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The Advantages of Traditional Orthodontics (Metal Braces)

Traditional orthodontic teeth-straightening methods – i.e., metal braces — have been around for many years and are still offered by most orthodontists and dentists who provide orthodontic services. That may seem odd considering how many alternatives there are in this day and age, including the variety of clear plastic aligners that now available. As it turns out, sometimes the old ways really are the best ways for some dental patients. In this article we explain some of the advantages of traditional orthodontics (metal braces). But before we discuss the benefits, we’ll briefly describe the treatment method involved in metal braces.


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How They Work

Metal braces consist of metal brackets that are cemented onto the front of the patient’s teeth, then connected together with arch wires. Those arch wires are adjusted by the dentist or orthodontist every few weeks, and over the course of many months they slowly but surely move the patient’s teeth into new, straighter positions. After treatment is complete, most people need to wear a retainer at night for a certain period of time to ensure that their teeth stay straight.

The Advantages of Metal Braces

If you’re wondering why some dental patients are still choosing metal braces over other alternatives, read on. What follows are some of the many advantages of this traditional orthodontic treatment.

  • Metal braces correct virtually any type of orthodontic issue. Unlike clear plastic aligners, which are typically only effective for mild to moderate problems, metal braces provide a solution for just about any condition, including: closing gaps between teeth; misalignment; overcrowding; protruding teeth; overbites; underbites; and crossbites.
  • Metal braces are affordable. This traditional orthodontic solution is typically somewhat less expensive than other more modern alternatives. Not only are metal braces less costly to begin with; they are also at least partially covered by most dental insurance policies.
  • Metal braces are extremely durable. The brackets that are cemented onto the patient’s teeth are there for the duration of the treatment period – typically between 1 and 3 years. The brackets are usually made from a combination of titanium and steel, and are capable of enduring all the wear and tear that most patients put them through.
  • Metal braces are not removable. This may not sound like an advantage, but it is. Clear plastic aligners can be removed by the patient to brush and floss and to eat meals. That may provide some benefits, but it also means that the effectiveness of the treatment is pretty much left up to the patient – if he or she isn’t self-disciplined enough to wear the aligner trays for the recommended 22 hours each day, the treatment won’t work. Metal braces, on the other hand, can only be removed by the dentist or orthodontist. And they provide constant, steady pressure to straighten the patient’s teeth in the most effective way possible.
  • Metal braces provide the patient with better oral health and overall quality of life. People with crooked teeth that are left untreated can experience a wide variety of very negative results as the years go by. Common symptoms of crooked teeth include speech impediments, headaches, jaw pain, bone loss, gum disease, increased tooth decay, disrupted sleep, and even digestive issues if dental problems prevent the patient from adequately chewing food. So although the typical treatment period for metal braces is between 1 and 3 years, the end result is a lifetime of better oral health, improved overall health, and a generally higher quality of life.
  • Metal braces can help the patient to avoid more serious procedures in the future. If you have orthodontic issues, they won’t go away if they’re left untreated. In fact, they will only get worse. Wearing metal braces now can avoid the necessity for other more invasive procedures later on, such as tooth extractions and even dentures.
  • Modern metal braces are different than past versions. Dental patients can choose from a variety of different types of braces, some of which are smaller and less visible than the traditional type. These smaller versions are also a little more comfortable and somewhat less cumbersome inside the patient’s mouth.
  • Metal braces work for patients of all ages. When most of us think of a typical orthodontic patient, we probably envision a young teenager. But the truth is that metal braces work for virtually anyone at any age. Even older adults can enjoy a more attractive smile thanks to this highly reliable traditional treatment.
  • Metal braces will ultimately give you a much more attractive smile. Never underestimate how much a nice smile can change your life for the better. Studies conducted over the past few years have shown that people with attractive smiles feel better about themselves and the world around them, and that they are viewed in a more positive light by other people. Wearing braces for a few short months or years is well worth the end result – which is a beautiful smile for life.

Although it’s true that metal braces are a highly effective way of resolving virtually any orthodontic issue, they may not be the right choice for every patient. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist. He or she can assess your current oral health and make recommendations about the right treatment method for you. In this article, we have discussed the benefits of metal braces in particular, but other orthodontic technology has proven successful for patients as well. If your problems are relatively mild or moderate, for example, clear plastic aligners may be a good choice to straighten your teeth. Ceramic braces are another option. They utilize the same method involved with metal braces except that the brackets are made from a clear ceramic material, making them much less noticeable than metal braces. To find out more about the advantages of traditional orthodontics, and to learn about other orthodontic methods, schedule an appointment today with your dentist or orthodontist. You could be enjoying a straighter, more beautiful smile in the near future thanks to these effective treatment methods.