So, it’s time for braces. One of the first questions people will ask you is what kind of braces are you going to get? There are two kinds of braces available: traditional metal braces and ceramic or clear braces. As you read through this page, you will learn about the differences between these two types of braces and what each of them does for you. The knowledge you find here will help you make an informed decision about the kind of braces that are perfect for you.

Traditional Metal Braces

What are metal braces?

Metal braces are the traditional orthodontic tool for straightening crooked teeth and correcting facial asymmetries, such as bite issues. They consist of stainless steel or titanium alloy brackets that we adhere to your teeth. These metal brackets are highly durable and won’t corrode. Those two traits are essential since the brackets will stay in your mouth long-term. A metal wire called an archwire is attached to the brackets that enable us to create tension that moves the teeth into their correct location. Rubber bands keep the wires in place.

Are metal braces better?

Metal braces work well. They were the very first orthodontic appliance. So, they are tried and true. Their extended service time speaks volumes about the quality job they do. Are they better than other types of braces? The answer to that question is really a personal journey. It is essential to understand that metal braces do a good job. They are also less expensive than other types of braces and they tend to work faster.

What is a typical treatment like with metal braces?

Treatment with metal braces is a series of orthodontic appointments. The first appointment is to fit the brackets to your teeth. That process occurs after the removal of extra teeth occurs. You will feel pressure in your mouth as the brackets are applied to your teeth. For molars, ring brackets may be installed. Brackets fit the front of the tooth on other teeth so that the wire passes over the teeth. When the wire adjustment occurs, you will feel the tension on individual teeth. Not every tooth has pressure at the same time. In between visits, you may experience gum and cheek irritation. This is not uncommon and somewhat expected. Sometimes the wire ends may become pokey. We give you a wax container to put over the irritating pieces, which helps to soothe your mouth. You may experience pain from the tension on the teeth. If that happens, we are here to help you should you experience pain.

Flossing is handled by a string method where you feed the string through your teeth so that you can floss each area of your mouth. It takes a little while longer with braces because you have to string the floss over the braces. Every month or so, you have an appointment to reapply tension to the wires. These appointments allow the orthodontist to readjust tension on your teeth so that progress is made.

How much do metal braces cost?

Each case is different, and insurance companies to reimburse at the same rate. Also, because your mouth is full of its own unique challenges, it is difficult to give you an exact price without an evaluation visit.

Do metal Braces hurt?

They can cause pain and irritation. Both are treatable. Irritation from the metal pieces is often overcome simply by apply wax to the irritation part. Pain from tension on the teeth can be treated or the tension reduced.

Ceramic /Clear Braces:

What are ceramic (also known as clear) braces?

Ceramic braces are very similar to metal braces. One difference is that the brackets are clear or tooth-colored with ceramic braces. Another difference is that the archwire used can also be tooth-colored or clear. These work in the same way that metal braces do.

What is the typical treatment length with ceramic braces?

The typical treatment using ceramic braces is slightly longer than the treatment period for metal braces. Expect treatments to last from 1 1/2 to three years or longer. One issue with ceramic braces is that they are fragile, which means more office visits for replacing brackets and adjusting tension.

Do Ceramic Braces Hurt?

You run into the same types of pain issues with ceramic braces as you do with metal braces. The tension is less severe with ceramic braces than with metal braces, but you can experience pain caused by pressure on the archwire. That is easily remedied with an office visit. The structure of ceramic braces can also cause irritation. Wax is a good solution for smoothing out the irritation.

How much do Ceramic Braces cost?

Every case is different, so the best answer here is a range. There may be extra costs due to the fact that ceramic braces are more fragile than are metal braces. That means it takes more office visits to achieve the same level of treatment. The tension on the archwires is adjusted more frequently with ceramic braces over that of metal braces.

Are Ceramic Braces better?

Generally, metal braces are better. They do the job quicker than do ceramic braces. The two significant differences besides cost are that ceramic braces are not as noticeable as are metal braces. They are also more fragile, so they take longer for the treatment process to work.

Which type of braces is better for you?

To answer that question requires that we look into your mouth, evaluate your bite and tooth position. Both metal braces and ceramic braces work well. One takes a little longer and costs a bit more. The end result can be the same. So part of the answer to that question is, which is better for you?

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