Metal Braces

Metal braces started to be used regularly near the end of the twentieth century. Orthodontists developed a way to combine a variety of different metals to form the braces and the wires that would go through them. Gold was an incredibly common material. Unfortunately because it is a soft metal, it needs to be adjusted a lot and that got to be very expensive—too expensive for most patients.

The very first metal braces actually wrapped around the whole tooth. It wasn’t until the 1950s and the 1960s that orthodontists started employing stainless steel regularly. It wasn’t until nearly the 1980s that orthodontists started to use bonding to affix the brackets (metal) directly to a patient’s teeth. This was also the same time that self-ligating braces started to be used more often. Self-ligating braces are metal braces. They, however, do not need any extra wires or elastics to keep the arch wire in the right place. Rather, the arch wire fits through something resembling a trap door that is held in the right spot by the actual brackets.

Different Parts of Braces
Different Parts of Metal Brace

While these days braces can be made from other materials, metal is still the most popular among them. It is primarily because the same metal can be employed for treating a bunch of problems that are orthodontic in nature whereas the other materials can only be used for one or two very specific things. The only genuine drawback to using metal is that it doesn’t usually look very good. Metal is obvious in its appearance and if you are self conscious you might have a hard time accepting the use of such an obvious material on your smile.

Until just a few years ago the only color you could get metal braces made in was gray. They only came in square shapes. These days, though, metal brackets are being fashioned into a variety of different colors and a bunch of different shapes. Try to imagine covering your teeth in yellow stars! This is definitely possible. If you are intrigued by the idea, you should make sure you mention this to your orthodontist. Gray braces can also be “dressed up” by using different colors on your bands and elastics… Of course this won’t be an option if your orthodontist is using self-ligating braces. Elastics come in pretty much every color and can add quite a bit of personality to ordinarily boring looking braces.

colored braces
Colored Brace

It’s quite important to keep your braces as clean as you can. This is particularly true if they are constructed from metal. Metal will scratch and stain really easily so make sure you follow the cleaning instructions to the letter. The very last thing that you want is a bunch of stained and scratched metal covering your teeth. Remember: your brackets are bonded on. You cannot simply switch them out when they start to look shabby.

Just about the primary advantage of having metal braces is that they are the most affordable variety there is to choose from. Since metal brackets are so incredibly common and since they can be employed for pretty much all of the different orthodontic treatments that are out there. They are also the most practical material you can choose. They also work quite a lot more quickly than the other materials from which you can choose.

They may not be the prettiest choices or the least conspicuous but you can make them quite a lot prettier and they can last for a really long time.


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