Traditional metal-wired braces are stainless-steel and are sometimes used in combination with titanium. Getting metal braces is definitely something to be excited about, but if you’re like most patients, you also have some questions and concerns about braces. Here are some things you should know about metal braces.
There are some key advantages that metal braces have over other brace options: Strength. Metal is very strong compared to other orthodontic treatment options. Plastic and ceramic brackets, on the other hand, are more fragile and break easily so they may have to be replaced a few times throughout the treatment process. They are also more effective in correcting overcrowding than some newer, more pliable clear plastic types.
Metal braces give your Forest & Ray orthodontist more versatility, more options. This means that we can remove them and as we need to check on your teeth every few weeks, and can determine if your teeth are moving properly. Our orthodontist can check your teeth and tighten the wires if necessary. As they’re fixed it means you have no chance of losing your braces, unlike invisible aligners which can easily be misplaced or lost if taken out of your mouth to eat, drink or to clean your teeth. Also, you can also choose braces with a darker ligature so they won’t show any signs of discolouration when you eat a curry, smoke or drink a black coffee.
You may need some dental work to set the stage for the coming braces. Since your teeth will be blocked by the braces any loose fillings need to be attended to. This could include extractions. Before getting braces, you’ll need to have a teeth cleaning and have all other dental work completed. This may include having wisdom teeth removed so they don’t interfere with the orthodontic treatment.
Begin to limit or eliminate certain foods from your diet before you get braces that can become a big problem. This includes gummy and sticky foods like caramels, gummy bears, and gum; foods you have to yank to chew, like taffy or jerky; very hard foods, especially those you bite into like corn on the cob and apples (of course, you can still eat these, they just need to be cut and chewed rather than bitten into).
Adults are especially concerned about the amount of time they need to wear braces. On average, it takes about 24 months to complete an orthodontic treatment. Some patients require less than 12 months, but there are also patients requiring up to 3 years of treatment before their teeth reach the desired position. Don’t worry though—that is an extreme example and the exception, not the rule.
The reason it takes so long is that the archwires of your braces will slowly and gently push your teeth into new positions and during that process, old bone tissue resorbs while the new bone tissue is formed. … This is the main reason why treatment with braces can last so long; it can take up to ten months for the new bone tissue to solidify!
Braces are a dental marvel and at Forest & Ray, we take great care to ensure successful implementation of them. But what about complications or risks? Do any exist? The short answer is yes: any medical or dental procedure is not without risks. While the risk factor is low, there does exist a chance of rare complications that could result in considerable problems for a patient.
Tooth decay and gum disease- When wearing braces, the areas of the teeth and gums that are close to or under archwires and brackets are difficult to clean. When teeth aren’t cleaned carefully, food particles can get trapped in these areas. This allows dental plaque to accumulate, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Allergic reactions- Rarely, an orthodontic patient may experience an allergic reaction to the latex rubber in the elastics or to the metal used in braces. If you or your child have any known allergy to nickel or latex, you should inform your orthodontist before starting any treatment. In these cases, there are latex-free elastics and alternative metals that can be used.
Cavities-, good dental hygiene is hugely important for patients in braces, for both the health and appearance of the teeth. Decalcification shows up as white marks on the teeth, and cavities can quickly form if food and plaque are not removed on a regular basis. Thankfully, these issues are easy to prevent by thorough brushing, flossing, and a low sugar diet.
Caring for braces is an important part of the experience: The better care you take of your braces, the more comfortable and effective they’ll be, and the quicker you’ll have them taken off.
We mentioned before about foods to avoid, but here are some concrete steps you can take to protect your teeth and your braces when wearing braces:
If your dental hygiene wasn’t the best before you got braces, it’s time to step up your game. Taking care of your teeth and gums becomes extra important when you wear braces, and caring for them means taking the time to brush your teeth and floss regularly. You’ll want to be gentle when you brush or floss in order to avoid damaging the wires and brackets.
Brush with a toothbrush with a soft head and brush after every meal as foods are more likely to get stuck in your braces, encouraging the buildup of plaque. Flossing after meals will help you get rid of food particles jammed between your teeth or in the wiring of your braces and on the brackets. Be gentle with the floss. Thread it carefully between the tooth and the braces’ wire, then work it slowly back and forth between the teeth and braces. Remember that too much force when flossing can damage your braces.
Good for you if you or your child plays sports. But remember to wear a mouth guard on both your top and bottom teeth when you have braces. For the best fit, invest in one that’s custom made by your dentist. We at Forest & Ray want you to wear your braces confidently and wish you good dental health. Come in and talk to us about braces and the beginning of a great new smile.