There are many types of braces available these days, but traditional metal braces are still what most people think of when they picture braces. Our Vancouver orthodontists talk a little about these classic orthodontic appliances.
While there may be a growing variety of options available, traditional metal braces are still the most common orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth.
The good news is that metal braces have changed a lot over the years. Metal braces today are significantly smaller, lower profile, and more comfortable than previous versions.
What are metal braces made of?
It won't surprise you to learn that metal braces are made of – you guessed it – metal!
Generally metal braces are made of high quality stainless steel or titanium and consist of 3 main parts:
First we have the brackets, which are the pieces that are attached to the teeth using special bonding material that holds them in place.
Then there's the archwire which is the thin length of metal wire that connects the brackets to each other. The archwire works to put pressure on the teeth in order to guide teeth into their new positions.
Ligature Elastic (otherwise known as “rubber bands”)
Last but not least are the ligature elastics! Your elastics are the coloured (or clear) ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. At each appointment your orthodontist will change the elastics which will give you the opportunity to switch colours if you like.
How do metal braces work?
Braces move teeth by exerting continuous pressure on your them. The force of the pressure from the braces is what moves the teeth into the correct positions.
When you visit your orthodontist during treatment, they will likely tighten the archwires and replace your rubber bands. These steps are required in order for your treatment to progress.
Metal Braces Are for Everyone
Metal braces continue to be among the most popular and most cost-effective orthodontic treatments available today. However, every smile is different, and your orthodontist will help you decide which treatment is best for your individual case.