Metal Braces: Pros And Cons

The most common type of braces is metal braces. These are made up of stainless steel, and the rubber bands hold the wires.

The metal wires have developed over time and are now come in smaller shapes and promise comfort. In addition, the new-gen metal Braces are having heat-activated archwires, which ease down and fastens the process of tooth setting.

metal braces
Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

1. How It Works

Braces are put on for a longer period. It works by exerting constant pressure on teeth during this period and causes our jaw to conform to this alignment.

Just below the gums of our teeth, a membrane roots the teeth to the jaw. This membrane is known as the periodontal ligament and it helps in positioning the teeth. So when braces are put under pressure, the membrane responsible for positioning the teeth provides a gradual movement to the teeth under pressure, and thus, teeth get aligned according to the braces.

The whole process might look painful, but it isn’t. Initially, when the braces are installed, it can cause soreness and discomfort for few days, but once you get used to it, you would no longer even feel its existence inside your mouth.

2. Types of Braces

Although there are many options available out there, the metal braces are in popular use. It is because of its cost-effectiveness and people’s less knowledge of other alternatives. 

Yes, there are other alternatives, and you don’t have to stick with the old conventional way of fixing the teeth. 

Even the metal Brace can be customized according to your personal preferences. The O-rings come in many colors. Ask your orthodontist 1for your favorite color.

3. Other Types of Braces

3.1 Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are almost the same as metal braces. They only differ in their position of placement.

These look-alike metal braces adhere on the inside, so no need to hide your braces anymore. The problem with these braces is they can give you a hard time while cleaning and maintaining oral health. Also, being on the inside can cause great discomfort at the initial stage, so it is not recommended for complex dental problems.

Needless to mention that it is a little pricey than regular metal braces.

3.2 Fast Braces

Fast braces or accelerated braces are just like traditional metal braces designed to provide corrective measures within a shorter time frame.

It uses subsonic wave and oral phototherapy to fasten the alignment of the teeth in its gum tissue.

The timeframe required to set up the teeth is almost half of that requires in metal braces.

3.3 Ceramic Braces

Many kids hate traditional metal braces, and their hate is justified because metal braces ruin their personality. In addition, they are often subjected to bullying by classmates, and it retards their psychological 2growth and development. Ceramic braces are a savior as they are made up of translucent material, making them less noticeable. However, the cost is relatively higher than the regular metal braces. 

Ceramic braces fasten the process of fixing the teeth along with the satisfaction of your kid. So the cost is worth it. 

3.4 Invisalign

The Invisalign is an advanced form of brace which is more invisible than ceramic braces or metal braces. It comes with aligners that are mouth guard-like templates. The Invisalign is set by computer simulation, so it cannot be used for very serious dental problems. However, using computer simulation makes it very useful to modify, and thus it can be removed every two weeks. It works for adults and teenagers.

The main advantage of Invisalign is you are free to eat and drink. Also, no more noticeable big metal braces.

It can be a little more expensive than metal or ceramic braces, so it is less likely to be chosen than conventional methods.

3.5 Damon System

If metal braces give you nightmares, this is the system you chose for your teeth. No O-rings, no metal brackets, no wires, the Damon system-self ligating braces are not based on the system of metal braces. Instead, a sliding mechanism is used.

 So your teeth are free to move while being forced into the right place, and you get your teeth set right without even compromising anything.

Although it is more expensive than metal braces, they are relatively easier to clean and are less painful.

4. Pros and Cons of Metal Braces Over Others

metal braces
Image by Günther Braun from Pixabay

Metal Braces are the most commonly chosen option, as it is more cost-effective than other alternatives. In addition, it is worn by both Kids and Adults. 

The options available are too overwhelming. so to choose one, we might need to compare them, and the best way to do so is by making a list of pros and cons of metal braces, and then decide which way to go.

4.1 Pros-

The Durability

The metal braces last longer without getting washed away. Also, there is no fear of wear and tear as these are made up of metals, unlike ceramic.

Strong

The metals are strong, and there is no fear of tearing down with use. So metal braces being made of metals offer unbreakable strength and control.

No Discoloration

Metals used in orthodontics are not corrosive and thus do not lose color and make you uncomfortable.

Cost-Effective

Being conventional, It’s cheaper than any other option available out there 

Easier To Handle

Metal braces are easier to handle because once fixed, only an expert can change them or remove them. So the braces would not have to bear the wrath of kids’ tantrums. 

4.2 Cons-

Metal Mouth

Initially, it causes discomfort while eating and gives every food a metallic taste. In addition, the metal mouth can take away the enthusiasm of eating from your child.

Noticeable

Between metal and ceramic braces, metal braces catch attention very easily because of their appearance. it can’t be camouflaged amongst the teeth like ceramic braces. However, with time new metal braces came into the market, and its O-rings come in colors. So ask your doctor she can make it less noticeable.

Cleanliness

Due to their chunkier size and messy brackets and wires, metal braces are more likely to hold food particles. The food particles, if not cleaned regularly, can cause major gum disease and other buccal infections3. So one must clean it regularly to prevent more problems.

Discomfort

Metal Braces being made of metals causes discomfort initially. However, the uneasiness goes away with time.

In Adults

Adults who seek orthodontic treatment do not generally choose to wear braces, given the looks associated with it. Also, the bones are no more flexible, and metal braces world be very uncomfortable. So go for other relatively easier and faster techniques like Invisalign and Damon system.

5. Why need braces

5.1 To Align The Wildly Growing Teeth in Young

In kids, braces are a way to hold the wildly growing teeth and give space to other growing teeth. Kids facing alignment issues can have major dental issues in the future, so the metal braces are a savior for any such future issues.

5.2 Correct the Dental Issues

Often there are issues of masticating or grinding due to misalignment of teeth. Braces help correct the alignment and prevent it from progressing any further.

5.3 Correct Overbites  and Underbites

Our teeth work effectively only when they are set right in pairs, and only being in a pair can help in grinding and cutting the food. So the alignment is needed to make it work rightly.

5.4 Beautiful Smile

When the pairs are set right, it produces a beautiful smile and adds up the beauty. Many adults in their late twenties seek orthodontic treatment for this.

5.5 Oral Health

Teeth that are not set not correctly invite bacterial and fungal infection. Such misaligned teeth may have stuck food particles inside it and later cause cavities 4and other infections.

6. How to Keep Your Metal Braces Clean

It’s highly recommended to keep the metal braces clean and maintain oral hygiene. Keep your mouth free from diseases and infection. 

6.1 Tips to Keep It Clean

  • Avoid food like hard nuts, tough meat, Popcorn, sticky candies, fibrous vegetables, corn chips, peanut butter, etc.
  • Use Brush and floss after every meal to take out food debris stuck inside the braces.
  • Use a soft yet effective brush to clean out. Rinse before going for brushing.
  • Try brushing after every meal, or if not possible, brush at least two times a day.
  • Use mouthwash only on your orthodontist’s recommendations, as the products available on the market can discolor the metal braces or other supportive parts of it.
  • Choose your toothpaste wisely, as many come with abrasive materials that can corrode the metal braces and take away Their luster.

7. Choose Right

After the removal of the metal braces it is recommended to use a retainer to hold the teeth for some time. 

Some adults also seek to give a good structure to their teeth and get a beautiful smile, but they fear how the metal braces look. There is no need to worry as multiple treatment options are available now, which are easier and saves you from the embarrassment of how the metal braces look and give you a beautiful smile you deserved without asking for any compromise. So leave out metal braces and choose among Damon system, ceramic braces, or Invisalign.

8. FAQs

Q. Does wearing metal braces hurt?

The process of putting on braces typically causes minimal pain. However, as the teeth start to move after the initial installation and during adjustments, some discomfort or soreness may be felt. Painkillers can aid with short-term discomfort relief.

Q. How frequently must I visit the orthodontist while undergoing treatment?

Orthodontic visits usually take place every four to six weeks. The orthodontist checks the teeth’s progress and adjusts the braces during these visits.

Q. Do metal braces interfere with normal eating?

It is advised to stay away from chewy, hard, and sticky foods while wearing braces since they could break the braces or get stuck in the wires and brackets. To avoid any issues, it’s crucial to keep up a soft and braces-friendly diet.

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  2. Roberts, Steven O., et al. “Racial inequality in psychological research: Trends of the past and recommendations for the future.” Perspectives on psychological science 15.6 (2020): 1295-1309. ↩︎
  3. Kam, Kai-Qian, et al. “Clinical utility of buccal swabs for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 detection in coronavirus disease 2019–infected children.” Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society 9.3 (2020): 370-372. ↩︎
  4. Berlin, Asher, et al. “Detecting high-frequency gravitational waves with microwave cavities.” Physical Review D 105.11 (2022): 116011. ↩︎

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