What are fixed braces?
A fixed brace is an orthodontic appliance which cannot be removed from the mouth by the patient. Commonly known as “train tracks”, they are one of the most effective ways of straightening teeth and can be used in combination with removable or functional braces. While a number of patients benefit from more than one type of brace, most will have fixed braces.
There are five key components to fixed braces. These are:
A) Ligature or module
The archwire is held to each bracket with a ligature, which can be either a tiny elastic band or a twisted wire.
The archwire is tied to all the brackets and creates force to move teeth into proper alignment.
Brackets are connected to the bands, or directly bonded on the teeth, and hold the archwire in place.
D) Elastic hooks and rubber bands
Elastic hooks are used for the attachment of rubber bands, which help move teeth toward their final position.
E) Metal Band (not shown)
The band is the cemented ring of metal which wraps around the tooth.
How do fixed braces work?
Each tooth to be aligned has a bracket cemented to enamel surfaces. Flexible wires are placed into slots on the brackets and the teeth are gradually pulled into alignment. As teeth move towards the correct position, wires are changed in order to further move the teeth into the desired arrangement.
Fixed brace treatment usually takes between 18 – 24 months. To speed up treatment it is very important to adjust the brace every five to six weeks or as your orthodontist recommends.