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Fixed braces

Traditional orthodontics consists of fixed metal braces attached to the teeth. They have metal brackets, elastics and wires. Although there have been innovations in orthodontics, traditional braces are still a common option due to their versatility.

Using brackets allows orthodontists to precisely reposition the teeth in ways that are not possible with modern teeth straightening systems and can give better results.

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What orthodontic problems can fixed metal braces correct?

Fixed metal braces can correct most orthodontic problems, including issues affecting how the teeth bite together and occlusion. You can use fixed metal braces to close gaps between the teeth, correct protrusive or rotated teeth, or crooked teeth resulting from overcrowding.

Fixed metal braces can also correct overbites (where the upper front teeth rest in front of the lower front teeth), underbites (the opposite of an overbite), crossbites (the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth) and open bites (where the front upper and lower teeth do not bite together, even when the back are in contact). 

What are the benefits of fixed metal braces?

Fixed metal braces work continuously to straighten the teeth, and you don’t have to worry about removing the aligners to clean your teeth or misplacing them. Using brackets ensures a precise treatment and will likely give a straighter smile.

What are the downsides of fixed metal braces?

Some people do not like wearing fixed braces because they leave a lot of metal in your mouth and are obvious. For some people, fixed braces dig into their cheeks and using elastics and wire is complicated to manage. Cleaning around your fixed braces requires extra time and dedication.

What is the procedure for fixed metal braces?

  • The first step is a consultation to determine if fixed braces are a good option for you and can give the best possible result.
  • The orthodontist will take photographs, impressions and X-rays of your teeth.
  • You can have the braces fitted at your next appointment. The orthodontist will clean your teeth and apply special glue to attach the brackets to your teeth before fitting the wires and elastics or any metal parts like the bands to help move the teeth into position.
  • Regular visits to the orthodontist are important to check your treatment process and make any necessary adjustments. Your braces will remain in place until you’ve completed your treatment.
  • After you remove the braces, you need to wear a retainer to prevent teeth movement to the previous position.
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Do fixed braces hurt?

Fitting braces don’t hurt, but you may experience slight toothache and discomfort in the first few days after the fitting. The teeth may feel tender, and your tooth roots will move into new positions.

Over-the-counter painkillers can help ease the pain, but consider sticking to a soft diet for a few days after your fitting. Some parts of the braces mat rub inside your cheeks or lips and require placing a small piece of orthodontic wax.

How long is the treatment?

The duration of fixed braces treatment varies, depending on the extent of teeth movement needed. Most people will need to wear fixed braces for at least one year or longer. Some people even wear fixed braces for up to three years.

Do fixed braces affect my eating, drinking and cleaning my teeth?

Your dentist will instruct you on how to clean your braces. Ensure you brush your teeth after each meal and change your toothbrush regularly. Use interdental brushes or floss to clean between the braces. Fluoride treatments may also help. Some people also use disclosing tablets to check if their teeth are clean after flossing and brushing.

If you want to straighten your teeth with fixed braces, visit McKennell Dental Practice at 21 Churton Street London SW1V 2LY to consult a dentist if you are suitable for treatment. Call us today on 020 7834 8802 to schedule an appointment.

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