Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. We are proud of the high-grade stainless steel metal braces that we use at The Ranch Orthodontics; they are superbly manufactured right here in the United States. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Metal braces are a great option for adults and children alike. They are smooth and allow for rapid tooth movement with maximal control. They are often the most efficient (quickest!) option when tooth extraction and/or appliances need to be incorporated into your orthodontic treatment. Kids love metal braces because they are attention grabbing and it is fun to change the colors each visit. Adults love metal braces because they make them look younger!
We will review the pros of treatment with metal braces at your intial exam. The next steps will vary with the treatment plan specifics. Some appliances are used prior to braces placement, and some are used in conjunction with braces. In some cases, it is beneficial to start with limited braces, possibly just on the upper arch. In other cases, it is better to add all upper and lower braces at the same time.
For your reference, adding all upper lower braces requires an hour long appointment. The actual time to place the braces is only about 15 minutes. The video link below demonstrates how the braces are added. As you can see, it is an easy, painless process. The rest of the appointment time is used to place the wires and colors and then go over care instructions – how to brush/floss, what foods to avoid, how to use wax, etc…
Second to “how long will it take”, this is the most common question we get. Truth? Braces do not often hurt, but you may feel some tenderness in the beginning as your gums and cheeks get used to your new braces, and sometimes the first 3-5 days after an appointment when we place new wires or elastic forces. The roots of your teeth are surrounded by ligaments. When the braces and wires transmit a force to your teeth, these ligaments are stretched/compressed and a series of biologic signals begins that enables tooth movement. These cellular signals also create discomfort, just like how your muscles can be sore the day after a strenuous workout. The good news is that NSAIDS (Ibuprofen) work wonders for orthodontic tooth tenderness just like they do for your sore muscles! Taking NSAIDS before your ortho appointments and for 3-5 days following can nearly eliminate any tooth soreness.
Your length of treatment varies depending on the details of what is needed. Metal brackets can be utilized for limited, single arch treatment for as little as 6 months. In more complicated cases involving appliances, surgery, or extractions, treatment time may extend to 2 years and beyond. Other factors can play a role in our treatment estimates, such as age (adult teeth tend to move slower), musculature and skeletal patterns (teeth move slower in heavy biters), and medications. On average, treatment plans with metal brackets run about 2 years.
You can help to keep your treatment time to a minimum by:
With metal brackets, we will typically see you every 4-6 weeks. Early in treatment, with long- working wires, we can sometimes extend the appointment intervals to 8 weeks. Late in treatment as we are detailing and finishing, we will likely want to see you every 4 weeks. You can expect 2-3 unplanned appointments throughout your total treatment time in metal braces. A bracket will likely come off at some point or wire poke, requiring an extra “quick fix” visit. Just give us a call, and we’ll find a time that’s convenient for your work/life schedule.