braces in snoqualmie & north bend

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What Are Metal Braces?  

Metal braces are wire-based appliances that orthodontists use to correct misaligned teeth or jaws to produce an even bite and pleasing smile. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for braces. Traditional braces are made of metal, but some are ceramic or plastic-based. All are designed to be a comfortable solution for patients looking to straighten their teeth for the smile of their dreams.

The Metal Braces Process

Consultation

At your consultation, your orthodontist will determine if metal braces are right for you. First, your orthodontist will examine your jaw, gums, and teeth to check for gaps, crowding, and misalignment. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.

Impressions and Digital Imaging

Your orthodontist will then take a series of X-rays of your mouth as well as a mold of your teeth, known as an impression. Your orthodontist may make adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, your orthodontist will use the data gathered from the images and impressions to create your metal braces.

Bonding

To secure your metal braces, your orthodontist will dry and prepare your teeth to make the tooth surface ideal for bonding. Next, the braces will be attached to your teeth using a special adhesive and curing light to set the bond. Your orthodontist will then thread the metal wire through the brackets and hold it in place with ligature bands.

Fitting and Next Steps

Once your braces are securely placed, your orthodontist will check for proper fitting to ensure maximum comfort. You’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks to monitor progress, replace bands, and swap out the metal archwire for a new set. During these checkups, you can select new colors to let your smile shine in style.

Removal

On your last day of treatment, your orthodontist will remove the brackets, clean each tooth, and give you a retainer to help your teeth preserve their new positions. Your orthodontist will also equip you with detailed instructions on how to care for your smile so it can stay strong and straight for life.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces are made of medical-grade stainless steel brackets and archwires that straighten your teeth over time. These popular aligners are oftentimes more affordable than other braces and are best suited for patients experiencing severe tooth and jaw misalignment. 

Metal Braces

Alternatives to Braces

For older, responsible patients who want a solution with more flexibility that is less noticeable, we will recommend Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is clear and can be removed as needed, but Invisalign treatment requires self-discipline and is not recommended for younger patients.

Learn More About Invisalign

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are metal-based appliances that are very similar to their traditional counterparts. The difference? These braces are secured on the back of your teeth, making them virtually invisible. Patients looking for a discreet way to straighten minor misalignments may benefit from lingual braces.

Next: Self-Ligating Braces
Lingual Braces

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces appear almost identical to traditional braces, but utilize clips rather than elastic bands to hold the brace wire in place. This produces less friction on the braces, making it easier for patients to keep the braces and teeth clean.

Next: Ceramic Braces
a group of patients smiling together

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to the traditional metal braces, but are composed of a translucent ceramic material that matches the natural color of your teeth. Patients looking for a less noticeable alignment option may enjoy the discreet features of ceramic braces.

Next: Traditional Braces
Ceramic Braces

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