Braces are an established, successful and safe way of significantly improving the overall look of your teeth- as well as your overall oral hygiene. Whether you would like to straighten your front teeth or if your problem is more complex (malocclusions, overcrowding, gaps or dysfunctional bite) we can offer a number of appliances -fixed or removable- which could help you finally get a smile you can be proud of.
If you are looking for a faster working or more affordable straightening treatment then we are pleased to offer Fast Braces (insert link).
We would be pleased to advise you on the best type of brace available to suit your case. Book a free consultation today to find out more.
Fixed braces or Removable braces?
- Still the most commonly used type of brace.
- Suitable for moving large numbers of teeth with precise accuracy.
- Can significantly improve the straightness of your teeth.
- Can help to prevent problems in the future by improving your overall oral health.
But fixed braces are so ugly!
Many people have memories of traditional train tracks braces which could often be quite unattractive and painful. However, fixed braces now look much more attractive than in previous years. The majority are still made from metal although they are generally smaller. For a more personal touch, the hoops on brackets are now available in a variety of colours and can be customised to suit your preference.
There are now a number of more subtle options available including ceramic and clear plastic braces and also lingual braces which can attached to the inside of your teeth. These braces are a more discreet and aesthetically pleasing option- although they will cost more than the standard fixed braces.
Fixed braces are generally easier to get used to and avoid the need for a plastic arch in the roof of your mouth (as you have with removable braces) which can often affect speech.
- More commonly used for younger patients.
- Suitable for use when teeth are still growing.
- Offer a more limited tooth movement that can be used to correct minor problems.
- Normally used on the top teeth.
- Removable braces must be worn for as long as possible during the day and night only being removed for eating, cleaning, sports etc.
How does a fixed brace work?
A fixed brace system works with brackets being individually fixed to each tooth with a dental adhesive. A fine metal wire is then fitted between each bracket- linking them all together. At each tightening appointment the wire is bent, stretched or twisted as required to encourage the correct movements in your teeth. During the few weeks between your appointments the wire will slowly return to its original shape- pulling teeth with it as it does. This very clever system slowly and safely moves your teeth into their desired positions.
Regular check-ups will be required every 6-8 weeks to allow for adjustments to be made as required. These could include wire changes, the adding of springs, new elastics and the introduction of extra accessories such as headgear, biteplates and face masks.
Any recommended accessories will only enhance your treatment and it is important to wear them as directed. Following the instructions of your Orthodontist closely will offer the best chance of your treatment working successfully and within the expected time frame.
How will my fixed braces be fitted?
Prior to fitting: Your Dentist will check for any existing tooth decay or gum problems. X-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth will be taken and used to effectively plan your future treatment.
Permanent teeth will be removed if necessary to allow room for tooth movement and extractions will take place before the fitting of your brace.
Fitting of the brace: The fitting of your brace will take place over one or two visits. Firstly, your teeth will be cleaned and prepared and the brackets will be attached. The wire will also be fitted and held in place with bands. This process will take between 1 and 2 hours.
The average treatment time for fixed braces is between two and three years. Once complete your brace will be removed at a de-banding appointment. Following removal of the brace your teeth will be cleaned and polished to remove any remaining adhesive or plaque build-up which may have occurred whilst the braces were in place.
As with any tooth straightening treatment a retainer will be required to help keep your teeth in their new positions. You can have a removable or lingual brace for this purpose. You will be advised accordingly- with personal requirements, preference and lifestyle all taken into consideration.
Do braces hurt?
You shouldn’t experience any pain during the initial fitting of your brace but as your teeth start to move you may notice some slight pain. Discomfort may also be more noticeable following tightening appointments. If this is the case, you can help relieve this pain with over the counter painkillers. If your gums and teeth do feel a bit sore it is a good idea to stick with softer foods.
If you find that the wires rub on the inside of your mouth ask your dentist for dental wax which can be used to cover any sharp edges.
If painkillers do not relieve the pain or you find that it gets worse contact us immediately for an appointment.
The best way of cleaning your teeth with fixed braces.
When you have fixed braces it is very important to keep your teeth clean. Food can get more easily trapped between the wires and brackets. This can lead to a build-up of plaque around the teeth. Aim to brush your teeth twice a day and consider using interdental accessories to get into those hard to reach spots. Disclosing solutions can show you if anything has been missed.
Aim to brush your teeth after every meal to remove any leftover food and bacteria. If you can’t brush immediately then try to drink water to help rinse out your mouth.
Try to avoid foods that can get stuck in the wires such as chewy sweets and gum. Fizzy drinks should also be avoided. Very hard foods could damage your braces so should be avoided. If you are eating hard foods it is advisable to cut them into small bite sized pieces.
It is important to attend your regular orthodontic appointments so they can check on your progress. Likewise, regular check-ups with your dentist and dental hygienist will help to keep plaque and tooth cavities at bay.