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    Metal Braces 


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    Embarking on the journey to a better smile is more than just cosmetic. More often than not, patients want to enhance their confidence and overall well-being. At The Lakewood Dentist, we understand the transformative power of a perfect smile. We specialize in metal braces, a proven orthodontic treatment that offers effective tooth alignment and a brighter, more confident you. Our experienced team is dedicated to guiding you through this life-changing process. We provide comprehensive care and support tailored to your unique dental needs. Ready to take the first step towards the smile of your dreams? Contact our dental office today.

    How Metal Braces Work

    Metal braces, a traditional and highly effective orthodontic treatment, are designed to correct misalignments and improve oral health. They consist of metal brackets attached to the front of your teeth, connected by a metal wire. This setup applies consistent pressure to guide your teeth into the desired position over time.

    The mechanism is the application of pressure. As mentioned above, the metal brackets are connected by a wire that applies pressure to your teeth, gradually aligning them into the correct position. Regular appointments are required for adjustments to ensure that the braces continue to apply pressure effectively.

    The duration of your treatment depends on the severity of the misalignment, ranging from 6 months to 2 years or more for severe cases​​. On average, treatment takes about two years, but some people may see results in under 12 months, while others might need up to three years​​.

    Braces improve the appearance of your smile, make teeth easier to brush/ floss, prevent cavities and gum disease, and can treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders​​. Some temporary discomfort and irritation are normal, especially after adjustments​​. Maintaining proper oral hygiene with braces, including regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, ​​is crucial.

    What Do Metal Braces consist of?

    Metal braces, commonly used in orthodontics, are ideal for straightening teeth and correcting bites. While they might seem straightforward, these traditional braces are a marvel of dental engineering, consisting of various components, each playing a crucial role in orthodontics.

    The Metal Brackets

    With metal brackets, each bracket, typically a small square-shaped piece of metal, is directly bonded to the tooth’s surface, acting as an anchor within the braces system. The primary function of these brackets is to exert controlled pressure on each tooth.

    When connected by the archwire, they guide teeth into their correct positions over time. Orthodontists carefully calculate the brackets’ placement and the tension of the wire to ensure effective and gradual movement of the teeth.

    Traditionally made of high-grade stainless steel, brackets are designed for durability and strength. Each bracket contains slots where the threaded archwire allows pressure transfer from the wire to the tooth. Some modern brackets are designed with a self-ligating mechanism, reducing the need for elastic or metal ties.

    While primarily functional, brackets offer some level of customization. Patients, especially the younger ones, can choose colored bands or ligatures, adding a personal touch to their braces. Advances in orthodontics have led to less conspicuous bracket options, such as ceramic or clear brackets, catering to aesthetic preferences.

    Regular cleaning around the brackets is crucial to maintaining oral hygiene and preventing decay. Orthodontic appointments are scheduled periodically for adjustments, ensuring the braces remain effective throughout the treatment.

    The Archwire

    The archwire in metal braces is a critical component, often underestimated in its functionality. This thin but strong wire plays a significant role in the movement and alignment of teeth during orthodontic treatment.

    The archwire connects all the brackets on your teeth. It applies the correct pressure needed to move teeth into their desired positions. As the teeth shift, the wire acts as a track that guides them along the right path.

    Archwires are typically made from stainless steel, nickel-titanium, or a combination of materials to achieve the desired flexibility and strength. The choice of material often depends on the stage of treatment and the specific movement required for the teeth.

    Throughout the orthodontic treatment, the archwire is adjusted and sometimes replaced. These adjustments are crucial to progress, allowing the orthodontist to refine the pressure applied to the teeth. The changes in the wire reflect the alignment stages, from initial correction to final positioning.

    Initially, new or adjusted archwires may cause discomfort as teeth begin to move. Over time, as the teeth align, this discomfort typically decreases. Patients are advised to maintain regular check-ups to monitor progress and ensure the wire functions as intended.

    The Bracket Ligatures

    Bracket ligatures, often referred to as ‘ligatures’ or ‘o-rings,’ are small but crucial elements in the function of traditional metal braces. These tiny bands or ties play a significant role in securing the archwire to the brackets, ensuring the effectiveness of the braces in aligning teeth.

    Ligatures are wrapped around each bracket, holding the archwire properly. They are essential for maintaining the position and pressure of the archwire, enabling controlled movement of the teeth. The braces would lose effectiveness without ligatures, as the archwire could move out of place.

    Typically made from elastic material, ligatures are also available as small metal wires, known as wire ligatures. Elastic ligatures come in various colors, allowing patients to personalize their braces. Wire ligatures are used when a stronger force or more precise control is needed.

    Ligatures are replaced during regular orthodontic check-ups. Elastic ligatures can lose elasticity over time, necessitating regular replacement to maintain consistent pressure on the teeth.

    This process also allows the orthodontist to inspect and adjust the braces.

    Choosing different colors for ligatures allows patients, especially younger ones, to have a more positive experience with their braces. Proper oral hygiene is crucial, as ligatures can trap food particles, leading to increased plaque buildup and potential dental issues. Patients are advised to avoid certain foods that can stain or damage the ligatures and to follow a stringent cleaning routine.

    Persons in Need of Treatment Using Metal Braces

    Often overlooked, the impact of properly aligned teeth goes beyond aesthetics, playing a crucial role in clear speech and overall oral health. For many individuals, speech impediments and dental malocclusions are intertwined challenges. Metal braces, a time-tested solution, offer more than just a cosmetic fix; they provide a pathway to clearer speech and a healthier mouth.

    You Have a Speech Impediment

    Speech impediments vary widely, but they commonly involve challenges in producing sounds correctly, which can affect communication and self-esteem. These impediments can be genetic, physical, or developmental and, in many cases, are linked to dental issues.

    Orthodontics, specifically metal braces, are pivotal in treating certain speech impediments. Braces can be a powerful corrective tool when speech difficulties stem from malocclusions – such as misaligned teeth or jaw structure. By realigning teeth and adjusting the bite, braces help with tongue placement and airflow, which are essential for clear speech​​​​​​.

    It is essential to recognize that braces have their limits. They are effective for impediments caused by dental misalignments but not for those stemming from neurological issues, genetic conditions, or injuries. Disorders like stuttering, dysarthria, and apraxia of speech fall outside the scope of orthodontic treatment​​.

    The journey to improved speech with braces varies, typically around 24 months. However, improvements in speech can often be noticed well before treatment completion. Post-treatment, maintaining results with retainers is crucial to prevent regression of dental alignment and speech improvements​​.

    Overbite and Underbite Conditions

    Overbite and underbite conditions alter the appearance of your smile and impact your speech and oral health. An overbite can cause lisping and difficulty articulating certain sounds, while an underbite might lead to unclear speech or jaw discomfort.

    Braces are a highly effective solution for correcting overbites and underbites. By realigning the jaw and teeth, braces enhance the visual appeal of your smile and the functionality of your oral structure. This alignment is crucial for clearer speech, easier maintenance of oral hygiene, and overall comfort​​.

    Crowded Teeth

    Crowded teeth can lead to a host of issues beyond mere aesthetics. They often result in speech difficulties due to improper tongue placement and limited space for movement. This crowding can make certain sounds challenging to pronounce, affecting speech clarity.

    Metal braces effectively address the issue of crowded teeth. By gradually moving teeth into proper alignment, braces create the necessary space in the mouth for correct tongue positioning and movement. This alignment is essential for clear articulation and can significantly improve speech impediments related to crowding​​.

    Spaced Teeth

    Spaced teeth, with gaps between teeth, can lead to unique speech challenges. These gaps can disrupt the normal airflow through the mouth during a speech, leading to issues such as lisping or whistling sounds. These speech impediments can affect both clarity and confidence in communication.

    Braces are highly effective in closing gaps and correcting spaced teeth. By gradually moving teeth closer together, braces eliminate the spaces that can cause speech issues. This realignment not only improves the appearance of your smile but also significantly enhances speech quality. The ability to pronounce words more clearly and confidently can be a life-changing benefit of this treatment​​.

    The Preparation Process for Metal Braces Treatment

    Below is what to expect when preparing to have metal braces fixed:

    A Physical Examination

    Before beginning the journey with metal braces, a comprehensive physical examination by the orthodontist is crucial. This examination serves multiple purposes. The orthodontist assesses your dental structure, identifies overbites, underbites, crowding, or spacing, and formulates a customized treatment plan.

    Addressing any other dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, is vital before proceeding with braces. This initial step ensures that your treatment with metal braces is based on a thorough understanding of your unique dental needs.

    Taking Impressions of Your Dental Structure

    A key step in preparing for metal braces involves taking accurate impressions of your dental structure. This process is essential for several reasons, including:

    1. Creating a Treatment Blueprint. Impressions provide a precise replica of your current teeth alignment, allowing the orthodontist to plan your teeth’ movement and final position.
    2. Customization of Treatment. These impressions ensure the braces and treatment are tailored to your dental anatomy.

    This painless procedure involves biting into a mold, forming a detailed model of your upper and lower teeth, and serving as a crucial reference throughout your orthodontic journey.

    Taking X-rays and 3D Images

    X-rays and 3D imaging are integral parts of the preparation process for metal brace treatment. X-rays offer a comprehensive view of the teeth, roots, and jawbone, allowing the orthodontist to assess the underlying structure and alignment. They help predict the movement of teeth and plan treatment accordingly.

    3D images can reveal the positioning of unerupted or impacted teeth, which is crucial for comprehensive treatment planning. This advanced imaging technology ensures that the treatment plan is as accurate and effective as possible, considering the unique characteristics of your dental anatomy.

    Pre-Treatment for Cavities and Tooth Decay

    Addressing cavities and tooth decay is a critical step before installing metal braces. This pretreatment process involves the following steps:

    1. Dental Fillings. If cavities are present, they must be treated with fillings to prevent further decay and ensure the tooth’s health during orthodontic treatment.
    2. Root Canal Therapy. In cases of severe decay where the tooth’s nerve is affected, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth and ensure a stable foundation for the braces.

    This step is crucial to ensuring that your teeth are in optimal health before undergoing the stress of orthodontic realignment. It prevents future complications and ensures that the orthodontic treatment is as effective and pain-free as possible.

    Teeth Removal

    In some cases, the preparation for metal braces may include the removal of certain teeth. This procedure is considered to create space. Removing one or more teeth can create space for the remaining teeth to align properly for patients with crowded teeth.

    In certain orthodontic cases, tooth extraction can significantly enhance the effectiveness and outcome of the braces treatment. The decision to remove teeth is made carefully, considering the individual’s dental structure and the overall treatment goal. This step, when needed, is a vital part of ensuring the success of the braces treatment, leading to a well-aligned and functional bite.

    Thorough Teeth Cleaning

    A thorough teeth cleaning before fitting metal braces is a critical step in the preparation process. Professional cleaning ensures that all plaque and tartar build-up around the teeth and gum line is removed. This is essential to prevent any dental issues during the treatment.

    A clean tooth surface ensures better adhesion to the braces. It also helps reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease while the braces are on. This step is about cleanliness and preparing your oral environment for successfully applying and maintaining metal braces.

    Provide Your Medical History

    Providing a detailed medical history is an integral part of the preparation process for metal braces. Informing the orthodontist about any allergies, particularly to dental materials, ensures that the braces and related treatments are safe and suitable for you.

    Certain health conditions can impact dental treatments. Sharing your medical history helps tailor the orthodontic treatment to your health needs. Details about past dental work, such as previous orthodontic treatments or surgeries, provide valuable context for your current treatment plan.

    A comprehensive medical history enables the orthodontist to consider all aspects of your health and wellness, ensuring that the treatment of metal braces is effective and aligned with your overall health profile.

    Aftercare Tips to Observe for Metal Braces Treatment

    Metal braces are a significant investment in your smile, and the journey doesn’t end when they are placed on your teeth. The real challenge often lies in the aftercare, which plays a crucial role in the success of your orthodontic treatment. Proper aftercare ensures the health of your teeth and gums and the effectiveness and longevity of your braces.

    Daily Care Routines for Metal Braces

    1. Brushing Techniques with Braces

    Proper brushing is paramount when you have metal braces. Brushing keeps your teeth clean and protects the integrity of the braces themselves. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently clean around the wires and pins.

    Start by rinsing your mouth to dislodge any loose food particles. Angle the brush to clean above and below the brackets, ensuring you cover all surfaces of your teeth and braces. This process might take longer than your pre-brace routine, but it is critical to preventing plaque buildup and tooth decay.

    1. Flossing Methods Suitable for Braces

    Flossing with braces can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Use tools like floss threaders or orthodontic floss to navigate around the wires. Gently insert the floss between your teeth and the wires, and move it up and down along the sides of each tooth. Remember, it is important to floss at least once a day to maintain gum health and prevent cavities.

    1. Dietary Recommendations to Protect Braces

    Your diet plays a significant role in the maintenance of your braces. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that damage the brackets or get lodged in your braces. Foods like popcorn, nuts, and chewy candy are a no-go.

    Opt for softer foods and cut larger items into smaller pieces to make eating easier and safer for your braces. Also, be mindful of sugary foods and beverages, as they can increase the risk of tooth decay.

    Managing Discomfort and Ensuring Oral Hygiene

    1. Coping with Initial Discomfort

    The first few days after getting braces can be quite uncomfortable. To alleviate this, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can be effective. Rinsing with a saltwater solution can soothe irritated gums and inner cheeks.

    If the braces cause sore spots in your mouth, applying orthodontic wax to the problematic areas can provide immediate relief. Remember, these discomforts are temporary and usually subside within a week.

    1. Strategies for Maintaining Oral Hygiene

    With braces, your regular oral hygiene routine needs an upgrade. Invest in special orthodontic cleaning tools like interdental brushes or water flossers, which can help clean hard-to-reach areas around brackets and wires.

    Antiseptic mouthwash is also a good idea to reduce bacterial growth and prevent gingivitis. Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for your dental health and the success of your braces treatment.

    1. Dealing with Common Braces-Related Issues

    Occasionally, you might encounter issues like a loose bracket or a poking wire. In such cases, orthodontic wax can offer temporary relief. However, it is essential to contact your orthodontist for a permanent fix. Regular orthodontist visits are crucial for addressing these issues promptly and adjusting the braces as needed.

    Long-Term Care and Habits for Successful Braces Treatment

    1. Consistency in Care Throughout Treatment

    The success of your braces treatment heavily depends on your commitment to consistent care. You must maintain a certain level of diligence throughout the entire treatment period. This means sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine, being mindful of what you eat, and keeping up with your orthodontic appointments. Consistency ensures your teeth move in the desired direction and stay healthy.

    1. Developing Habits for Continued Oral Health Post-Braces

    Braces are a long-term commitment, and so is the care that comes with them. As you adapt to life with braces, you will develop habits that should continue even after they are removed. This includes thorough cleaning around the teeth and gums, regular dental check-ups, and a continued awareness of foods that could harm your dental health. These habits contribute to the success of your braces treatment and lay the foundation for lifelong oral health.

    1. Setting Realistic Expectations and Timelines

    Understanding and accepting the timeline of your braces treatment is crucial. Orthodontic treatment is not an overnight process; it requires patience and time. Regular consultations with your orthodontist can help set realistic expectations and inform you about your treatment progress. Celebrate small milestones and keep a positive outlook. Remember, every day with braces brings you one step closer to achieving that perfect smile.

    The Price of Metal Braces

    When considering metal braces, you should understand the associated costs, which can vary based on several factors. Below are key points to consider regarding the price:

    1. Cost Range. The price of metal braces typically ranges from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of the case, the treatment duration, and the dental practice’s geographic location.
    2. Insurance Coverage. Dental insurance may cover some treatment costs, especially for children and teenagers. Insurance coverage can vary for adults, so you must check with your provider.
    3. Payment Plans. Many orthodontic practices offer payment plans to make the treatment more affordable, allowing payments to be spread out throughout the treatment.
    4. Additional Costs. Consider potential additional costs, such as retainers after the braces are removed and any follow-up care or adjustments.

    Contact an Orthodontist Near Me

    If you or a loved one is considering metal braces, you want to consult with an experienced orthodontist to explore your options. At The Lakewood Dentist, we specialize in metal braces and offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs. Our team is committed to helping you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

    Our skilled orthodontists have extensive experience treating various dental alignment issues with metal braces. We use the latest techniques and technology to ensure the best possible outcomes. Schedule a consultation to discuss your options and have all your questions answered by our experts. Call us at 562-423-1441 for an appointment or more information about our services.

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    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!