What are Traditional Metal Braces?
Traditional metal braces are a tried-and-true orthodontic treatment used to align teeth and improve your smile. With small metal brackets carefully attached to each tooth and connected by a thin wire, they gently guide and move your teeth into their correct positions.
Metal braces are durable and highly reliable, making them an excellent choice for a wide range of orthodontic issues—overcrowding, gaps, underbites, overbites, crossbites, and more. These types of braces have been used successfully for many decades to help countless people achieve beautiful, more confident smiles.
And while they’ve been an orthodontic stand-by for a long time, a number of advancements in orthodontic technology have made traditional metal braces more comfortable and less noticeable than ever!
For example, we use computers to assist in placing your brackets. This helps us ensure each one is in the optimal position to efficiently align your teeth as treatment progresses. Combined with our remote monitoring technology, we can generally get you through treatment quicker, with fewer in-office appointments, than you might experience at other practices—all without compromising what really matters: the results!
Whether you want to go “all out” by adding a fun, personalized touch via colorful elastic bands, or you want to keep things a bit more subdued, we’re with you every step of the way.
How Do Traditional Metal Braces Work?
Traditional metal braces apply gentle, consistent pressure on your teeth over time, strategically shifting them into their correct positions. No two smiles are the same, so your orthodontist installs and adjusts your braces to achieve results based on the unique features of your smile, jaw, and overall facial structure.
Here’s how it works:
- Brackets: These are small metal squares that serve as stable anchor points.
- Arch wire: A thin metal wire that we thread through all the brackets. Using this wire, your orthodontist adjusts the amount of applied force to gradually move your teeth.
- Elastic Bands: In order to maintain the right level of force, we use elastic bands attached to each bracket. They come in a variety of colors, adding a fun and customized element to the treatment.
- Adjustments: Over time, as your teeth shift toward their intended positions, your orthodontist will fine-tune your braces’ tension, typically during your regular orthodontic appointments every 4-6 weeks.
This process continues until your teeth have moved to their desired positions, and you have a beautiful, confident smile with a balanced, well-aligned bite. The length of the treatment can vary depending on your unique needs, and the average treatment time is around 1-3 years. Then we’ll create a retainer to keep your smile in place for a lifetime.
6 Benefits of Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces have been a reliable orthodontic treatment for many decades and continue to be popular due to their numerous benefits:
- Effectiveness: Metal braces are incredibly effective, whether you need simple straightening or have a more severe, complex set of bite issues like an under- or overbite.
- Durability: Made from high-grade stainless steel, metal braces are strong, resilient, and can withstand the rigors of daily life. For that reason, metal braces are a great choice for children and teenagers, who may be more likely to break or damage more delicate appliances.
- Adjustability: Traditional braces allow for precise control over tooth movement. Your orthodontist can make small adjustments during your visits to ensure treatment stays on track.
- Cost: Metal braces are generally the most affordable type of orthodontic treatment, making them accessible to a larger number of patients. While the actual cost varies depending on your unique needs, braces can often be more budget-friendly than other types of braces.
- Personalization: Metal braces allow for a bit of fun with personalization. The elastic bands come in a wide range of colors. Choose your favorite color, match them to a holiday, or show off your school or favorite team’s colors.
- Improved Technology: Today’s metal braces are more comfortable and sleeker than ever before. They’re smaller, more efficient, and designed with your comfort in mind.
While wearing traditional metal braces does require commitment, it’s a proven path to achieving a healthier smile that can boost your self-confidence for a lifetime.
Book a Free Consult for Affordable Metal Braces Near Detroit
In the skilled, highly experienced hands of our TDR Specialists in Orthodontics, traditional metal braces deliver reliable, safe results at an affordable price. But don’t take our word for it—just look at some of the remarkable results we’ve achieved!
When you’re ready, please schedule a free consultation for braces with an orthodontist near you to get started on your smile journey!
Breathe easy. Smile confidently.
Millions of children, teens, and adults suffer from airway problems—some without knowing. And because you’ll likely see us more than your regular doctor, every TDR patient, of every age, gets an airway screening as part of their comprehensive orthodontic exam.
It’s just one of the ways we use technology and teamwork to deliver the very best care, in the most efficient way possible. Let’s get you smiling more, starting today!
Traditional Metal Braces FAQs
Treatment time varies, depending on several variables, such as:
- The severity of your bite problem, if applicable.
- Your age and growth stage
- Your overall oral health, and more.
Most patients need to wear braces for 12 to 24 months, which may be shorter or longer depending on your case. Initially, your orthodontist will discuss this with you and give you an idea of what you can expect, and then after you’ve been in treatment for a while, we’ll have an even better idea of how long treatment will last. Remember: with our advanced approach, your treatment time will generally be shorter and require fewer in-office visits than you’d generally expect with other practices.
Metal braces are designed to be a part of your day-to-day life and most people adjust quickly to having them. That said, there might be a few changes you’ll need to make to ensure your braces stay in good shape and your treatment progresses smoothly.
- Sports: A mouthguard is highly recommended, particularly for contact sports. Good news: We’ll custom-make you one for free.
- Playing Musical Instruments: Some musicians find that using special orthodontic wax over the braces helps ease discomfort.
- Eating: Sticky, hard, or overly chewy foods can damage your braces and should be avoided.
- Oral Hygiene: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene becomes even more crucial with braces.
- Speaking: Some people might notice a slight difference in their speech when they first get their braces, but this is temporary.
Generally, braces do not hurt. However, you may feel a little sore or uncomfortable immediately after you first get them. This soreness is normal, and it will not last long. A saltwater rinse can help relieve soreness and inflammation. Dissolve a single teaspoon of salt in a full cup of lukewarm water and swish it around your mouth for a few minutes. If soreness persists, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If you experience lip, cheek, or tongue irritation in the weeks after getting braces, some wax can alleviate the problem quickly.
Regular visits to your orthodontist are an important part of your treatment when you have braces. These check-ups allow your orthodontist to monitor treatment progress and make necessary adjustments to keep treatment on track.
You can expect to visit your orthodontist every 4 to 6 weeks. However, this can vary depending on your individual treatment plan and how your unique smile responds to treatment.
The cost of braces depends on which type of braces you choose, how long you will need treatment, and any other factors that might be unique to your treatment plan. Our treatment coordinators offer payment plans that can work with your budget and get you the orthodontic care that you need.
Absolutely! One popular option for less noticeable braces is ceramic braces. Very similar to the traditional metal braces in that brackets and wires guide your teeth into the correct position, they’re more discreet. Instead of stainless steel, ceramic brackets are white or clear ceramic that blend in with your teeth.