What do you think of when someone says braces? Most will think of traditional braces with wires and brackets to straighten teeth. Before the introduction of Invisalign or ceramic braces, orthodontists’ most common method of straightening teeth was traditional braces. The most apparent difference between conventional braces and alternatives is their appearance.
Traditional braces might be more effective in some circumstances but also have disadvantages. While some might opt for Invisign rather than traditional braces for that reason, there are some pros to choosing standard bracket and wire braces over their alternative. How do you decide which type of braces might suit your situation?
There are many advantages of metal braces. Metal braces are incredibly effective and handle complex dental issues differently than Invisalign. If you or your child has particularly overcrowded teeth or an unusual bite, Dr. Burke and Dr. Beckstrom might recommend traditional braces over alternative methods. Over the years, the technology for traditional braces has improved, but the general idea has remained the same. Consider conventional braces as a fool-proof way of straightening teeth.
While alternative braces such as Invisalign or ceramic braces are more aesthetically pleasing, conventional braces might be a better option for children or younger patients. Traditional braces are very durable and remain in the oral cavity, unlike Invisalign, where you risk misplacing and replacing the plastic aligner. Brackets are placed with dental cement and wires made of various metal materials, making them suitable to be in the mouth longer.
Traditional braces are customizable because of the ability to change the small bands holding the wire to the brackets to the patient’s favorite color or match an upcoming holiday. Because traditional braces require more frequent visits with our staff, the colors can be changed more often. These periodic appointments with Dr. Burke and Dr. Beckstrom allow your treatment to be adjusted and monitored, allowing for a more exclusive treatment over alternatives. We love to visit with our patients more often here at Burke and Beckstrom, anyway!
If you are concerned about your appearance, there might be other options than traditional braces. Alternative braces like Invisalign or ceramic braces are much more aesthetically pleasing than conventional ones. Brackets and wires not only change your appearance when smiling, but they can also affect the shape of your face because of the protruding brackets. Traditional braces can sometimes be uncomfortable because they are made of hard materials and irritate parts of the mouth, requiring wax to prevent sores. Our team does our best to trim the ends of wires to avoid irritation, but sometimes we can make the cut close enough. Before you leave our office, check for any pokey spots and let one of our technicians know if you have any discomfort.
Eating and drinking become increasingly difficult with traditional braces. Certain foods like taffy or gum can lodge in brackets and wires, requiring our team to help remove the sticky substance. Hard-to-eat foods like corn are also a big no with traditional braces because they can cause brackets to break away from teeth, which will cost you another visit with Dr. Burke and Dr. Beckstrom to replace them. Brushing and flossing will require a new routine because of bracket placement and wires in the mix. Flossing is especially hard because typical methods are impossible. Luckily, Waterpiks and special floss can make it easier to clean between brackets. Be extra thorough when brushing your teeth with traditional braces to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
At Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics, we offer Invisalign and other alternative braces. Based on your preference, our team is more than happy to discuss which option might be best for you! A common misconception is that Invisalign is more expensive than traditional braces, but at Burke and Beckstrom, we do our best to make all options affordable for anyone.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Ultimately, choosing between traditional braces and other options depends on your needs and preferences. Traditional braces are a reliable orthodontic treatment method and have been for decades. Although conventional braces have disadvantages, such as uncomfortable brackets and wires, they are still effective for straightening your smile. Patients who prioritize their appearance may prefer Invisalign over traditional braces, but in some cases, the traditional option might be better suited for your particular orthodontic needs. At Burke and Beckstrom Orthodontics, our staff is happy to discuss all treatment options to determine your best course of action! Contact us today to schedule a consultation!