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Are Braces the Same as When I Was a Kid?

This is one of the first questions we usually get from parents. Bringing a child in for a consult brings back memories of their own time with braces. Cue the “Back in my day…” stories! When we bring out the models of braces, there are usually two responses. First, “We didn’t have all these colors when I had braces”. Yes, the possible color combinations are endless! We have so many options that there won’t be enough appointments to try them all! The next comment is “those look so much smaller than the braces I had”. It’s true, the brackets have gotten smaller, flatter, and no more of the bands that wrap around the whole tooth. But that’s just how they look. The real differences are hard to see but grab your magnifying glasses and let’s look closely! These brackets may all look the same, but each one is made with a custom fit for the specific tooth it goes on. They are cut and angled in a specific way to help move that tooth better. The bottom line is these new brackets help us line up the teeth better and faster. But that’s not really where all the excitement is.

It's All About the Wires

The brackets on the teeth get all the attention, but did you know it’s actually the wires that cause the teeth to move!? The braces are there to hold the wire in the right place, but it’s the wires that push and pull the teeth into place. And here’s the good news. The wires have had significant advancements, to the point that they really aren’t even the same wires as what we had 20-30 years ago. These new wires are made from a special blend of metals that gives them two key features:

1.       High flexibility – These wires are able to be easily and comfortably bent into all the nooks and crannies of crowded teeth without causing that feeling of pressure and tightness that the previously stiff wires used to cause.

2.       “Shape Memory” Technology – No matter how much we bend these wires, they are always working to return to their original shape and straighten the teeth. The result of this is you can come in far less often for appointments, but the teeth are still moving!

What’s the takeaway?

Even though from a distance the braces might look just like you remember, you can be sure that they are “keeping up with the times”. Braces today are more efficient than ever, leading to faster results, less discomfort, and less frequent appointments needed. In other words, you can keep your child in school more and in the office less while still getting the teeth straight faster than ever. So, if you or your child is already in braces, you’ll be happy to hear that those braces are working their magic to get you the best result. If you haven’t started yet or you’re on the fence about braces, schedule a free consult and come on in to see what we’re talking about. There’s never been a better time to get braces and we’re here to help you along that journey!

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