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Fixed brace

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What is a fixed brace?

Fixed braces are braces that are stuck on to your teeth so they cannot be removed by the patient.They are made up of small metal or tooth coloured squares (brackets) that are precisely stuck to the surface of the teeth. Often metal rings (bands) are used on the back molar teeth.

The brackets are connected to each other by a thin wire (archwire) which transmits a force onto the teeth causing them to move.The archwires are usually attached to the brackets with a ligature which can either be a tiny elastic ring or a twisted wire.

During the course of your treatment, the wires are progressively changed from thin flexible wires to initially straighten the teeth, to strong rigid wires to move the teeth along to close any spaces.

How long does the treatment take?

Fixed braces requires regular appointments with your orthodontist, usually every 6-8 weeks.The treatment usually takes 12-24months, depending on how severe the case is.

Treatment time can be longer if you miss appointments or regularly break your brace. Breakages can be avoided by following the diet advice from your orthodontist.

Do braces hurt?

It does not hurt when the braces are fitted.
However for about 1-2 days after they are fitted and after each adjustment, you may feel an ache in your teeth. If this occurs, you can take mild painkillers that you would usually take for a headache to ease the discomfort

Are there any risks?

There are 3 main risks with a fixed brace: Tooth decay/gum disease, root wear and relapse.

Tooth decay / gum disease

A fixed brace makes it harder to clean your teeth. That is why you should have healthy gums and excellent tooth brushing before the start of treatment.

Poor brushing can lead to:

  • Swollen, bleeding gums, smelly breath and eventually gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • White scars on the teeth marking the area of the tooth covered by the brace

Root wear

The roots are the part of the teeth inside the gums that you cannot see. When braces move teeth, these roots can change shape slightly. A small change is normal, however, very rarely the roots can change shape a lot. Your orthodontist will be able to tell you if you have any teeth that may be more prone to this root wear.


Once the teeth have been straightened and the braces are removed, the teeth try to return to their original position.
To prevent this from happening you will be fitted with retainers to hold your teeth in their new position. It is important that you wear these retainers as instructed by your orthodontist to ensure that unfavourable changes do not occur.

Fitting the brace

During this appointment the brackets are precisely positioned onto the teeth and stuck in place with a special glue. No anaesthetic is required as it is a painless procedure that simply involves sitting still while the brace is fitted.

If bands are being placed on the back teeth, an extra appointment to place tiny elastics called separators between the teeth is required beforehand to make space for the bands.

During your brace treatment it is very important that you continue to see your regular dentist for check ups and cleans to ensure your mouth stays healthy for the duration of your treatment.

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