Orthodontists recommend braces to improve overall dental health by straightening and aligning the teeth, as well as fixing gaps. It brings both aesthetic and practical advantages. Not only does it give you a great smile, but correcting a person’s bite also enables you to chew food the way you are supposed to do it. When teeth are aligned, brushing and flossing also become easier; therefore, preventing a host of tooth and gum diseases.

But braces have far evolved from the metal squares and wires that we know of, with some fancier techniques involving invisible braces and gold retainer wires. Gold braces are not exactly everyone’s first choice, but those who prefer it say it helps them become more confident about their smiles. If you are a fan of bling, you will want gold braces to add to your look as well. But are they really that effective?

The only real difference between gold braces and the standard silver braces is the color. In fact, there are also tooth-colored ceramic braces that are a lot less prominent but can deliver the same benefits. If aesthetics is a big concern and you’d like to have an extra sparkly smile, you can go for the gold without any apprehensions.

Here are five things you can expect if you do opt to have them on your teeth:

1. They are still made of stainless steel

Gold braces are made of stainless steel, like the traditional braces, but their wiring and brackets will be coated with a thin layer of gold. This process is called gold plating and is common in many types of items, such as jewelry, accessories, ornaments, and more.

2. They can go as high as 24 karats

As with real gold, you can choose to have yours at 10 karats or go as high as 24 karats. Talk to your orthodontist to see what options are available, though expect the price to go up as the karats increase.

3. Their structure is the same as the regular silver braces

There is nothing much about gold braces that stand out against the silver ones except the color. That said, you should expect the same feel and degree of care and maintenance that the typical appliances require. You still start with swishing with water after meals, flossing at least once a day, using a fluoride rinse, and showing up for dental visits every six months (or fewer, depending on your case).

4. Certain foods might tarnish or discolor them over time

Gold can react with different types of substances, so be sure to talk to your orthodontist about the types of food or drinks that may negatively interact with your mouth bling. Foodstuff with high levels of acidity, such as soda, fruit juices, onions, and pickled items, could lead to tarnishing, though not instantly.

5. They are, of course, a little more pricey

dental braces - lingual braces, before and after

Because you will be using a precious metal that is actually tradeable and pawnable, expect that your gold retainer wires will be priced much higher than the typical models, which already cost around $5,000 to $7,000. But, of course, if you are willing to splurge on your aesthetics, the price shouldn’t hold you back.

If bedazzling is how you want your smile to be 24/7 (at least until you have your braces removed), then gold wires and brackets are a great option. Your orthodontist should be able to help you find the right care plan to ensure that your teeth sparkle and stay that way for a long time.