Braces – Fixed Appliance
Before placing braces on your teeth we recommend you see your dentist for a check-up to make sure you have no decay or gum problems. Once your braces have been fitted it is important to visit your dentist and the hygienist regularly to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.
Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands bonded (glued) to your teeth and very thin metal wires that gently push your teeth into the right positions.
The wire is fixed into the brackets with a small metal or a coloured plastic ring. Some brackets have clips to hold the wires and no ties are needed. Brackets can be made of tooth-coloured ceramic, metal or plastic. Ordinary fixed braces are bonded to the front of your teeth. There are also braces that can be bonded on the back of your teeth which are more discreet (lingual braces).
Steps in Fixed Braces Treatment
First Visit: Record taking.
X-rays, photos and impressions for plaster study models of your teeth are taken. Your orthodontist will plan your treatment using these records.
Second Visit: Treatment plan.
Your orthodontist will explain your treatment options and the materials that can be used and together you will agree a treatment plan.
Third and Fourth Visits:Bond up.
Bands are cemented and brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth.
(Every 4 to 8 weeks) Adjustments are made to the braces by way of wire-changes, adding springs, elastics or other accessories.
When treatment is completed:
Your fixed braces will be removed at a debonding appointment.
Moulds of your teeth in their new positions are taken to make retainers. After your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions for the next few years.
How long does treatment take?
Everyone is different however the normal period of treatment with fixed braces is between one and two years. You will need to make time every 4 – 8 weeks to visit your orthodontist regularly if you wish your treatment to finish well and on time.
How will braces affect my daily life?
Speech: With regular fixed braces, speech is normally not affected at all. If you have lingual braces, you will take some time to learn to speak properly with the braces.
Playing musical instruments: If you play a musical instrument with a mouthpiece, it will take you one to two weeks before you become as skilful as before.
Brushing with braces: With braces on, your teeth are more difficult to clean. Do not leave food on your braces. Brushing your teeth properly after every snack and meal will reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. In addition, five minutes of brushing is needed every morning and night. Have your toothbrush available to brush after meals as well as at your orthodontic visits. You can use disclosing solution to check if your teeth are clean. You will need to replace your toothbrush more often as it will wear out faster.
Eating and diet restrictions: Eating hard food or biting on large pieces of food may dislodge the brackets or bands and damage the wires. Avoid eating nuts and biting on nails or pencils. Do cut hard fruits into small and thin pieces before eating them. Avoid food and drinks with high sugar content such as sweets and soft drinks.