Fixed braces are the most common and most sophisticated type of braces. They can be made from different materials, most commonly, silver-coloured metal (stainless steel) but also gold and tooth-coloured material so they don’t show as much.
Panels are glued to individual teeth, connected by a wire which is tightened gradually by our orthodontist about every five or six weeks. Fixed braces are worn for at least six months and sometimes more than two years.
During this period you will have regular check-ups with us so your teeth can be checked for decay, which is more likely because food debris can become trapped in the brace fixtures.
If your dentist at Keppel Dentistry believes you requires braces they will refer you to our orthodontist who will take X-rays of your teeth and jaw, photographs of your mouth.
They may also take an impression of your upper and lower teeth by asking you to bite into a soft material to make a mould of your teeth. After the braces are fixed and after each adjustment your mouth is likely to be sore for up to five days. If necessary, simple painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache should help. If the brace rubs your lips or cheeks, you can use Vaseline to help with this. Please talk to your orthodontist at Keppel Dentistry for further advice – your comfort is our priority.
Fixed braces are usually fitted to the outside of the teeth but a more recent development has seen braces that are fitted to the back of or tongue side of the teeth (called lingual braces). Aligners are another type – they are clear, removable mouthguard-style braces that straighten the teeth gradually. Removable braces are also used. They are made of wire and plastic and work best for minor orthodontic problems like limited tooth movement. Your orthodontist at Keppel Dentistry will consider many different factors such as your age, your jaw alignment and your lifestyle before deciding what type of braces is right for you.
Once the active phase of your treatment has been finished, it will be necessary to wear a retaining brace. It may be removable or fixed behind your front teeth. The length of time this has to be worn will vary and your orthodontist at Keppel Dentistry will advise you.