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of orthodontic treatment using traditional braces, nothing is as vital as depending on the expertise of a qualified, experienced, and proficient orthodontist. This treatment only works wonders when the installation, adjustment, finishing, and detailing phases are done correctly. Unfortunately, even minor blunders in the treatment process can cause unexpected issues.
Understanding the Different Components of Metal Braces and How They Work
If you are like most people, you possibly think that your teeth directly connect to your jawbone. Well, this is not true, and if it were, then moving them to correct misalignments may not have been possible. Between your gums and jawbone is a membrane that connects your teeth to the jaw and controls their position.
Metal braces exert constant pressure on the teeth, and the membrane responds by allowing them to move slowly and gradually. While the installation of braces is a relatively painless process, it is normal for patients to experience some soreness during the first week following treatment. It takes a while to adjust to the movement of teeth right after the installation or adjustment of traditional braces.
Here are the components of metal braces and how they work to move teeth to proper alignment:
The most popular brackets nowadays are made from stainless steel. However, you also have the option of choosing plastic or ceramic brackets. As aforementioned, brackets are kept in place using special dental glue. Their installation may be somewhat uncomfortable, although it is painless.
Brackets work to create a grip so that the wires can exert pressure on your teeth. These wires are made of copper titanium, nickel-titanium, or stainless steel.
The archwires or simply the wires used during the installation of braces help to connect the brackets. The archwires and brackets create a mechanism that generates the pressure needed for the teeth to move as desired.
Elastic Bands/ Rubber Bands
Orthodontic elastic bands go by many names. They are also referred to as rubber bands, ligatures, or o-rings. These bands are placed around the installed brackets to increase the pressure exerted on your jaw. They play a crucial role in accelerating the treatment process.
Spacers are made from metal rings or elastic bands. When placed between molars, they push the jaw forward to create space for the braces, especially when the back teeth are too tight.
The buccal tube is another vital component of metal braces. It is made from metal, and it anchors different parts of the metal braces at the back of the mouth. During adjustments, we can tighten or release other areas of the braces through the buccal tube.
When we need to apply pressure between two teeth to add space or pull them apart, we use coil springs. Like spaces, springs are only used on select patients.
Facebow Orthodontic Headgear
Again, not all patients require the use of a facebow headgear. We only use it when the dental alignment of a patient needs special corrections. The facebow is an accessory worn when sleeping, and it helps to impart more pressure on the teeth.
Metal Braces Maintenance Guidelines
Proper installation of metal braces is essential. It is also necessary to practice good oral hygiene, avoid certain foods, and protect your braces from damage that can disrupt your orthodontic treatment plan. Here are a few guidelines to keep your traditional braces in top shape:
Use the Recommended Oral Hygiene Products
With each orthodontic treatment option come a new set of needs and requirements. Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a little challenging after the installation of traditional braces. It is essential to shop for the oral hygiene products we recommend, including toothpaste, mouth rinse, and dental flossing tape. Certain products work better to eliminate oral bacteria that can cause gum disease, halitosis, and gingivitis. Moreover, some products are too abrasive and can cause damage to metallic braces.
Brush At Least Twice Daily
Even your brushing practices must chance a little because you need to avoid damaging the wires or knocking out the brackets. While it is necessary to be gentle, you also need to be thorough enough to remove all food particles from your teeth, gums, and tongue. For the best outcome, you should:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Rinse and gargle your mouth thoroughly after brushing.
- Use angled motions to get to tricky areas around the brackets and gums.
- Rinse your mouth with water after each meal to remove food particles.
It remains imperative to floss at least once each day to prevent bad breath and tooth decay. For an ideal outcome, you should:
- Use a mirror when flossing to avoid damaging your braces by accident.
- Floss between all the teeth, including the hind ones.
- Use gentle motions, especially when flossing close to the wires.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after flossing.
Choose the Right Diet
Right after the installation or adjustment of traditional braces, it is common for patients to experience some soreness. We recommend eating soft foods to minimize pain or discomfort when chewing. Some of the healthy but soft foods you can eat are:
- Mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes
- Yogurt and smoothies
- Macaroni and cheese
- Soft-cooked vegetables
- Soft meat like fish
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft fruits like bananas
Generally, it is best to avoid sugary, chewy, and sticky foods like:
- Corn on the cob and popcorn
- Chewing gum and gummy candies
- Hard candy
- Crunchy snacks like corn chips
- Whole raw fruits like pears and apples
- Tough meat
- Fibrous vegetables
Attend All Follow-Up Appointments
Before you are free to head home after treatment, we will provide the necessary aftercare tips that you must follow to the latter. Our tips will touch on dietary restrictions, how to brush and floss, and even the approved remedies for discomfort and pain. Another aftercare tip you must not take lightly is the importance of attending all follow-up appointments without fail. Be sure to visit our clinic if your braces are damaged or you experience sudden oral pains.
How Long Does It Take For Metal Braces to Achieve the Desired Results?
Here’s the deal; the length of orthodontic treatment is pegged on a variety of things. While we can provide an estimated time during the initial consultation appointment, the precise time you need to take off the braces will depend on certain factors that vary from one patient to another. On average, the treatment takes 24 months, although it is not foreign for some patients to require only 12 months and others to require as much as three years.
Here are aspects that may influence the length of your treatment plan:
The Severity of Dental Misalignment
Metal braces are the number one treatment option for patients with extreme dental misalignment cases. This treatment form is ideal for treating severe dental crowding cases, crooked teeth, and other severe misalignments. While mild cases are treatable in 12 months or less, severe cases often take two years or more.
One of the major appeals of using metal braces is that they give your orthodontist greater control over the treatment process. These braces may not be the most aesthetically appealing, although they work exceptionally well by allowing your orthodontist to make several adjustments yearly for better and quicker results.
Compared to adults, teens and kids achieve the desired outcome faster thanks to their growing jaw that is still easy to manipulate.
Even mild cases may require lengthier treatment plans if a patient is not compliant. For instance, the estimated treatment period may increase if you fail to show up for follow-up appointments. It is vital to schedule adjustments promptly to ensure the braces exert consistent pressure on the misaligned teeth.
Ways to Get Your Braces Off Faster
The easiest and most cost-effective way to get your braces off faster is to follow the above maintenance guidelines. We also offer two unique treatments that can help move your teeth quickly to shorten your treatment plan’s length. These treatments include:
Propel Chairside Excellerator
The propel treatment option aims to enhance bone metabolism, allowing teeth to move faster to correct gaps, misalignments, and spacing issues. The bone is living tissue, meaning that once we insert a probe through the gum and bone, your body will trigger a healing response that can potentially cut the length of a treatment plan by half.
AcceleDent can be used at home to increase the pressure on different teeth. This makes the gums more flexible, allowing easy movement of the teeth that require realignment. Again, this treatment form can drastically reduce the time needed for orthodontics to work and your braces to be removed.
Will metal braces stain my teeth?
Decades ago, metal braces were known to cause teeth discoloration. A lot has changed over the years, and modern braces contain stainless steel alloys that prevent staining.
While advancements in dentistry may reduce the risk of teeth discoloration and staining during orthodontic treatment, your teeth may still change color if you don’t practice proper oral hygiene. Consuming beverages like coffee and tea during treatment may also cause some level of staining.
Am I too old to benefit from metal braces?
Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment may have some certain age-related limitations. The effectiveness of different treatment options often depends on the patient’s bone quality and overall oral health. As long as your general oral health is excellent, and you have sufficient bone, you will likely make an ideal candidate for metal braces.
How much will treatment cost?
Metal braces may offer the most affordable treatment option, although your treatment plan’s cost will depend on a range of aspects. These aspects include the complexity of your dental misalignments and the level of correction desired. We can provide a detailed estimate once we assess your concerns and create a treatment strategy based on your goals.
Find a Dentist Near Me
Metal braces do a fantastic job of sprucing up the appearance of the smile and correcting bite issues. At Ganji Dental, we aim to give you your best smile and provide services that enhance your overall dental health. We are the best in class and can even use braces with other orthodontic appliances to achieve the best outcome. Our experience speaks volumes about our dedication to providing impeccable services in Hawthorne, CA. If you are ready to start enjoying beautiful and healthy smiles, contact us at 310-643-8045.