Orthodontic braces brackets are generally made of two different materials – metal or ceramic. Metal brackets are typically made from a stainless steel alloy that includes molybdenum, nickel, and chromium to make them rust proof. They are very sturdy and will last you your entire treatment.
Ceramic braces brackets are made from porcelain. These clear bracket braces are clear or almost clear and are therefore quite popular for teens and adults who want to have nearly invisible braces but who also want the speed of bracket and wire style braces. Ceramic braces are a little more fragile than metal and can be broken if impacted.
We’ll learn more about the different types of braces brackets in just a moment but first let’s see what some of the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say.
Studies show that fixed appliances like orthodontic braces are worn on average of 23.1 months (Fink DF et al.,1992).
Variations in that timeline can exist for multiple reasons, such as the number of extracted premolars, the number of missed appointments, and more (Fink DF et al.,1992).
Additionally, some orthodontists will spend significantly more time ensuring a detailed finish, which can have its pros and cons. This leads to additional treatment time variations as a result (Fink DF et al.,1992).
Why Are There Different Types Of Brackets Braces?
Orthodontic braces brackets do the same thing regardless of what material they are made from. They are the anchors for the arch wires which do the pulling of the teeth to get them into the new positions. There are different kinds of braces brackets because some folks want durable brackets while others want some that are more aesthetically pleasing. Still other braces bracket types are more comfortable because of the way that they are designed. Let’s look at a few of the different types of brackets that your orthodontist can choose from.
- Ceramic Bracket Braces
Ceramic brackets are clear or nearly clear brackets that are made from porcelain. They’re highly desired by folks who want to have nearly invisible braces treatment.
- Plastic Bracket Braces
Plastic braces brackets are also used by folks who want to have clear braces and still have the advantage of the speed provided by bracket and wire style braces as compared to Invisalign. The plastic can be color-matched to your teeth so they blend in perfectly, and they are comfort designed so that this type of bracket for braces will not rub against the inside of your cheeks as much.
- Resin Bracket Braces
Another type of clear bracket you can choose is resin brackets. They are very soft and comfortable to wear, but if you need significant orthodontic treatment, they are not as sturdy as metal or ceramic and therefore are not as likely to provide you with the amount of tension necessary to correct your orthodontic issue.
- Stainless Steel Bracket Braces
Stainless steel brackets are the most commonly used types of brackets, partly because they are the least expensive and also because they are the most durable. Stainless steel has been used in braces since braces became commonly available.
- Cobalt-Chromium Bracket Braces
These braces brackets are made from a slightly different alloy combination that provides great strength and also is resistant to corrosion. Because they do not contain nickel, they are also great for people who have allergies to nickel. Because of their strength, they can be placed under higher tension than resin.
- Sapphire Bracket Braces
As the name implies, these braces brackets have sapphire fibers or crystals in them. However, their transparent so they blend into the color of your teeth. Because of the sapphire in them, they are as strong as metal and they will not stain if you drink coffee or tea or red wine like ceramic braces can. They are more expensive than metal or ceramic braces because of the sapphire in them.
- Self-ligating Bracket Braces
Self-ligating braces brackets are not a particular material, but what they do offer is a clip to hold the wire in place instead of requiring an elastic. This reduces friction and allows the wire to continue moving. Often times this can shorten your braces treatment time.
- Lingual Bracket Braces
Again, these are not a type of material but rather the way that they are installed. These brackets are affixed to the back of your teeth and thus they offer some of the greatest aesthetics for people who want to get the speed of bracket and wire style braces versus Invisalign. Lingual braces are much more expensive than braces that are affixed to the front of the teeth because they are more difficult to install, and each bracket must be custom designed to fit the back of your tooth.
- Invisalign Bracket Braces
Invisalign is a clear aligner system that uses a series of changeable trays. They don’t use bracket and wires like other kinds of braces do, but they do rely on small blocks affixed to the teeth to help provide additional pressure, thus allowing Invisalign to correct more advanced orthodontic issues than they used to. These blocks are called SmartForce attachments.
What To Do If Your Braces Bracket Comes Loose?
One of the first things you should do if you have a braces bracket come loose is to call your orthodontist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. You will want to let them know that you did break off a bracket braces so that they may give you some advice on what to do in the meantime.
If the loose braces bracket is pressing on your cheeks, you can use some of your orthodontic wax on it to make things more comfortable. And, if this bracket was one of the back ones and now you have a wire poking, you can use either your wax or a small bit of cotton to provide more comfort.
If your braces bracket loose has completely broken off, make sure that you save it and bring it with you when you do get in to see your orthodontist.
To help with any irritation on the inside of your cheeks or gums from a broken bracket braces, you can do a warm saltwater rinse to help provide more comfort. You can also use some over the counter pain relievers if need be to help alleviate any discomfort.
What To Do If My Braces Bracket Fell Off? How To Fix A Broken Braces Bracket?
A broken bracket on braces may come off completely or it may stay partially in place. The wire will still likely be attached to the other teeth if you have a loose bracket on braces.
If you do need to put your fingers into your mouth, make sure that they are clean first before checking if your braces bracket fell off.
A broken braces bracket is not often an orthodontic emergency but you should make it a priority to get an appointment scheduled as soon as possible
You may have a wire that is poking into your cheeks, and you can either use some of your orthodontic wax on it or try to clip it off with a set of nail clippers.
Because things may be uncomfortable for a while, you should try to eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, and the like so that eating will not cause more discomfort. You should definitely not eat any hard foods until you do get your braces fixed.
Fink, D. F., & Smith, R. J. (1992). The duration of orthodontic treatment. American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics, 102(1), 45–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/0889-5406(92)70013-Z