Braces

Before we place braces on your teeth, you will need a check-up for decay or gum problems. We advise you to visit your dentist or the dental clinic regularly, even when you have had the braces fitted.

Braces can be fixed or removable.

Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands bonded or cemented to your teeth and very thin metal wires that gently push your teeth into the right position.

The wire is tied into the brackets with a coloured plastic ring. Some brackets have clips to hold the wires and therefore no ties are needed.

Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-coloured ceramic or plastic. Fixed braces are usually bonded to the front of your teeth, although, in some cases, they can be bonded to the back of your teeth, known as lingual braces. Speak to us today if this solution is something you are interested in.

Removable braces are normally used when the teeth are still growing or if the baby teeth are still present. Functional removable braces are used to change jaw growth and to normalise your bite.

Steps in Fixed Braces Treatment

First Visit:
We will take X-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth for plaster study. Your orthodontist will use this to plan your treatment. If necessary, permanent teeth may need to be removed when they are crowded and there is not enough space in the jaw for all of them. The extractions are done just before or just after the fitting of your braces.

Second Visit:
We will run through your treatment plan and which braces are most suitable for your condition. Before braces are fitted, separators (small plastic ‘doughnuts’) are placed between your molars for a week to create spaces for the molar bands.

Third and Fourth Visits:
Bands are cemented, and brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth.

Subsequent Visits: (Every 4 to 8 weeks)
Adjustments are made to your braces by replacing the metal wire to further adjust your teeth, adding springs, elastics or other accessories needed.

NOTE: Accessories are necessary to make your braces work. Elastics are often used to get your upper and lower teeth to bite together properly. Face masks, headgear or biteplates are sometimes used with fixed braces. It is very important to use all accessories exactly as you have been told. If not, the treatment may not be effective and may in some cases make the condition worse.

When treatment is completed, your fixed braces will be taken off at a removal appointment, followed by removal of the cement. Your teeth will also get a thorough polish. Moulds of your teeth in their new position will be taken to make retainers. After your braces are removed, you will need to use retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions for the next few years.

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, your speech is normally not affected at all. However, if your condition requires a palatal expander to be fitted to 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 to learn how to play with the braces attached.

Brushing with braces:
Having braces on makes it more difficult to clean your teeth, so extra attention is needed. 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, we recommend five minutes of brushing every morning and night. 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.

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