Orthodontic brackets are an integral part of traditional braces and act like handles that hold the arch wires that move teeth.These small squares are typically bonded directly to the front of each tooth and depending on the technique used to straighten your teeth they can be in different sizes, colors and shapes including self-ligating, lingual and titanium. Self-ligating brackets are self-tying, which helps reduce friction between the wire and slot of the bracket. Lingual brackets, which are bonded to the back of the teeth, are best for patients who don’t want their braces to be visible, while titanium brackets are an option for patients who are allergic to nickel.
[sv slug=”slug”]Brackets are one of the most important elements of orthodontic braces. To put it simply, they are what holds the wire in place on your teeth. Over the course of history, brackets have been made out of many different types of materials. Today, brackets must be hygienic, nontoxic and resistant to corrosion. They must be able to resist forces applied to them by the wire. They cannot absorb water or be discolored by oral liquids such as coffee and they need to have minimal bracket-wire friction.
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Traditional metal brackets are made of high-grade stainless steel, they can also be Golde- coated, platinum- coated or titanium.
Today’s metal brackets are much smaller in size and less conspicuous than the “metal mouth” braces that used to be. They can be silver or gold colored. The golden brackets look a bit more “jewelry-like” and are often a popular choice with young women.
These brackets are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. At first they may irritate your gums, but after a few weeks, when your cheeks get “toughened up” they are not a problem anymore. Most traditional metal braces require an elastic o-shaped rubber band, called a ligature to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Sometimes orthodontists use metal tie wires (little wires which are twisted around the bracket) in place of elastic ligatures.
Early metal braces were not just brackets, but bands that wrapped around the entire tooth. Nowadays, people wear small metal brackets that are glued to the front of each tooth.Those old-fashioned bands are usually reserved for molars or teeth with fillings that spill to the outside surface of a tooth. Metal brackets tend to be less expensive than other types of brackets. In addition, you can make them colorful with ligatures that come on a rainbow of colors.
A different type of metal bracket is called the Viazi (or Viazis) bracket, sometimes called “FastBraces.”
Viazis brackets are triangular and utilize a low-force square wire. The Viazis technique is reported to result in less pain and sensitivity, and complete treatment faster than traditional brackets. The patented braces system moves the crown and the root of the teeth at the same time, from the beginning of treatment, in one stage, with typically one square wire. Conventional braces systems typically move the crown of the tooth with round wires during the first year and the root of the tooth with square or rectangular wires during the second year.
You may have heard of “speed braces.” These are sometimes also referred to as “self-ligating brackets” or “Damon Brackets.” Self-ligating means that the brackets do not need the little o-shaped rubber bands (ligatures) or metal tie wires to hold the arch wire onto the bracket. Several companies have come up with various techniques for holding the arch wire in place without ligatures.
By using self-ligation technology, the brackets allow the wire to slide back and forth. This advancement allows for fewer adjustments and less appointments. These type of brackets do not need ligatures (little rubber bands) to hold the arch wire in place. They use a “trap door” to secure the arch wire to the bracket. They are smaller than traditional metal and less food gets trapped around them when you eat. Self-ligating brackets are only used in certain circumstances, so if you are interested in them, ask your orthodontist.
Lingual braces are placed behind your teeth, and are therefore virtually invisible to other people. Usually, lingual brackets are made of metal.
Ceramic brackets are made of ceramic alloys. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Ceramic brackets are almost the same shape as modern metal brackets, but they are less noticeable because they are tooth-colored or clear colored. Adults like to choose ceramic because they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal.
The ligatures (tiny rubber bands) that hold the arch wire on to the ceramic brackets are also white or clear but can easily stain.
In this case, the type of bracket that’s used has a high level of translucency (it’s very clear), as opposed to a more whitish, tooth-colored shade. They are very strong and do not stain. If your teeth are already very white, then Inspire braces will look best on you and seem to “disappear” on your teeth. If your teeth are less than white, they may tend to stand out (in this case, the Ceramic brackets would be a better choice).
Clinicians should consider a number of factors when selecting orthodontic brackets including how long the patient will be wearing braces, cosmetics, severity of bite and tooth crookedness, required headgear or additional appliances, and cost.