The Ultimate Guide to Gold Braces: Are They Worth It?

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:

  • Brackets are often gold or the more recent champagne color. Some orthodontists offer rose-gold braces, but those are less common, and reputable brands are harder to find. Just like regular braces, they effectively help teeth achieve proper alignment.
  • Wires used in gold braces can be gold or champagne-colored. However, your orthodontist might also use regular silver wires in some cases. Regardless of the color, these wires serve the same purpose, gradually aligning and moving teeth.
  • Ligatures hold the wire to the brackets, keeping your braces in place. Typically, orthodontists use gold-colored elastic ligatures or transparent ones for gold braces. Since they’re regular elastic ties, you can choose multiple colors for your gold braces, straying from the gold option if you wish.

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.

Gold Braces – Ortho Technology, Marquis Trugold

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):

  • Midas from Gold’n’Braces: This brand offers the classic gold braces look. They use a 24k gold multi-layered alloy, providing an aesthetic appearance. Midas brackets are resistant to bacteria, non-toxic, and anti-inflammatory. They also offer same-color gold wires and accessories like open and closed coils, ensuring a high-quality plating that doesn’t flake or discolor.
  • Orthotechnology’s Marquis True Gold brackets: Another great choice for gold braces is Marquis True Gold brackets from Orthotechnology. These brackets feature real 24k gold plating, making them brighter and more resistant to wear, peeling, and chipping compared to competing bracket systems. Orthotechnology is a reputable distributor, so you can trust the quality of their product.
  • Iconix braces from American Orthodontics: The most recent creation in gold braces is the now-famous Iconix braces. What sets them apart is their discreet champagne color that blends with your teeth. When paired with gold wires, they develop a golden hue, while pairing with regular wires gives them a more discreet appearance. You can even add a pop of color for a completely different look. These braces are sleek, smooth, and hygienic, making them popular among dental practices.

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.

Iconix braces with gold wire

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.

Iconix champagne braces vs. Metal braces

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.

Gold braces on teeth. Source

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:

  • An awesome mid-range electric toothbrush. Rotating electric brushes are much more effective, in my opinion, than sonic ones. You can keep your teeth white by using whitening replacement heads.
  • A countertop water flosser to blast out food debris between teeth. I know handheld models are tempting, but you’ll need a lot of water. You can almost replace flossing with this and your gums will be healthier.
  • Braces accessories to get into all the nooks and crannies: straight or angled interdental brushes, floss threaders, orthodontic wax or silicone. For pain management, have gel ice packs handy, Orajel, and Mouth Magic (a cool soothing solution for mouth sores).
  • For clear aligner patients, a tool like PUL helps both remove and seat your aligner or retainer. Don’t forget to use a cleaning product like crystals to keep your trays fresh and hygienic.

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