While most adults are trying to hide their braces, some of you embrace them and even look for ways to make them stand out. Choosing gold braces is one way to do that. You get tiny grills and straighten your teeth all in one.
But, joke aside, there are some advantages to gold braces, plus new models that make them more appealing than ever before. In this article, I’ll talk about the pros, the cons of gold braces, reputable brands to choose from, and what else you can expect.
What Are Gold Braces
Gold braces are similar to traditional braces. They consist of the same components but are plated with 24K gold, zirconia, or treated with other substances, giving them a shiny, golden appearance.
If you’re not familiar with how conventional braces work, it’s actually quite simple. First, there are little metal squares, called brackets, that are glued to your teeth. Next, there’s a wire that goes through all these brackets. This wire puts gentle pressure on your teeth to move them into alignment. Finally, there are small ties, called ligatures, that keep the wire in the brackets. These can be stretchy or metal. That’s pretty much how braces work!
Let’s see how all this applies to gold braces:
Remember, gold braces aren’t made of pure gold. 24K gold is too soft and bendable for brackets and wires that need a strong and stable material. Gold braces are made of medical stainless steel, just like normal metal braces, with the added golden coating on top.
How To Choose Gold Braces
If you’ve decided to go for this golden stylish look, it’s important to ask your orthodontist what brand they’re using. There are many low-quality imitations out there that may not use 24K gold. These can chip or discolor much faster.
To help you make an informed decision, here are three recommended brands of gold braces you can go for (I’m sure there are more, but I can vouch for these):
3M’s Victory Series Gold Appliance is also a good option, although I’m not so sure it’s available anymore. 3M also offers the famous Incognito lingual appliance that’s also plated with gold, but for the purposes of this article, we won’t be going into lingual braces.
The bottom line is that your orthodontist should have these braces in stock, and ideally a spare set or two in case the brackets break, as it often happens throughout treatment. To my knowledge, gold braces aren’t routinely available, and not many orthodontists offer them, so the choice of brackets really depends on the professionals in your area.
Gold Braces Advantages
Gold braces offer several advantages to consider if you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits of gold braces that can make them an attractive option.
Firstly, gold has anti-inflammatory properties that might help prevent inflammation in your gums during orthodontic treatment. However, the best cure for gum inflammation is oral hygiene. The anti-inflammation effect of gold is just a fun bonus.
Another advantage of gold braces is that they don’t retain as much bacteria compared to other materials. This trait is one reason why Incognito lingual braces use a gold alloy, and also because gold is easier to shape to fit the back of the teeth.
Gold braces are also hypoallergenic, making them perfect for patients with nickel allergies. If you’re sensitive to traditional metal braces, gold braces can be a comfortable, allergy-free alternative.
Finally, gold braces add an aesthetic touch to your orthodontic treatment. The unique gold color can make your braces really pop and give you a distinctive look, if that’s what you’re going for. Gold braces are also a great alternative to ceramic braces, which can stain, break more easily and may slow treatment down.
You can play around with colored elastic bands to give your gold braces a unique, fun look, much like you would personalize regular braces. So don’t feel restricted to only using gold or transparent ligature ties.
Gold Braces Drawbacks
Gold braces may not always be the best option for everyone, as they have their own set of drawbacks. The biggest one: you might find that the gold color doesn’t really improve your smile’s appearance.
Gold, or anything with a yellow, or orange tint can actually make teeth look more yellow rather than white and bright. So, unless you’ve whitened your teeth and have a very attractive smile already, gold braces won’t help enhance it. You will also need to keep your braces super clean or you’ll attract attention for the wrong reasons.
Another issue with gold braces is that they can chip or discolor over time, especially when going for a lesser-known brand that can skimp on quality. This isn’t ideal and will make your brackets look uneven.
Lastly, these braces come at a higher cost compared to traditional metal ones. Unfortunately, this extra expense doesn’t necessarily add any benefits or significantly improve results.
Average Cost Of Gold Braces
Believe it or not, gold braces aren’t viewed as a luxury item by most orthodontists. This is because the gold plating on brackets is quite thin and doesn’t impact the brackets’ cost as much as you’d think. In fact, depending on the brand, some practices don’t charge extra on gold braces at all.
However, because there’s the need to stock these braces separately, much like with ceramic braces, there is a cost difference.
Gold braces typically cost between $500 to $1,000 more than regular braces. On average, traditional metal braces range from $3,000 to $7,000, so you can expect gold braces to cost around $3,500 to $8,000.
Regarding insurance, some dental insurance plans may cover part of the costs for gold braces. It’s important to check with your provider to see if gold braces are covered under your plan. Most orthodontists also offer payment plans to help you manage the cost of braces over time.
How To Care For Gold Braces
Caring for your gold braces is quite similar to maintaining normal braces. However, you should take some extra precautions to keep them looking shiny and clean. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure your gold braces stay in great shape.
First, it is important to avoid hard foods that can scratch the gold surface. Stay away from candies, nuts, hard chips, or anything that might damage their appearance. Stick to softer foods to prevent any unnecessary wear and tear on your braces.
Lastly, when brushing your teeth, try to use a gentle touch. Avoid using abrasive toothpaste or homemade solutions like baking soda and charcoal, and consider investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush. This will help maintain the polished look of your gold braces while protecting them from potential damage.
Are Gold Braces Worth It?
As an orthodontist, when it comes to gold braces, I see them as more of a fashion statement than a dental necessity. They really don’t bring anything extra to the table in terms of functionality.
One thing to consider is their color. The gold can give off a yellowish tint, which might not be the most flattering look, especially if they’re not kept clean. Food particles can get stuck in them, and since gold braces are more eye-catching, people will notice that your teeth aren’t clean.
I would recommend gold braces to someone who already has pretty white and straight teeth and just needs a few tweaks. They can add a bit of flair and look nice.
To be honest, maintaining a stock of gold braces and wires in an orthodontic practice can be more trouble than it’s worth. They aren’t a popular choice among most patients, so balancing supply and demand can be tricky.
However, my opinion changes when it comes to Iconix braces. These champagne-colored braces are discreet, versatile, and beautiful. If you’re looking to make a statement with your braces, but in a more understated way, Iconix could be the way to go.
Whether you’re new to braces or a braces veteran, taking care of your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment is crucial. That’s why I’ve put together a list of orthodontist-recommended tools that will make caring for your braces a breeze: