Orthodontic braces are the most commonly used device in orthodontics and are used to improve the position of misaligned teeth and jaws. The braces are bonded to the surface of the teeth and are not removable. The treatment usually lasts from 6 months to 30 months depending on the case. They can be used for patients with deep bites, underbites, mild forms of malocclusions, open bites, crooked teeth, rotated teeth and more. There are several methods that are used to place the braces. They are consisted of brackets, metal bands, archwires, ties, rubber bands and elastics.
Orthodontic appliances can be divided into two large groups: fixed and mobile. The fixed ones are placed on the teeth and cannot be removed until the treatment is over. They are also used very often for people of different ages. There are several types of fixed braces that are divided by material and the technique used.
Conventional metal braces
The first and oldest type is conventional metal braces. They are made of all metal parts including brackets, archwires, metal bands, and ligatures. The brackets are placed on every single tooth on the vestibular surface. They are connected with an archwire. The archwire is connected to each bracket with a ligature. This wire creates a pressure that moves the teeth into the wanted direction.
Lingual fixed braces
The lingual technique includes placement of the brackets on the lingual surfaces. Patients tend to choose it because it gives great results and it’s almost invisible. The material can be either metal or porcelain. The porcelain ones feature a color that is similar to the teeth and are highly-aesthetic.
Porcelain fixed braces
They are made of porcelain material, that is white. In other words, it looks very much like teeth so even when the brackets are placed on the vestibular surface, they are not as visible as the metal ones.
Once the orthodontic treatment is done, patients will need to wear retainers in order to keep the teeth in that position. The retainers can be fixed and mobile. The fixed ones are placed on the lingual surfaces of teeth and are invisible.
Fixed braces can be used for all types of orthodontic malocclusions. The uses include overbite, underbite, crossbite, misaligned teeth, crooked, spaced, rotated teeth and more.
The length of the treatment depends on the type of malocclusion. Some patients will only wear braces for one year, but the severe cases might need to wear it for several years. Once the braces are placed, the patient can do everything with them, including eating, drinking, sleeping just like before. There is one thing that patients need to keep in mind when they have fixed braces. That is that their oral hygiene has to be impeccable. They have to get a special toothbrush that will be used to clean the brackets. They have to wash teeth after every meal because these patients are more susceptible to dental caries and gum disease. Patients have to appear for regular checkups usually once a month.