Braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. They are made up of brackets, wires and ligatures.
Brackets are the small squares that are bonded directly to the front of the tooth with a special dental cement. They act like handles, holding the wires that move the teeth. There are several types of brackets including stainless steel, tooth-coloured ceramic or plastic which are often selected as they are less obvious.
Wires attach to the brackets and acts as tracks to guide the movement of the teeth. They can be metal or tooth-coloured
Ligatures are small rubber rings or fine wires that attach the wire to the brackets. They can be clear, coloured or metal.
If you are a suitable candidate for braces, we usually spend an appointment or two placing metal or white brackets on your teeth as well as a wire that moves the teeth into position.
You will visit us once every 6 weeks or so as your teeth slowly move into the desired position.
Treatment times can vary depending on individual cases, but most are completed in 6-12 months.
Following treatment, you will need to wear a fixed and/or removable retainer to prevent your teeth moving back into their former position.
Most people may experience some minor discomfort for a few days whenever the braces are ‘tightened’. This is normal and resembles a feeling of pressure as your teeth move. This discomfort disappears in a few days and can be managed with over the counter painkillers.
Will braces affect my speech?
There may be some temporary lisping for a day or two. However, as you get used to having braces, any lisp or changes to speech should disappear.