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Traditional braces have come a long way when it comes to straightening crooked teeth. In fact, they are ideal for a variety of tooth issues. They can effectively close gaps for crowded or overlapping teeth, fix misaligned or protruding teeth, align a bad bite, and match up dental midlines to overcome jaw problems.

For those struggling with any of these issues, traditional braces can help you eat, speak and even clean your teeth better while giving you a straighter smile. And if the idea of wearing traditional braces for straighter teeth doesn’t appeal to you, you might be pleasantly surprised because you could actually love wearing them!

How Have Traditional Braces Evolved?

Like everything else under the sun, modern traditional braces have evolved, thanks to modernized dental technology. Metal bands no longer wind around each tooth. Today, they can be placed on the back of specific teeth and slid into a tube on a band for support.

Today’s braces aren’t just sleeker, smaller and less obtrusive but more comfortable and cost-effective as well. How long these braces are worn depends on your unique needs, but it typically ranges from one to three years after which a retainer is worn to keep them in position.

What Do Braces Look Like Today?

Modern braces come in durable stainless steel and high-grade titanium. They work with brackets, an archwire and ligature elastic.

Depending on who manufactures them, the silver-colored brackets come in different shapes and sizes and are bonded to the front of each tooth’s surface.

The teeth are then connected to each other with a metal archwire that puts pressure on the teeth being aligned to guide them slowly into their corrected position.

A ligature elastic or metal band can be used to hold the orthodontic wire and braces together, and the wire is what moves the teeth while the bracket is an anchor on each tooth. The wires are changed out or tightened during routine orthodontic checkups to keep up the necessary pressure that aligns the teeth (and even the jaw).

Who Needs Them?

Traditional braces are a great option for all ages: kids, teens and adults. Particularly popular with kids, they are both durable and cost-effective. Kids also adjust to wearing them fairly quickly as the oral tissues toughen up, so they barely notice them. This is all thanks to today’s metal wires and brackets which aren’t as irritating to soft tissues.
Plus, the elastic that fits around the brackets come in fun colors that can be changed out at each appointment. This can give children something to look forward to as they show off their personality, celebrate holidays or display team spirit. For teens and adults who prefer a more subtle appearance, the bands are available in neutral silver, gray and white.

How Do You Maintain Your Braces?

You’ll want to follow the guidelines our team provides to keep teeth healthy while wearing braces. This means eating approved foods and brushing and flossing faithfully after meals. It may also mean more frequent cleanings with our hygienists. You want to protect your teeth against damaging plaque buildup around brackets and prevent permanently stained teeth from lack of oral care.

When it comes to orthodontic therapy, today’s traditional braces are an excellent and common choice when seeking to straighten smile issues. Give us a call today if you would like to know more or want to schedule a visit with us at RiverLake Family Dental.