While some patients will shy away from metal braces because of appearance – they have been so obvious they are sometimes called “train tracks” – they are still the most effective type of dental brace to treat alignment issues from overcrowded teeth to more complex cases and bite problems, because they give the orthodontist control to move the teeth in small increments as needed.

With great technological advances in orthodontics in recent years, the metal braces being offered today weigh less, are flatter, smaller and more compact, and more visually appealing with a range of color options for both the brackets and the elastic bands.  Also, there are now silver or tooth colored elastics.  And you will never have to worry about misplacing them like happens sometimes with removable appliances.

Traditional metal braces are made of high quality stainless steel or titanium. The three main parts of your braces are:

  • Brackets — They are attached to the teeth using special glue that bonds them to the tooth surface and holds them in place, but can be removed by the dentist.
  • Archwire — The thin metal wire that connects each bracket and puts pressure on the teeth to gradually move them into the proper position.
  • Ligature Elastic (a.k.a. “rubber bands”) —The colored ties that hold the archwires to the brackets. They are changed at each appointment.

As with any type of braces, oral hygiene is very important:

Some foods are not braces-friendly:

  • Chewy foods, like caramels or other soft candies
  • Very hard or crunchy foods that could damage your braces
  • Some fruits and vegetables can get stuck in your braces, and should be cut into small pieces

Brushing and flossing to get teeth and braces squeaky clean is very important:

  • Avoids staining
  • Avoids periodontal disease
  • Special brushes are designed to get into crevices and surfaces of braces
  • Special types of dental floss are available
  • Use a water flosser – various types and brands of dental irrigators are available

It is also very important to keep all follow-up appointments for adjustments and for the orthodontist to keep an eye on your oral health and catch any problems early on.

Traditional metal braces are still the most popular, quickest, and most cost-effective orthodontic treatment available for patients of all ages to help them achieve straight, beautiful smiles.

If you are interested in metal braces in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.