For people considering getting braces, there are numerous orthodontic options available today. From conventional metal braces to contemporary Invisalign aligners, deciding which option is best for your needs can be difficult. Your dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist who will explain the advantages of each type.

Metal braces are dental appliances made of high-quality steel brackets bound together with a metal archwire and non-toxic dental cement. A bracket that coils around the back molar and aligns to the curvature of your jaw supports this wire. The archwire and brackets work with ligature bands to straighten the teeth slowly. Many orthodontic treatments are available for patients who wish to straighten their teeth, but conventional metal braces are by far the most common. We invite you to contact Beach Dental Care Anaheim if you need high-quality metal braces.

Metal Braces Explained

Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite, can cause health issues like jaw pain, chewing difficulties, speech problems, and gum disease. Braces help in the alignment of your teeth and bite. This orthodontic treatment gradually slowly moves teeth back into their proper position over time.   Alternative brace treatments, like ceramic, lingual, and Invisalign, have gained immense popularity. 

Metal braces are among the most common fixed appliances. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in tooth alignment and bites. Your orthodontist could recommend a dental brace to:

  • Correct dental crowding.
  • For teeth straightening.
  • Reduce the likelihood of damage to your prominent teeth.
  • Correct your bite to ensure that your front and back teeth meet well.

Orthodontics can also come in handy in treating other medical conditions, like cleft palate and cleft lip. First, an orthodontist will cement and bond the metal braces directly to the teeth. Then, a flexible wire passes through slots in the brackets to hold your metal braces together. Your orthodontist will then secure the wire with small bands known as ligatures.

Braces put pressure on the teeth, causing them to move and realign. An orthodontist could tighten the wire and move the teeth and jaw during a dental appointment. Your orthodontist could also cement or bond a metal ring, or a band, to one of your back teeth to offer brace anchorage and strength. You could wear elastic bands between your upper and lower jaws during treatment for individual tooth movement and realignment. Checkups with your orthodontist are usually scheduled every 6-8 weeks, all through the brace treatment, to ensure proper alignment.

The Common Types Of Metal Braces

Below are the most common types of metal braces:

Traditional Metal Braces — the braces have a history of being a highly effective appliance. The brackets are placed on the anterior surface of your teeth and serve as an anchor for tooth movement along metal wires. These brackets are known to produce high-quality results.

Self-Ligating Braces — another perfect alternative to conventional braces is the self-ligating braces are available in metal and clear options. Instead of the traditional ligatures, these brackets secure the orthodontic wire with special doors or clips.  Self-ligating brackets have several advantages, including less time at the dental office for an adjustment and fewer visits to the dental office during treatment. In addition, keeping the self-ligating braces clean is easier because they are smoother than traditional brackets. 

Lingual Braces — also an alternative to conventional metal braces are lingual braces. They are almost the same in that they serve as anchor points for wires that move teeth. Lingual braces are positioned on the back part of the teeth.  However, even though they function similarly to conventional metal braces, they are usually "technique sensitive" (meaning that the brace placement and adjustment usually take longer). They could adversely affect the patient's speech and comfort. Regular verbal exercises could help patients overcome difficulties adjusting to speaking with the lingual braces

The Process Of Placing Metal Braces

Metal braces are made up of brackets and wires attached to your teeth. The process of placing the braces is straightforward.

  • First, the dentist will air-dry your teeth.
  • The dentist will then cover the teeth in a bluish liquid to help them dry even more.
  • Then, the dentist applies a strong bonding liquid to the teeth and cures them using a special blue light.
  • Next, the dentist applies cement directly to the tooth's middle area. The next step involves placing metal brackets directly on top of the cement.
  • After that, the doctor uses a special blue light to dry the cement and ensure the brackets are in place.
  • Finally, the dentist places a wire that will align your teeth.

The Advantages Of Metal Braces

Below are the leading benefits of Metal Braces

Metal Braces Are Less Expensive

Metal braces are less expensive than other dental alignment techniques. Some insurance plans cover them as well. If your insurance company does not cover metal braces, you could pay for the treatment with a credit card. The majority of orthodontic practices accept medical credit card payments. 

Before applying for a card, check your credit history, the interest rate charged by the lender, your income level, and your debt-to-income ratio. These factors will help you determine whether a credit card is a good option. Some credit cards are specially designed to pay for expensive dental treatments. These cards enable you to cater to dental treatments without making any down payments.

They Are Long-lasting

Conventional metal braces last for years, unlike other types of teeth alignment appliances. This is due to their high strength and durability. The braces can also withstand the normal wear and tear of chewing food and brushing your teeth.  Metal braces are made from stainless steel or titanium, both of which are extremely strong. They are also tough to break. However, you must avoid some foods like crunchy snacks and hard nuts.

Furthermore, metal braces will not interfere with your daily activities.  One of the most significant advantages of braces is that you can go about your daily activities, like sports and rigorous exercises, without worry.

Fast Results

Metal braces work efficiently, especially when properly cared for. This is due to the braces' design and sophistication. Most people usually wear metal braces for an average of three years. However, other people only require them for a year.

Metal braces are an excellent investment in terms of time and money. In addition, they provide you with the benefit of excellent dental health for the rest of your life.

Ideal For Tough Realignment Cases

Metal braces are among the ideal teeth alignment options for various orthodontic conditions because they enable the orthodontist to rectify teeth alignments by carefully planning the intervention and shifting of each tooth. This treatment has life-changing and dramatic outcomes.

The following are some tooth issues that are easily rectified with metal braces:

  • Spaces between the teeth.
  • Teeth misalignment.
  • Cross-bites.
  • Overbites.
  • Overcrowding.
  • Under-bites.
  • Protruding teeth.

Before committing to orthodontic treatment, it is critical to assess the efficiency of the available dental alignment instruments. Then, based on your needs and personal preferences, your dentist will strive to give you a beautiful smile with well-aligned and healthy teeth.

Enhance Continuous Dental Care

Metal braces usually remain in place, aligning the teeth until the treatment is complete. This is beneficial because it ensures that the alignment process and dental care are not disrupted. Other prevalent treatment options, like clear alignments, must be removed when eating or brushing the teeth.

Even if clear aligners are an outstanding option for patients who do not want food restrictions, maintaining discipline and reaping the maximum benefits of the treatment can be difficult. Furthermore, clear aligners will also not work if you do not wear them for 20-22 hours daily.

Thus, conventional metal braces are the ideal dental appliances for people who do not want to worry about their orthodontic appliances' effectiveness. They are also suitable if you do not wish to make multiple appointments to have your teeth fixed. The braces begin working as soon as you leave the orthodontist's office.

Eliminate The Need For More Complicated Dental Procedures

They could worsen if you do not address your orthodontic issues immediately.  However, if you properly care for your teeth, they will stay healthy and robust indefinitely. Therefore, the first step to excellent dental health is seeking orthodontic treatment.

Metal braces relieve pressure within your teeth and align them while also assisting you in achieving better dental health. Traditional metal braces could even help you avoid the need for dentures and tooth extractions later on.

Metal Braces Improve Your Smile

Straight teeth result in a beautiful smile, a significant source of pride and confidence for many people.  As a result, once you have completed the orthodontic treatment with conventional metal braces, you will not have to hide your smile when taking photographs or meeting new people.

A stunning smile will boost your confidence, particularly when you meet new people.  It also makes you feel good about yourself when attending professional and social events like weddings, graduations, and business meetings. Obtaining metal braces is, therefore, the path to a beautiful smile.

The Disadvantages Of Metal Braces

If you have metal braces placed in your mouth, you will experience a period of adjustment and some side effects. These side effects, fortunately, are not severe, and if you do not have a sensitive mouth or gums, you should be fine. However, it is good to understand what you are up against, whatever happens.


Decalcification can occur in your teeth if you do not floss or brush appropriately while wearing metal braces. Decalcification is the beginning of a cavity, which is white in appearance.

You Could Develop Sores 

A bracket could sometimes rub against the tissues of your mouth, aggravating the area and forming a sore. If you have a sore caused by braces, you could cover it using orthodontic wax to prevent further infection.

Tightening Or Modifications

Your metal braces must be tightened occasionally, which could be uncomfortable and lead to soreness in the mouth for several days. Therefore, you should limit yourself to eating soft foods during this time.

You Must Avoid Certain Foods

You must avoid certain foods while wearing metal braces, such as corn on the cob, taffy, and gum. Essentially, anything that could be easily tucked between the brackets.

The Appearance Of Metal Braces

Some people dislike the aesthetic of braces. Most people prefer the aesthetic and comfort of clear aligners to traditional braces. This is a personal preference; some people don't mind flaunting their braces. Braces are pretty common nowadays, and we are unlikely to be branded as having a metal mouth.

Whether You Are A Candidate For Metal Braces

You should speak with your dentist or orthodontist before deciding on any orthodontic treatment. Every patient is different, especially in dentistry. Therefore, it is critical to have your specific dental issues evaluated by licensed specialists who provide the best diagnosis and treatment plan.

After the dentist examines you, he/she will recommend the best treatment options for your case. It is best to assess the multiple types of braces to identify the one that will work the best for you.

How Long Will You Wear Metal Braces

Since every patient is different, the time required to wear braces varies depending on various factors. Let us consider the three primary factors influencing how long it takes to achieve the perfect alignment and a perfect smile.

  • Age —children usually see outcomes faster than adults. Therefore, the earlier a person gets braces, the shorter the treatment time.
  • The extent of correction required — the more shifting required, the longer it is likely to take. The treatment times will also vary depending on how fast your body responds to the treatment.
  • The type of braces selected or required — treatment periods also vary depending on every patient's specific needs and circumstances. 

Are Metal Braces Painful?

Braces are typically more uncomfortable than painful in the beginning. This is because braces initially apply pressure to straighten the teeth. The discomfort fades fast as the mouth adjusts to the braces.

On the follow-up appointments, during which your doctor will check the progress and tighten your teeth to move them, you could experience some discomfort for several days; then, the pain will fade. However, metal braces are not as painful or uncomfortable as portrayed.

Do You Need Additional Headgear

Many patients ask about possibly requiring external headgear to make adjustments, particularly in severe teeth misalignment. While these scenarios are becoming exceedingly rare as orthodontic technology and dental treatment methods advance, there could be times when an external appliance is required to produce the needed tooth movement. For patients who do require external headgear to help their orthodontic treatment work more effectively, it's crucial to know that modern headgear devices are comfortable to wear and simple to remove and attach. Furthermore, headgear is commonly worn for a short time during treatment.

How To Take Care Of Your Metal Braces

Excellent dental hygiene and a well-balanced diet are essential when taking care of metal braces. In addition, brushing your teeth properly while wearing braces is crucial for avoiding plaque buildup and oral diseases like gingivitis

When wearing braces, you should do the following:

  • Brush your teeth at a minimum of three times per day.
  • Brush your teeth one hour after eating.
  • Brush the braces above, on, and below their surfaces.
  • A person wearing braces should clean between their teeth with other appropriate tools, like a floss threader and interdental brushes.
  • You should also be careful with the foods you eat, especially in the first few days after having the metal braces fitted. For example, following the braces installation, you should avoid eating hard nuts, pretzels, chewy candy, hard rolls, and ice.
  • You should visit the dentist regularly to have the metal braces adjusted. It is recommended that you visit your dentist once after four to six weeks to have your braces tightened. Regular adjustment ensures that the braces are well positioned to ensure that the teeth shift in the right direction.

To clean the teeth sufficiently, your orthodontist can give you a specialized toothbrush or other cleaning tools.

Furthermore, chewy, sticky, or hard foods are not good because they can damage your braces. These are some examples:  ice, chewing gum, popcorn, nuts, hard and chewy sweets, whole hard fruits like apples, raw vegetables like carrots, ribs, corn, and hard bread, like rolls or bagels.

Any hard or chewy foods should also be sliced into tiny bite-size pieces. You will find it much more comfortable to eat soft foods in the days following the brace fitting. Soft foods include yogurt, pasta, soft bread, cooked or canned vegetables, mashed fruits, or scrambled eggs.

How can you know that your metal braces are working the way they should? You can tell that the braces are working if your teeth are experiencing some discomfort. It is normal to feel a bit uncomfortable when your teeth are shifting to the desired position. Therefore, you should not worry when you experience some discomfort. However, the discomfort should be mild. If you experience intense pain, this is a sign that something is wrong.

The Cost Of Metal Braces

The cost of metal braces varies depending on several factors. For example, the cost of braces will depend on the extent of your dental problems. You incur less cost on braces if you only need to correct a small dental issue. However, the cost of braces will be higher for extensive dental problems.

Metal Braces Are Still Popular

If you have experienced discomfort, frustration, or a lack of confidence because of misaligned teeth, braces could be the perfect solution to bring your smile to its former glory. They are also ideal for treating a wide range of dental health conditions that could negatively affect your overall well-being, so having an open conversation with your dentist regarding the ideal possible treatments for your specific case is critical. Modern braces are capable of producing excellent results in a short time.

Find High-Quality Metal Braces Near Me

Conventional metal braces are the most common treatment option for teeth alignment. Other orthodontic treatments include Invisalign, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. If you have braces, you should brush your teeth regularly and clean the wires, brackets, and each tooth individually. Brushing your teeth prevents oral diseases like gingivitis and plaque. You should also closely monitor your diet to avoid plaque buildup and brace damage. We invite you to contact Beach Dental Care Anaheim if you need high-quality metal braces. Contact us at 714-995-4000 to speak to one of our dentists.