What Are Metal Braces?
Metal braces are composed of stainless steel brackets and wires. These are bonded to your teeth and exert pressure to shift them over time, which corrects any misalignment, gaps, bite problems, and overcrowding.
Metal braces are the traditional braces treatment, and while newer alternatives have been developed over the years, they are still considered the gold standard for treating severe orthodontic problems and for correcting orthodontic misalignment in children. Your braces may also be paired with elastics to shift your jaw alignment.
Contact us at The McLean Orthodontist today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bobby Marzban.
What Are The Benefits Of Metal Braces?
Even though metal braces are not the most aesthetically discreet option, their advantages far outweigh their aesthetic disadvantages. For one, they’re by far the most budget-friendly orthodontic treatment and they may be covered by your dental insurance.
Other cosmetic orthodontic treatments are rarely covered by insurance. Best of all, braces are incredibly versatile and fast. Metal braces are equipped to correct all types of orthodontic problems, especially more severe ones that other orthodontic treatments are less suited to handle.
By wearing braces, you can correct many different problems in the shortest possible timeframe, such as closing large gaps are correcting an overbite. Since these braces are made of stainless steel, their strength and durability are unmatched so you don’t have to worry about them being easily damaged.
Am I A Good Candidate For Metal Braces?
Metal braces are suitable for patients with any sort of orthodontic problem, from gaps and crooked teeth to misaligned bites and overcrowding. The more severe the orthodontic problems, the more important it is for the patient to undergo metal braces treatment, as this will be the most effective treatment for severe malocclusions.
If you need to perform complex tooth movements like rotating teeth or raising or lowering teeth in the gum line, then braces are best suited to do that. Braces are great for children, who are not good candidates for clear aligners because they require a lot of discipline and self-accountability.
Since braces are bonded to the teeth, children don’t need to remember to take them out and put them back in. However, you must have healthy teeth when wearing braces because they exert intense force onto the teeth and if you have eroded enamel or damaged teeth, this can further damage your teeth. All oral health problems should be treated before getting braces.
How Do Metal Braces Compare To Other Types Of Braces?
Ceramic braces are similar in function and design to metal braces, except that they are made of ceramic materials instead of metal. They are also tooth-colored and paired with a white archwire to hide the appearance of the braces so that they blend in with the natural teeth.
Ceramic braces are often chosen by patients who want a more discreet orthodontic treatment but still have significant orthodontic problems that may not be suitable for aligner treatment. While ceramic braces are more aesthetically pleasing, they are also more expensive, less durable, and may need to be replaced more often.
This can mean more appointments and additional appointment-related costs. Ceramic braces are a good option for patients who are primarily concerned with the appearance of their teeth during orthodontic treatment or patients with a metal allergy. However, metal braces remain much more effective, affordable durable, and produce faster results.
Metal Braces Vs Aligners: Which Is Best For Me?
Clear aligners are clear removable plastic aligners similar to a mouthguard which are worn over the teeth and exert gentle pressure to gradually shift them. These aligners can correct some minor to moderate orthodontic problems like gaps, crooked teeth, overcrowding, and bite problems but they can’t correct severe malocclusions.
Clear aligners are designed to blend in with natural teeth so that they go unnoticed. Since braces are bonded to your teeth and aren’t removable, you are getting 24-hour teeth shifting. Other orthodontic plans like clear aligners are removable and if they are taken out too much, they can negatively impact the patient’s results. At McLean Orthodontist, we offer three options for clear aligners: Invisalign, 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners, and Spark Aligners.
This fixed option ensures that your teeth are always improving their alignment during the day and night. Fixed braces are also much more suitable for children because children are tempted to take their aligners out, play with them, or fail to properly care for them. The braces process is much easier to keep them on track and prevent them from interfering with their treatment.
Expanders are common orthodontic appliances that widen a child’s jaw during the growth of the bones and cartilage, making it spacious enough for adult teeth. Expanders are available for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. They have a mini-screw attached to them that you can turn using a special key to gradually widen the jaw and the dental arch. Most children who get expanders don’t report pain, and if there is any discomfort, it is tolerable. We offer 3D printed expanders with greater accuracy, easier placement, and less chair time.
It may feel like it’s too early to seek orthodontic evaluation for your child, but the American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation by age 7. Patients this young do not always need orthodontic intervention yet, but if there are issues that could worsen (and we can prevent them), getting started with braces early has the potential to prevent further more problems down the line.
Habit appliances are small devices we can use to help your child stop a potentially damaging habit—such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting—before it causes issues for their bite or alignment. Often made of metal, these devices resemble small retainers that are worn for a short amount of time to break these habits and help prevent further treatment down the line.
Signs Your Child Needs Early Orthodontic Treatment
Early loss of baby teeth before age 5
By using special early orthodontic treatments, we can prevent the early loss of baby teeth which will save them more extensive treatments in the future.
Over-retained baby teeth by age 13
Over-retained baby teeth can occur when they don't have the space to fall out and grow on their own.
A bad bite and misaligned teeth can contribute to speech problems.
If your child continuously breathes out of their mouth, it may be due to misalignment issues.
Thumb sucking after age 5
Excessive thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking may indicate the need for early orthodontic treatment.
Difficulty chewing or biting down
Jaw misalignments or overcrowding in the mouth can cause issues with chewing and biting properly.
Protruding teeth are often a sign that your child's teeth aren't erupting into alignment.
Early orthodontic treatment is particularly important for children who may have jaw problems such as an underbite or overbite.
Crowded teeth are often a sign that your child can benefit from orthodontics.
Check Out These Beautiful Results!
See the difference that Spark Aligners can make in your smile.
Cross bite, Spacing
What is the best age to start orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation by age 7. This does not mean your child will need orthodontic treatment at this age, but it’s the best time to evaluate them as most patients will have their adult upper and lower incisor teeth in addition to their molars. This makes it an ideal time to observe how the rest of the adult teeth will come in and whether or not the teeth are properly aligned.
Is early orthodontic treatment necessary?
Not every child needs early orthodontic treatment, but when they do, it has the potential to prevent further complications or misalignment down the line. Getting started at a young age can also more easily guide the teeth and jaw into the place we want them to be.
How much will early orthodontic treatment hurt?
Early treatment can actually help your child avoid some of the pain and discomfort associated with greater misalignment problems later in life. While some discomfort is inevitable when we’re gradually moving teeth, it should not be painful, and we do everything we can to keep discomfort to a minimum and dental anxieties at bay.