Gone are the days when braces diminished the beauty of your smile and your confidence. These days, braces are not only functional, but can express your personal style. There's a wide variety of fashionable braces options available, including gold braces. Before you go in for a consultation with an orthodontist, learn more about these unique orthodontic appliances and how they differ from other options.
What Are Gold Braces?
On the whole, the types of braces available today are designed to be more lightweight and less obtrusive than their older counterparts. But the basic structure of traditional metal braces remains the same. Metal braces include brackets, wiring and ligatures (or elastics). In recent years, the brackets have become smaller and the wires less noticeable, notes Harvard Health Publishing.
Metal braces are typically silver in color, as they are made of stainless steel, but gold brackets and wires are also available, according to the British Orthodontic Society. Gold braces are also made of stainless steel, but the brackets and wiring are coated with a thin layer of gold, a process known as gold plating. Some offices even offer braces that are coated in 24-karat gold, so if a higher-quality look is important to you, you'll want to ask your orthodontist about the type of gold material used and the process of making these braces.
Gold Braces Versus Other Orthodontic Options
The only real difference between braces that are gold and standard metal braces that are silver is the color. The American Association of Orthodontics explains that tooth-colored ceramic braces are also available, which may be less noticeable than traditional stainless steel. All of these braces are fixed directly on the teeth, so consider your tooth color and think about which brackets might look the most aesthetically appealing to you.
You may have seen individuals with braces sporting colors beyond silver, gold and tooth-colored ceramic. Some types of braces use tiny rubber bands to hold the wires in place. In that case, an orthodontist may offer a wide variety of colorful elastics for the patient to choose from.
While there are many color and customization options for standard braces, some patients might opt for other types of orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist may offer clear aligners, which are plastic trays that shift the alignment of your teeth, or lingual braces, which are attached to the backs of the teeth. Keep in mind that these options require different treatment plans and may not be right for everyone. Speak with your orthodontist about the treatments available to you and what will work best for your particular needs.
What to Expect
Once you're newly outfitted with gold-colored braces, you'll want to ask your orthodontist whether certain foods might discolor or tarnish your braces. You'll see your orthodontist for several follow-up appointments during the course of your treatment. On average, patients wear braces for about two years, but the timing will depend on your particular alignment needs, says Harvard Health Publishing.
The cost of braces varies according to your treatment plan, your provider and your insurance. Harvard Health Publishing estimates that the average cost of braces falls between $5,000 and $7,500. Make sure to ask your insurance provider if your plan covers orthodontics, and if you're interested in gold braces, ask your orthodontist if they will incur an additional cost.
If you like the idea of bedazzling your smile with braces that complement your tooth color or favorite sparkly jewelry, gold-colored braces might be perfect for you. Your orthodontist will help you find a treatment plan that achieves your ideal smile and keeps your smile shining bright in the meantime.