FIXED “train-track” braces consist of individual brackets, which are glued onto your teeth. Wires are then held into the brackets by means of elastics (this is where the choice of colour comes in!). This appointment takes up to 40 minutes but is painless – it is just a matter of cleaning the tooth surface with a special solution, washing and drying the teeth and then just pressing a bracket onto each individual tooth and setting the glue on the bracket with a blue light. Once the wires and elastics have been placed we are very careful to ensure that you fully understand our instructions on care and cleaning of your brace.
Once a brace is fitted, your teeth start to move after a few hours. This is when they will probably start to ache and this can last from 2 days to a week or so depending on each individual. Watch our instruction movie for further advice.
Fixed appliances can also be made from glass to help blend in with the colour of your teeth.
For younger patients we sometimes have to do act early to stop teeth clashing or prevent a thumb habit from developing. In such cases removable braces are best and are made in our laboratory from the moulds or scan that we take of your teeth. Watch our instruction movie for further care instructions.
Often we have to help the jaws grow in order to improve the way the upper and lower teeth sit with each other. Functional appliances do this without the need for surgery and work by gently posturing the jaws to sit in a different position.
These are the most important part of your treatment if you want your teeth to remain straight. They are usually of the clear plastic gum-shield type and are worn every night for at least 6 months; the wear is then gradually reduced to about twice a week at bedtime; nowadays we usually advise that they continue to be worn twice a week for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. This is because there remains a tendency for teeth to move a little – no matter how old you are.
We like to keep a check on your teeth for a year or so after removing fixed braces – this usually involves a very quick check every 3 – 6 months to make sure the teeth are staying where we want them. See our instruction movies on retainer use for more information.