Project Description

Understanding Traditional Metal Braces

Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. Traditional Metal Dental braces feature brackets that run along a guide wire. The wire and brackets that form part of the braces are pressed against the patient’s teeth. This supports minor movements that can help in properly aligning and straightening the teeth.

Fortunately, the world of modern orthodontics is not what it was like years ago, many people had to endure painful, cold, sterile metal braces and feared having to go to the orthodontist.

Metal Braces Are Now More Comfortable Than Ever

Metal braces had a reputation for being a bit awkward and obvious, but with the advancement of modern orthodontics, these once annoying components are smaller, less conspicuous, and way more comfortable than ever before.

With sleeker brackets and featherweight wires, the appearance and feel of modern braces work to keep irritation in the patient’s mouth to a minimum and increase the speed at which your teeth change position. It really is a beautiful thing!

Girl with metal braces

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Metal Braces

The Pros

Suitable for All Treatment Types

Metal dental braces can correct even the most complicated issues in aligning your teeth.These newly designed braces are not only esthetically pleasing, but functional as well. These are beneficial in closing gaps and correcting crooked teeth fast.

Achieve Near Perfect Results

Braces can achieve more precise results than Invisalign. Metal braces have the ability to apply more force to move teeth into the desired position and with multiple angles of pull, metal braces allow your orthodontist more treatment options. While Invisalign is a great option, it is limited in terms of how much teeth can be moved at a time.

Costs Less

The typical cost of regular braces varies widely depending on the case type, but is usually in the range of $2,500 to $6,000. In turn, the typical cost of Invisalign costs between $3,500 to $8,000.

Multiple Options and Colors to Choose From

Customize that smile! With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

Faster Treatment Time

Oh yes time is on your side!

Generally, when closing gaps and aligning teeth the treatment time can be faster with tradional metal braces vs Invisalign.

Speed of treatment can play a big factor for adults as well as kids to get their orthodontic treatment finished as fast as possible.

One thing to note is that the skill and experience of your Orthodontist can also contribute to consistently faster treatment times (Psst, Dr. Cohen is really good at this:)).

Low Profile Design for Ease of Speaking

With a low profile design, you no longer have to alter your mouth speech patterns, which is really benefical for kids when they have to give a speech in school or for an adult giving presentations at the workplace.

The Cons

Aesthetics of Tradional Braces

A lot of folks don’t like the look of traditional braces. They are worried they will feel self conscious about their appearance in some social settings. This can deeply affect teens in a part of their life when their bodies are going through all sorts of changes. The best solution we  found is to identify what makes each patient feel comfortable and put a plan together to make sure they feel good about themselves while getting tremendous results.

Difficulty Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing your teeth can be difficult with braces, especially when you first get started. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, you risk having plaque build up around the braces which can lead to staining and decay.

Our patients are given instructions to follow and are always welcome to ask for a simple in office refresher course on how to correctly brush and floss while your braces are on.

Changes in Diet and Food Preparation

So, this might be the biggest challenge of all. Care needs to be taken with various foods and drinks you consume with braces.

Hard and sticky foods like taffy can cause the arch wire to break or a bracket to pop off your tooth. Not good!

Once this happens, your braces won’t work until the breakage is fixed. This can affect your total treatment time.

Regular Consultations Needed

While we do love seeing you at the office, it does become a minor inconvience having to come into the office for your regular checkups. The fact is, we need these frequent visits to check on progress you are making and adjust accordingly. Typically, we do a monthly review to see how well your teeth have moved and make changes, so they continue to move your teeth properly.

By contrast, our Invisalign patients visit the office less frequently because their aligners have already been made in advanced.

May Lead to Jaw Pain & Headaches

The primary side effect of braces is pain. When Dr. Coehn tightens your braces to make changes, it adds tension to the jaw. This tightening helps align the teeth, but puts added pressure on the mouth and face.

This may trigger pain in your mouth and head. In addition to this, chewing or biting down on hard or rough items like potato chips can cause gum pain and bleeding, as the gums are already irritated.


Hard foods like nuts, candy, and ice cubes or foods that must be bitten into or from a bone or cob can result in the accidental breakage of wires.

Broken wires can do damage to your mouth by scraping and poking the inside of your mouth, causing cuts and bleeding.

Breakages and delays in repair can also prevent progress.

In Summary:

The Pros and Cons of Metal Braces

Pros Cons
Suitable for All Treatment Types Aesthetics of Tradional Braces
Achieve Near Perfect Results Difficulty Brushing and Flossing
Costs Less Changes in Diet and Food Preparation
Multiple Options and Colors to Choose From Regular Consultations Needed
Faster Treatment Time May Lead to Jaw Pain & Headaches
Low Profile Design for Ease of Speaking Breakage
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The Costs of Metal Braces in Highland Park

One of the first thoughts most parents have when they come to our Highland Park office is that braces are going to cost a lot of money. But that’s not really the case when you consider the long-term benefits and problems that they can help avoid.

Orthodontic procedures, like many other medical procedures, may cost several thousands of dollars because of all the work involved.

The good news is that there are a plethora of payment options available to make braces way more affordable.

Learn more about our affordable payment options by scheduling a Free Exam at our office.

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Components of Metal Braces

boy with metal braces

Brackets are typically made from an alloyed mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other metals that are designed to be extremely durable and long-lasting.

Brackets have little hooks over which the wire is threaded to secure the brackets in place.


This is what we typically use to attach brackets to your teeth.

Although some orthodontists may attach the brackets to a metal band that is then crimped around the tooth to hold it in place, it’s much more common these days to attach the bracket directly to the tooth with glue.

In certain cases that require more serious or accelerated treatment schedule, metal bands may be used together with glue to give the braces more leverage and stability.


This thin piece of metal runs from one bracket to another. Over time, Dr. Cohen will change the shape and overall curvature of the wire to help assist the movement of your teeth in the desired direction.  And yes, today’s braces are far more comfortable than in the past, thanks to shape-memory NiTi wires.

Using technology developed at NASA, NiTi wires exert a continuous force against the teeth to move them in the right direction.

This eliminates the ongoing need for wire tightening and reduces a patient’s overall time in braces! Pretty cool eh!

Supporting Elastics

For patients who need specific bite correction, elastics are a critical component to its sucess. Typically, the elastics are placed between an upper bracket hook and a lower bracket hook, this enables a pulling of the upper jaw backward to correct an overbite, or the lower jaw backward to correct an underbite.

Also, you may need rubber bands to help bring your front teeth together or to increase the number of teeth you show when you smile. This will all be decided on during your report of finding exam with Dr. Cohen.

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Dr. Jessica Cohen DMD MS
Dr. Jessica Cohen DMD MSOrthodontist
I believe traditional metal braces are a staple of orthodontics. They have a rich history of successful treatment and are a proven treatment options to correct bite alignment.

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