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Traditional Braces

A Tried-and-True Path To A Straighter Smile

Closeup of traditional braces on smiling girl

Is it time for your child or teen to start orthodontic treatment? Are you wondering if it’s worth fixing your misaligned teeth or bite issues in your adult years? At The Smilist Dental Medford, we’re here to answer all of your questions and help straighten out your pearly whites. If you’re looking for a tried-and-true path to a straighter smile, then traditional braces may be exactly what you’re looking for. Our in-house orthodontist Dr. Saro Atam can create a custom metal braces treatment plan for you (or your child) to overcome nearly any orthodontic problem. Plus, thanks to the latest advancements in dental technology, braces are now more comfortable and effective than ever before! Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic consultation and learn more about traditional braces.

How Do Traditional Braces Work?

Smiling girl with traditional braces

Even though your teeth likely feel like they’re securely in place, they move around over time. This is because your pearly whites are anchored to your jawbone via small ligaments. Traditional braces work in a way that gently adjusts and reforms these ligaments so that your teeth can move into their ideal positions while staying firmly in place.

To get metal braces, we’ll attach small metal brackets to the front of your teeth and link them together with an archwire. The tension in this wire will exert constant, gentle, and specific pressure on your teeth, encouraging them to shift. Throughout your treatment, you’ll come to see us for periodic checkups, where we’ll monitor your progress and tighten your braces to keep your teeth moving towards where they should be. Sometimes, extra accessories or attachments are needed to help reach the best results. The treatment timeline will vary from patient to patient, but we’ll be able to give you a personalized estimate when we see you for a consultation.

What Orthodontic Issues Can Braces Fix?

Patient visiting orthodontist for checkup

Traditional braces are a powerful treatment that can address nearly any orthodontic problem. In fact, they can handle many issues that other options like Invisalign can’t correct. Here are some of the most common issues traditional braces are used to fix:

Bite Misalignment

Digital illustration of overbite before braces

Misaligned jaws cause issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. Not only can these problems distract from your appearance, but they can cause excessive enamel wear, tooth damage, and jaw problems like TMJ disorder. Traditional braces are extremely effective at correcting misaligned jaws and can help you regain a healthy bite.

Crowded & Crooked Teeth

Closeup of crooked teeth before braces

Perhaps the most common indication that braces are needed is crowded or crooked teeth. This orthodontic issue dramatically increases your risk of oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, a personalized traditional braces treatment plan can give you a uniform smile.

Gapped Teeth

Digital illustration of gapped teeth before braces

Spaces between the teeth can often make a patient feel self-conscious, and it also increases the risk of chipped or cracked teeth. Traditional braces can gently bring the teeth together to eliminate these gaps.

Caring for Your Braces

Man flossing with braces

It’s important that you care for your braces correctly if you want your treatment to stay on track. Here are some of the best ways to do so:

Understanding the Cost of Traditional Braces

closeup of traditional braces

Every patient has different needs, which is why it’s impossible to provide the exact cost of traditional braces until you come in for an exam. Generally speaking, a case that only requires a year of treatment will be less expensive than one that takes two to three years to complete. At The Smilist Dental Medford, we will evaluate your condition and give an accurate price estimate at your consultation. Below, you’ll learn what to expect regarding the financial aspects of your orthodontic treatment.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Traditional Braces

woman smiling during orthodontic checkup

Several factors influence the total cost of traditional braces, including:

  • Severity of Dental Misalignment: The more distance your teeth have to move, the longer it’ll take for you to complete treatment. It’s a significant element that affects the overall price of braces.
  • Age: Since adult teeth are more firmly set in the jawbone, they take more time to move than those of younger people. That can make treatment more complex and expensive.
  • Number of Follow-Up Appointments Needed: Braces are adjusted every two to eight weeks throughout treatment. The frequency of your appointments can influence the overall price of your treatment.
  • Treatment Compliance: If you need to wear rubber bands on your braces but fail to do so, your teeth won’t move as planned. As a result, your treatment may take longer and incur additional expenses.

Professional Braces vs. “DIY” Braces: Which Costs More?

closeup of woman smiling with braces

Patients on a budget may be tempted to save money by creating their own “braces”. In recent years, there have been multiple trends of people attempting to straighten their teeth using various objects like fishing lines, earring backs, superglue, paper clips, hair elastics, and more. While these solutions may seem more convenient, they can do more harm than good for your smile and wallet.

Many people who have tried these DIY methods end up worsening their dental misalignment. They can also harm your teeth, enamel, gums, and jawbone, leading to issues that will need to be addressed by a professional anyway. Without the supervision of an orthodontist, you might even accidentally shift your teeth in undesirable directions! In a nutshell, you could end up spending much more money on homemade braces than if you’d gotten professional braces to begin with.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

dental insurance form on table

Some dental insurance plans do offer coverage for orthodontic treatment. However, they’re more likely to cover traditional braces than clear aligners. That’s primarily because braces are often needed for medical reasons, such as a misaligned jaw or difficulty chewing. It’s also worth noting that many plans only cover braces for patients who are under the age of 18. If you need help navigating your benefits or filing your claims, don’t hesitate to ask our team – we’re always more than happy to help!

Options for Making Braces Affordable

woman with braces smiling during dental checkup

Don’t have dental insurance? No problem! Our practice offers the following provisions to help make your treatment as affordable as possible:

  • In-House Dental Plan: For a low annual fee, you can get all the preventive dental care you need without the hassle of traditional insurance. Plus, you can enjoy sizeable discounts on our other services, like traditional braces.
  • Third-Party Financing: We work with Wells Fargo Financing and CareCredit to help make your treatment fit your budget. These options allow you to split up the total cost of your braces into smaller, more manageable monthly payments. Best of all, these plans often come with little-to-no interest attached!

Traditional Braces FAQs

Woman on pink background wondering about traditional braces

If you’re looking to achieve a straighter, healthier smile, there’s no more reliable option than traditional braces! Even though we’ve used this classic service to help countless patients, it’s only natural to have some questions before you’re ready to commit to a treatment plan. That’s perfectly fine! We want you to have everything you need to make a confident and well-informed decision. That’s why we’ve gathered some of the most common questions we get about traditional braces below so you can learn more. If you don’t see the answers you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

Am I Too Old To Get Braces?

It’s no secret that braces are commonly associated with childhood and the teenage years. However, you deserve to have a beautiful and healthy smile at any age! If you skipped getting braces earlier in life or find yourself with orthodontic issues in adulthood, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is no upper age limit for braces.

How Long Do Braces Take?

Treatment length will vary from patient to patient depending on their unique case. There are many factors that will influence how long it takes for your smile to straighten, including your age, your oral health, the type of orthodontic issue being fixed, and the severity of the case. On average, braces take between 18 months and 3 years. Then, with the proper care, the results have the potential to last a lifetime!

Can I Drink Coffee with Braces?

Starting your journey towards a straighter smile doesn’t mean the end of your coffee! You’ll still be able to enjoy your morning cup of Joe or cold brew afternoon pick-me-up while wearing traditional braces. However, it’s important to remember that your braces won’t protect your teeth from staining, which coffee is notorious for doing. To minimize your risk of discoloring your smile, make sure to:

  • Brush your teeth 20 minutes after finishing your coffee
  • Drink water after every sip of coffee
  • Use an ADA mouthwash every day

Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose with Braces?

As your teeth gradually move into the proper positions, they may feel slightly loose from time to time. While this may be a slightly unsettling sensation, it means that your treatment is working! Your braces need to loosen your teeth ever so slightly in order to move them. Your teeth should never be extremely loose or feel like they’re about to fall out. If they do, there may be a serious underlying oral health condition that needs to be addressed! If you’re ever concerned about loose teeth during braces, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Are Braces More Expensive Than Invisalign?

Contrary to what you may have heard, braces are not always more expensive than Invisalign. In most cases, the two have comparable prices. However, if your dental insurance offers orthodontic coverage, it’s more likely to cover traditional braces than Invisalign. Also, if you lose or break an Invisalign aligner, you’ll need to pay for a replacement, which will add to the final cost of your treatment. With traditional braces, this isn’t something you need to worry about! To learn more about how the cost of braces and Invisalign compares, don’t hesitate to give us a call!