Traditional Metal Braces

Metal Braces: Traditional wire and bracket braces.

• Metal braces are more affordable and versatile than other types of braces.
• Colored bands on metal braces are fun for kids to change and mix and match.
• They move teeth faster and are more gentle than plastic aligners.
• Compliance issues are less of a concern because the wires will continue to move the teeth. They can’t be taken out like the clear plastic aligners. If the patient does not follow the treatment plan and wear the aligners, it will cause a relapse back to the original crooked teeth.

• Metal braces are more noticeable than other types of braces.
• It’s more difficult to brush and floss.

Metal braces can be used when treating:

• Crowding of the teeth
• Spacing of teeth
• Overjet: Protruding front teeth
• Underbite: Lower front teeth in front of upper teeth.
• Deep overbite: Lower front teeth bite into palate
• Open bite: Front teeth don’t touch
• Impactions
• Palatal expansion
• Rotated teeth
• Intruding teeth
• Congenitally missing teeth
• Jaw problems

How Do Traditional Metal Braces Move Teeth?

With all the braces components in place, the archwire applies constant pressure to the brackets and thus the teeth move into the correct position. With the pressure, the periodontal ligament or PDL is stretched and compressed on different sides and the result is a loosened tooth. As a means of support for the tooth in the new position, Alveolar Bones grows in the space. Basically, the bone is remodeled to accommodate the direction in which the tooth is being moved.

Brackets and archwires in braces create a force that is typically present during bone remodeling and this force applies the right amount of pressure in the needed direction. At first, the archwires will be more flexible to allow very slight pressure to the teeth so they move over a longer period of time. The heat in your mouth, 20-25 degrees F hotter than room temperature, activates the archwires to become less flexible. Over time, your archwires will need to be less flexible as more pressure is
needed to move the teeth. Flexible wires are best used for moving the teeth forwards, backwards, up and down too. Rigid wires are used for tilting (torquing) teeth inwards or outwards.

Together strategically placed brackets and their archwires carefully force the bone remodeling and guide your teeth in the proper new position. How long you will have to wear braces all depends on how effectively this process happens and different variables such as bone growth, how well the teeth move and the speed of movement will affect this duration.

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