Traditional Metal Braces or Clear Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces for orthodontic patients. Metal braces are made of high-quality stainless steel or titanium. Patients of all ages choose metal braces to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.
Clear braces are very similar to traditional metal braces (and accomplish the same goals) except that they are clear. Many of today's braces are made from either clear or natural tooth-colored materials to provide patients with an attractive, less-noticeable alternative to traditional metal braces, with an equally effective treatment.
What are the components of braces?
Whether you get metal or clear braces, there are three main parts to your braces:
- Brackets — Brackets are attached to the teeth using special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place.
- Archwire — The archwire is the thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to help guide them into position.
- Elastomeric Colors / Ligature Elastics (also known as the “colors”) — Ligature elastics are the colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the colors at each appointment.
How do braces work?
Braces and wires place constant low forces on your teeth, and the forces move your teeth into their proper position. At each appointment, your orthodontist may tighten or adjust the archwires. In addition to braces, some patients may need to wear rubber bands to help correct their bite.
What foods should you avoid and why?
- Avoid hard, sticky, & chewy foods – examples include caramel, snickers, starburst, taffy, skittles, hard candies, nuts, popcorn, crunchy pizza crust, tortilla chips, and harder breads like a baguette
- Avoid eating certain foods with your front teeth – examples include whole apples, carrots, and corn on the cob
- Avoid biting pens, pencils, fingernails, & ice
- Eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods can cause broken brackets, bands, and wires. Breakage oftentimes extends your time in braces and adds unnecessary trips to our office for repair visits.