When it comes to straightening and moving teeth, dental braces are one of the most common and traditional ways of creating a perfect, eye-catching smile.
If you aren’t 100% happy with your smile, dental braces can be used to correct even the most complicated of issues, particularly in terms of closing gaps and correcting crooked teeth. And, once their work is done, you should not only find that your teeth look better, but also that eating and speaking is far easier than before!
There are four main types of dental braces available, each offering a variety of benefits and features:
- Metal braces that are fixed to the outside of your teeth
- Ceramic braces that are fixed to the outside of your teeth
- Lingual braces, which fix to the linside of your teeth
- Clear aligners or Invisalign
Metal braces are one of the most traditional methods of straightening and moving teeth and, whilst there are now a wide range of other cosmetic dentistry procedures and treatments available, metal braces are still frequently used to help create the perfect smile!
Although many people are now attracted to braces that are less visible (such as ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign), metal braces offer a whole host of benefits! So, if the appearance of your braces isn’t your main concern, then you should definitely consider this treatment option.
What are metal dental braces?
Traditional metal dental braces consist of a wire running along a number of brackets. The pressure applied to the teeth gradually causes slight movements, which help to properly align and straighten the teeth, creating a perfect smile!
Why have metal braces?
Although all types of dental braces can work wonders on your smile, metal braces offer a number of benefits. Firstly, they tend to be the most durable type of braces, so you can rest assured that they will be able to withstand the demands of your day-to-day life. Metal braces are also the easiest to adjust, meaning that they can make your treatment considerably faster than other types of braces and, because they are made with a low profile, they usually rub against the cheeks less than ceramic braces. In addition to this, if your dentist ever needs to change the position of a bracket, this is quicker and easier to do than with ceramic and lingual braces.
What’s more, they are also more cost effective than other dental braces. So, if you’re not overly concerned about the appearance of your braces, then metal braces can offer a reliable, lower cost option that. will allow you to complete your treatment and see results as quickly as possible.
If you’re considering metal braces, the process is a relatively straightforward one. Firstly, your dentist will examine your teeth to check whether metal braces are a suitable treatment option for you. They’ll also give you an estimate of how long the treatment will take and how much it will cost.
Once you’ve decided to go ahead, the next step is to take some moulds of your teeth, known as study models, as well as photographs of your face and teeth, and some specialised X-rays. You dentist will use the moulds images to come up with the best possible plan for your treatment. At this point, you should also be given a more accurate idea of the cost and length of your treatment.
When you’ve discussed the planned approach with your dentist, if you’re happy to go ahead, the next step is to make an appointment to have your braces fitted. After the braces have been fitted, you’ll also need to visit your dentist for adjustments every month or two and, at the end of your treatment, your braces will be removed to reveal your brand new smile!
How long does the treatment take?
The amount of time your treatment will take depends upon a whole range of factors, including how crooked your teeth are and how out of place your bite is. If your teeth are particularly crooked or if they stick out a lot, you will most likely have to wear your brace for longer than someone with less crowded teeth – but, however long you have to wear your braces, it will be worth it in the end!
Generally speaking, a typical course of treatment lasts 18-24 months, but many cases are completed sooner, whilst very rare, complex cases can take over 24 months to complete.
Do metal dental braces hurt?
Although your dentist will always try and keep any pain and discomfort to a minimum, most people do say that braces hurt when they are first fixed to the teeth, and the discomfort is most noticeable a couple of days afterwards. You’ll probably find that your teeth will ache as they aren’t used to the pressure of the braces, whilst your gums and cheeks may become sore due to the metal brackets rubbing against them. It’s important to remember, however, that everyone’s experience is totally different and some feel more pain than others.
Any initial pain that you feel will start to improve after a couple of days, and should disappear completely within a few weeks. To manage the pain, you should us over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, whilst dental wax can help to protect against sores and ulcers.
In addition to pain and discomfort, you might also notice that you have difficulty eating – try choosing soft foods that are easy to chew, this should make the entire process a lot more comfortable!
The good news is that, within a couple of months, you’ll probably forget that you’re even wearing braces! And it’s a small price to pay for a perfect smile, right?