Golden braces are in! They can add a set of sophistication and elegance to a contraption that has long been associated with unpleasantness.
Believe it or not, gold dental braces have been scientifically proven to make you look smarter and better looking. Of course, here at eBraces.org, we look at scientific studies and scrutinize them well. While these are real studies, they took a small number of people and merely asked a few questions. While we take the studies with a grain of salt, we also believe they reflect the general feelings of people. Gold braces can make you look better.
What are Gold Braces?
So, to answer the question can you really get gold braces, the answer is yes. How to get gold braces is a much bigger and more important question.
Gold braces are just braces that are a gold color. There is nothing unusual or special about the braces in terms of function or use. In truth, gold braces look just like any other braces, just golden.
We think golden braces look good. The gold blends better with the ivory of the teeth and does not have the startling or harsh effect silver braces do. Gold braces can be used at any age or problem level.
One of the hardest parts for most people will be finding a dentist that uses gold braces. While it is becoming popular, many dentists still cling to the tried and true silver braces. It does take more skill and money to install gold braces. Since most people don’t even know they exist, most dentists choose not to offer this service.
When you have gold braces, you won’t notice any difference in function. Neither will you see feel a difference in size. Most gold coatings are measured in microns, far too small for you to feel.
Are Gold Braces Real Gold?
This answer is yes and no.
Most gold is not strong enough to hold up under the pressures of dental work. The gold would need to be mixed to the point of losing the gold color and shine for it to actually make changes for your teeth. So, solid gold braces are not something dentists will use.
In general, gold braces are stainless steel braces with an overlay of a golden coating.
In some cases, pure 24k gold is used as the overlay, so you can say you are wearing real gold braces. This is becoming more popular as the health benefits of gold become more mainstream. See below for more details on just how good gold can be for you.
The greater part of braces that gold color are either titanium nitride (TiN) or zirconium nitride (ZrN). These are both shiny golden color coatings that are safe to use in the mouth. They are both much cheaper and more durable than plain gold, although they do not confer the health benefits real gold does.
Variations on Gold
All Gold Braces
You can get gold plated stainless steel braces. This includes the bracket, rods, and bands. You can choose from golden colors from the nitrides or go straight to the 24k overlays. Victory Series by 3M Unitek and Forever Gold series by American Orthodontics are few of the popular options.
What you won’t find are 100% gold braces. They don’t exist because they aren’t strong enough. Gold is actually a very weak metal unless it is mixed with something else. Your mouth takes a lot of abuse and gold just can’t hold up to the strain.
Gold Rubber Bands
You can get your rubber bands in a golden color too. In fact, you can get your bands in a whole rainbow of colors, including rainbow!
In some cases, people prefer the highlighting effect of colors on their braces. But, as some studies show, most people actually prefer grey color bands.
This is because the grey bands help to hide the braces. The color blends into the teeth and causes a blurring effect. People notice the braces less.
Unless you’re a teen. In our opinion, if you’re going to have braces, and everyone knows it, then go fully into it and get the gold bands *. Make a statement!
Colored bands cost the same as grey bands. The typical colorless bands are more expensive in some places. You should ask your dentist about various colors.
Just as one final note on colored bands, some dentists are using highly colored bands on the molars. It is easier to see bright colors in the hard to reach places and it helps the dentist to make adjustments quicker and easier. It’s also nearly impossible to see the bands during normal eating and talking, so no one else even knows the colored bands are there.
Just the Gold Hooks on Braces
Some people just get certain parts of their braces in gold. These little accent pieces don’t make a difference in quality but do make a statement in fashion.
Mixing gold and silver is now a fashion statement. The overlay of gold on the pins and hooks can also help hide the bulky effects of the braces. The silver bracket that holds the teeth becomes the only part people really see.
Have a favorite team? Why not get blue and gold braces, or black and gold braces? How about purple and gold braces?
You can show your support for your favorites just by changing the bands on your braces. They come in all colors, so you can express yourself as you like!
Just so you know, the braces themselves are not colored, just the bands. You’ll have the same silver or gold brackets and pins, just different colored bands.
Since most bands are changed every couple of weeks by your dentist, you can pick new colors often. Colored bands are usually not any more expensive than the standard grey bands. Just ask your dentist if they have the colored bands.
White Gold Braces
In the very high-end world of braces, you can get white gold overlays for your braces. This trend seems to be picking up in Europe and the Middle East.
White gold is softer that golden gold. So, your dentist has to be extra careful when using it. You also need to be more aware of the foods you eat because the gold could be damaged with the simplest of foods.
Appearance-wise, we don’t see a difference between standard stainless steel braces and white gold braces. We think they look the same.
Gold Braces vs Silver Braces
Gold and silver braces are just about the same thing. The silver braces are mostly stainless steel. Some of the silver braces have a coating that makes the silver a bit brighter. These coatings can be many different metals, including pure silver.
Gold braces are just stainless steel braces that have been coated in either gold or a gold tone compound. The coating is usually just microns thick, so you can’t feel a difference.
The standard braces are just stainless steel because it is the most versatile material that will hold up to the pressures and variable extremes that the mouth encounters. It has a very low rate of damage and holds up to many different conditions, including sports accidents and eating ‘banned’ foods, like nuts and hard candy.
Gold Braces vs Metal Braces
Again, braces that are metal are stainless steel metal. The golden braces only have a coating of gold or other metal that is golden in appearance.
How Do Gold Braces Match Invisalign?
Braces and Invisalign are two different products. The gold braces attach to your teeth and pull them into position. They are what most people typically think of as braces. They contain the metal bracket, pins and wires, and rubber bands. Any of these or all can be golden in color.
Invisalign is a commercial retainer that helps push teeth into position. It is a thin, rigid piece of plastic molded to nearly match your teeth, but slightly off to push them towards the proper position. The plastic is clear, so you can’t actually see it when you wear it. Just like braces, you are required to visit your dentist every two to three weeks for an adjustment. New retainers are made each time to continue pushing your teeth in the right direction.
The benefits of Invisalign is that you can take it off if you need to. Braces require special tools and a dentist to change. You are supposed to wear the Invisalign for all activities, including sleep, but excluding eating and brushing.
Most serious changes in you teeth require braces. Some dentists will use the retainer system for more complex problems, but most will opt for the braces.
Both of these options can run you about the same cost in most places. Nearly all insurances will pay for braces, but not all will pay for Invisalign, even if the dentist thinks it will be better for you.
Be sure to talk to your dentist about your options when you see her/him.
Will I Look Good with Gold Braces?
According to a few studies, more people look good with gold braces than without.
But, we really can’t say who.
We visited over 30 different websites of dentists who use gold braces. All of them said you will look better. They just differed on who the ‘you’ is.
In white communities, they highlighted how gold will help fade the starkness of braces and hide them. In areas with a mostly black community, the dentists highlighted how the gold will balance better with the mocha skin tones and brightness of white teeth. One dentist in a primarily Indian community focused on how the gold enhanced the natural overtones of the skin, creating a more harmonious blend.
The general consensus is that each dentist spoke to his or her community and discovered how gold braces helped their people. Each of them now knows gold is better looking than silver without appearing gaudy or distracting.
Are There Health Risks to Gold Braces?
According to the American Dental Association, gold braces offers no more risk to health than regular braces.
Some sites are quick to mention that the golden tints can cause issues. The two most common compounds used are titanium nitride (TiN) or zirconium nitride (ZrN). Both of these compounds are exceptionally stable and are highly unreactive.
Titanium nitride is used frequently in the medical field because of the high stability. The bonus is that it creates the durable coating at just 5 microns/micrometers (0.0002 in). This means it can be used on scalpels without dulling the cutting edge.
Zinc nitride is used in electronics for its insulating and protective coatings.
Both of these metals have melting points over 800oC, hot enough to melt the flesh right off your face, so we don’t expect you’ll be able to get that from the local cup of coffee. They are both susceptible to acid erosion, however, it requires sustained and frequent contact with highly acidic liquids to note a change.
We do recommend that you avoid frequent uses of highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes, orange and grapefruit juices, coffee and energy drinks. Using a straw to drink these items, so the liquid doesn’t touch your braces, will eliminate this issue. While it requires frequent consumption of these items to even begin wearing away the coating, occasional uses won’t affect your braces.
Be sure to listen to your dentist for any additional warnings.
Pure gold, on the other hand, is a treatment for certain cancers and has been well known in the medical field for its positive role in aiding immunity.
It was often used up until about 100 years ago as a treatment for arthritis. A gold infused drink was often ingested, or a tiny sliver of gold was implanted near a sore joint to relieve the pain. It has a long history of use in this way, over 3000 years. It has been documented as a cure in Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Mayan medicinal documents.
Surgeons are using gold instruments to reduce bleeding. They are also using gold foil to staunch blood flow and provide a sterile medium to grow new tissues.
Some of the new research is showing that gold can help reduce fevers naturally without depressing the immune system like current medications do. This can be a powerful tool for dangerously high fevers, especially in children.
Recently, gold has been studied in its role in preventing and curing cancers. It has not been pushed by pharmaceutical companies for several reasons. First, gold has a well-known value and the artificially inflated prices of cancer drugs are more profitable. Second, gold is natural and cannot be patented, therefore, less profitable. Finally, no company can claim precedence.
In the July 1935 Clinical, Medicine & Surgery published a study "Colloidal Gold in Inoperable Cancer" written by Edward H. Ochsner, M.D., B.S., F.A.C.S., "When the condition is hopeless, Colloidal Gold helps prolong life and makes life much more bearable, both to the patient and to those about them, because it shortens the period of terminal cachexia (general physical wasting and malnutrition usually associated with chronic disease) and greatly reduces pain and discomfort and the need of opiates (narcotics) in a majority of instances."
It is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative treatment, but be sure to obtain your gold from a properly trained professional with the right form of gold. Licensed naturopaths are often the best source.
Gold braces do not provide these medical benefits on their own. We are giving you this information because, over time, the braces will erode slightly. The gold that you absorb or ingest will only be a benefit to you, and not cause health issues.
How Much Do Gold Braces Costs?
One of the biggest issues with gold braces is the cost. Are gold braces more expensive? Usually.
Gold is much more expensive than plain stainless steel. The more you use it, the higher the cost.
Often, insurance companies will pay for regular, stainless steel braces, but not the overlays of gold. They feel the minimal is enough. Some people feel their appearances of gold braces are better and are willing to go the extra step.
The insurance companies also rarely pay for adult braces, although more are understanding that minor adjustments will save costs in the long run. Be sure to check with your insurance company to know to costs over the two to three years you will have the braces.
On average, standard braces in the US for children cost between $3000 and $5000. Adult braces usually run $4000 to $7000.
The gold additions will run you between $300 and $500 per replacement. Since certain parts are replaced occasionally, this can add up to nearly an additional $2000 per person.
Of course, in various areas, the costs are different. Even moving from town to town can change the prices drastically. We also found that certain countries have far cheaper or far more costly braces.
We recommend you discuss costs and payment structures with your dentist. For additional options, you can visit a dental school.
Where to Buy Gold Braces?
We recommend you ask your dentist if they have gold braces. There are many who will use them and many who will not.
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