Braces – Fixed Appliance
Before placing braces on your teeth you will need a check-up for decay or gum problems. Do visit your dentist or the School Dental Clinic regularly, even when you are on braces.
Braces can be fixed or removable.
Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands bonded or cemented to your teeth (to get a hold of them) and very thin metal wires that gently push your teeth into their right positions.
The wire is tied into the brackets with a steel ligature or a coloured plastic ring. Some brackets have clips to hold the wires and no ties are needed. Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-coloured ceramic 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 (lingual braces).
Removable braces are sometimes used when you are still growing or if you still have baby teeth left. Functional removable braces are used to change jaw growth to normalise your bite.
How long does treatment take?
The normal period of treatment with fixed braces is two to three 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. However, if your condition requires a palatal expander appliance to be fitted at the roof of your mouth, this may interfere with your speech. 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 skillful 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.
Clear ceramic braces