Conventional and Traditional Brackets
There have been several improvements over the years for orthodontic devices, but the traditional metal brackets are still frequently used. Brackets are the devices that hold the wires in place and move teeth by applying pressure. The traditional brackets, used in conjunction with round wires, usually move just the coronal portion of the tooth in the first year, and during the second year, moves the crown and root with rectangular wires. Along with the wires, patients wear tiny rubber bands called elastics, and/or wire ligatures to hold the wires in place. There are now numerous styles of metal brackets to choose from. Some of these options include brackets that can move teeth faster, brackets that come in fun shapes, and hybrid ceramic (clear) and metal brackets that give the illusion of smaller brackets.
If you are considering the traditional route for braces, here are some things to think about:
- They are generally more cost-effective and durable than the newer technologies
- Kids will like that they can personalize their brackets by choosing different elastic colors
- The brackets manufactured today are smaller than the brackets from years ago, so they aren’t going to be as irritating to the gum tissue
- Lingual (tongue-side) braces are available, and are not visible due to the fact they are on the back sides of the teeth. These require the orthodontist to have taken advanced coursework
- If you have severely crooked teeth or a substantial bite problem, metal brackets are the best method to correct the problem
- They are the most visible of the brackets, so if you are considering aesthetic appeal, metal brackets would not be your first choice
- They are made of stainless steel, so they do contain various metals, including nickel. If you have a metal allergy, this may not be the best route
Traditional metal brackets are still the preferred method of orthodontic treatment, but as you can see, there are options available to achieve your desired result for a straighter, healthier smile.