With the option of so many ‘adult friendly’ braces, you would think the use of ‘traditional’ braces would have been completely discontinued in adult treatment. This is not the case, there are many situations when their use in the treatment plan is recommended due to the nature of the tooth movements required.

Young persons requiring fixed appliances are often given these traditional braces so why should adults be any different? The usual reason given is appearance. Whilst very few braces are really ‘invisible’ – when you are talking to someone, you will notice they have something glued to the front of their teeth irrespective of whether they have brackets which are metal or clear or tooth. So it all comes down to degrees of visibility. Some people are quite happy with metal brackets whilst others would find this just too obvious – it’s going to be a matter of personal choice.

A deciding factor for many may be the cost. It is usually cheaper to opt for traditional metal brackets than some of the other options and whilst they may not always be offered by your orthodontist, it is worth asking if these could be used for your treatment if only for cost comparison purposes.

Traditional brackets are usually silver in colour although you sometimes see ones which are made from a gold alloy. They are generally quite strong and do not easily break (which can mean less trips to the orthodontist for impromptu repairs!). The wire is held in place either with thin wire ties or small elastic O-rings called modules. Bands are sometimes used on back teeth and these are metal rings which fit around the teeth and are held in place by a dental cement.

Traditional metal brackets do have some disadvantages such as they can rub on the inside of your cheek more than some of the smoother, smaller brackets but when you consider the advantages of durability and cost, they should be given consideration when discussing your treatment options.