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Fixed Orthodontic Braces

This is the most common type of orthodontic appliance in use today

Parts of your braces

1. Arch WireA metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.
2. BandA metal ring that is usually placed on your back teeth to hold onto parts of your braces.
3. BracketA metal or ceramic part that is glued onto a tooth and serves as a means of fastening the arch wire.
4. Buccal TubeA small metal part that is welded on the outside of a molar band. The buccal tube contains a slot to hold archwires, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.
5. Elastic LigatureA small plastic piece, shaped like a doughnut, which is used to hold the archwires in the brackets on your teeth.
6. Power ChainA stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth.
7. SeparatorA plastic or metal part that the orthodontist uses to create space between your teeth for bands.
Note: not all orthodontists will use all of the above parts, e.g. some won’t use separators or bands. Check with your orthodontist for more information.
Fixed braces consist of square brackets attached to each tooth, with a wire running through them, which gradually moves your teeth into the correct position. The wire is held in place by small coloured loops called modules, or colours.

The length of treatment with fixed braces varies but is typically around 18 to 24 months.
Unlike the twin block appliance, fixed braces are stuck to your teeth for the whole of your treatment. You should not try to remove them yourself, as you could damage your teeth and cause your treatment not to work.

After the brace is fitted, your teeth will be tender for a day or so, though this should soon wear off and you will quickly become used to it.
Your orthodontist may advise you to purchase certain oral care products, which we highly recommend, as it will ensure you have all you need to care for your teeth and braces throughout the treatment.

If two or more of the brackets, a band or the archwire break, it is important you give your practice a call for an inbetween appointment, as we can’t repair it during your routine adjustment.
If only one of the brackets breaks, or one of the elastic ligatures does, these can be repaired during your routine appointment.

We have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about fixed braces here, but if you have any other questions, please make sure you ask your orthodontist or therapist and they will be happy to help.