If you require fitted braces but want a discreet option, you may want to consider tooth-coloured braces. This is a brace that is permanently fitted to the teeth to be treated until they have been moved into place. They are very popular and will correct even some of the toughest tooth alignment issues.
So how does a fixed brace work?
Fixed braces are made using brackets and wires and these are attached to the teeth using bonding techniques. The actual brackets can be made from a variety of materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic. A fixed brace can be attached to the bottom and the top teeth. Although this type of brace is not as invisible as the ‘Invisalign’ style, it is usually clear or tooth coloured so does not look unsightly.
If you decide to go ahead with a tooth-coloured brace, it will be bonded to your natural teeth to hold it in place. It can be clear or tooth coloured so it looks cosmetically fine. Made of brackets and wires, the ceramic tooth coloured braces are usually more expensive than the all-metal versions. Some of the more sophisticated versions have a 'door' that can be opened and closed to adjust the wire, referred to as a "self-litigation" brace. They are definitely easier to clean and do not require quite so many visits to see the dentist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will it be painful?
Your teeth are likely to be tender for about 1-2 days each time the braces are adjusted. If necessary, painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache may help (please read the instructions on the packet).
If the braces rub your lips or cheeks, you will be given some wax to help with this.
What foods can I eat?
You may experience some difficulty eating initially however this will ease after 1 or 2 days.
Do not eat-
- Toffees, boiled sweets, chewing gum, chocolate bars, lollies, potato crisps, etc.
- Fizzy drinks (including diet drinks), excessive amounts of fruit juice, flavoured milks and sport drinks, especially between meals.
- Hard foods which will damage the braces such as crunchy apples, raw carrots, crusty bread rolls, pizza crusts, etc. Cut these foods into small pieces.
Avoid chewing on pens, pencils and fingernails.
How Long will treatment take?
It usually takes 12 - 24 months but will vary according to how severe your case is. Failed, cancelled appointments and breakages of the braces will add to the overall treatment time.