A brace is a complex appliance where many different components are at work to guide your teeth into a desired position. Read about how these components come together below…..
Brackets – brackets are small pieces of ceramic or metal that are square-shaped and placed directly onto each individual tooth. They have a “slot” across the middle of the square where the wire sits. Patients who are looking for a discreet type of brace would opt for clear fixed braces, which incorporate ceramic brackets into their design. The translucency of the ceramic blends in with your smile, making clear fixed braces come under the category of ‘nearly invisible’ brace types.
You can also have a brace fitted onto the tongue side (lingual brace) of the teeth which is even more discrete.
Archwires – the archwire of a brace is held by brackets, directing the movement of your teeth during the treatment period. Wires start off fairly gently and get slightly tighter as the treatment progresses helping to move not only the tooth above the gum, but also the root below. This makes the movement of the teeth more effective and stable long term. Tooth-coloured archwires are one of the most recent developments in the design of clear fixed braces, rendering them even more discreet.
Ties – anchoring the archwire to the brackets, ties are small stretchy plastic rings that secure the wire into the slot. There are also small metal ties used to secure the wire (some of which can be covered with a tooth coloured coating to make them more discrete). Many younger patients choose to have the plastic rings as they come in a wide range of colours and they have the option of choosing a preferred colour; we’ve found that this can be a good incentive and makes having braces fun.
Once all of the brace components are in place, the archwire applies continuous pressure to the brackets, shifting your teeth into a desired position.
Retainers – the final yet crucial stage of your treatment is the retainer-wearing period. The role of a retainer is to prevent your teeth from immediately shifting back into their original position once your braces are removed and long term to limit the movement of teeth. As with braces, your retainer will be custom fabricated by taking impressions of your teeth. It’s easy to be complacent about your newly straightened teeth once your brace is off – don’t waste all of your efforts by neglecting to wear your retainer!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment at Park Lane, please do not hesitate to contact us.