Compared to clear braces or Invisalign aligners, traditional metal braces are known to be more effective in treating extreme misalignment issues as they allow your orthodontist to have better control over repositioning your teeth. Metal braces are also less costly, and there’s the added advantage that you won’t ever have to worry about misplacing your aligners.
The main drawback, however, is that these braces are very noticeable in contrast to their clear counterparts, which may make one conscious about their appearance.
The good news is that constant improvements in dental technology have led to more attractive-looking braces with a wide range of colors to choose from for both brackets and elastics, allowing you to still be fashionable while getting your teeth in shape.
Metal braces aim to improve the appearance and function of your teeth by bringing them into proper, straight alignment through gentle yet constant pressure.
This is essential as having straight teeth allows you to brush and floss properly, improving your oral health.
Properly aligned teeth also make chewing food more comfortable as pressure is spread across your teeth.
$1,100 to $1,800
A bonding agent is first applied to the teeth to aid in the attachment of metal brackets, after which an archwire is inserted through the bracket slots and secured with ligature wires/ties. The archwire is the active component that provides the force to help reposition the teeth, while the ligature wires/ties and brackets act as the passive components.
The archwire passes through all bracket slots until the molars (to which buccal tubes are secured), forming the anchorage unit. This anchorage unit is composed of multi-rooted teeth which hold the archwire in place and pulls the front teeth for repositioning, without undergoing any changes in position themselves.
When force is applied and the archwire is pulled and tightened, this wire attempts to move and relax, placing force on all teeth. Since the front teeth are single-rooted and have a smaller surface area than the back teeth, they are repositioned easily while the rear teeth act as the anchorage unit and undergo little to no change in position.
The type and thickness of the archwire determines the amount of force applied to the teeth to bring them into proper alignment. It takes around one to two hours to have your metal braces placed, after which it takes around 24 months for treatment to be completed.
Dental appointments are usually placed four to six weeks apart during which your dentist will carry out any replacements or adjustments as necessary.
Be mentally prepared. If you’re feeling nervous before your braces appointment, that’s completely normal! One thing you can do to calm your nerves is to educate yourself by doing some research on the procedure and reading up on other people’s experiences so you will know what to expect.
We will let you know the process of getting your braces placed so you can prepare yourself as necessary.
Be prepared to experience slight discomfort and soreness. It is normal to experience some discomfort and soreness as your teeth adjusts to the pressure applied by your new braces. Make sure to keep some pain-relieving medications (such as Tylenol) on hand to be taken when necessary, especially during the initial weeks after getting your braces placed.
Not to worry, though — your mouth will soon adjust to your braces and the discomfort will eventually ease.
Be sure to keep essential items on hand. During your appointment, we will let you know all the items you may need throughout treatment, and we will also supply you with a care kit. Metal brackets and wires may cause discomfort as they rub against your cheeks — to alleviate this, dental wax can be applied to create a barrier between your cheeks and the braces.
Regular floss won’t work for braces, so it is essential to keep floss specially designed for braces on hand to ensure your teeth are kept in top condition.
Clean your teeth thoroughly. It is essential to keep your teeth in good condition by regularly brushing and flossing before, during, and after getting braces placed. Practicing good dental habits throughout treatment ensures plaque and bacteria are kept away from your teeth and braces, and improves your oral health.
We understand you may want to change your plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its health implications.
Soreness and slight discomfort may be experienced during the first few weeks as your mouth adjusts to your new braces. This should ease after about a month or less, and you will get used to your braces in no time.
Are braces permanent?
The main goal of orthodontic treatment is to align your teeth to a stable, proper position, which is a complex process in itself. However, it is inevitable that teeth may move even after treatment. How long you must wear your braces will be informed by your orthodontist to ensure your teeth will not move back to their original position pre-treatment.
After treatment, you will also need to regularly wear a ‘retainer’ to prevent your teeth from relapsing. This ensures that all the effort you put into getting your teeth in shape does not go to waste!
Am I eligible for Metal Braces?
Patients with teeth misalignment issues, whether it be slight or severe, are eligible to get metal braces placed, regardless of age. Constant developments in orthodontics have enabled adults to get braces placed to achieve better, healthier smiles.
Your dentist will go through your medical history, perform a clinical exam, and may ask you to undergo some tests (such as X-ray imaging), to determine your eligibility for orthodontics.
How long does it take to straighten the teeth?
Although the length of time it takes for treatment to be completed varies on a case by case basis, it usually ranges between 12 to 24 months with the exception being complex cases which may take more time. This is because it takes between three to four weeks for a portion of your jawbone to adapt to the new position of your teeth.
Is it possible to switch from metal braces to other types of braces such as ceramic braces or Invisalign?
Yes, it’s definitely possible. However, it is important to note that acid etching is initially carried out before firmly bonding the metal brackets to your teeth. Re-etching is required when you decide to make the switch from metal to ceramic braces, which weakens the surface of the tooth enamel, and micro-factures may occur within the enamel during bracket debonding.
It is therefore essential to have a proper discussion with your dentist about your plan and any options available to you before proceeding with the treatment.