Removable and Fixed Braces
Braces are dental appliances that exert constant pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. In addition to straightening teeth, braces can also help move a child’s jaw(s) into the right position.
Removable braces can be used to correct slightly crooked teeth in children. Functional removable braces however treat problems with the position of a child’s upper and lower jaws. They are used to change the growth of a child’s jaws to normalize the bite of their teeth.
Fixed braces also referred to as “train track” braces, correct crooked teeth of patients from as young as 13 years old onwards. Made of metal (stainless steel) or clear ceramic, they consist of brackets, and bands that are bonded or cemented to a patient’s teeth, and very thin metal wires (arch wires) that gently push teeth into their right positions. The teeth move when the arch wires put pressure on the brackets and teeth. Sometimes, springs or rubber bands are used to exert more force in a specific direction.
Once the braces are placed, regular check-ups will have to be done for any decay or gum problems. The braces will also need to be adjusted regularly to make sure they are working properly.
Treatment with fixed braces usually takes between 12 and 24 months, but could take longer if the problem is severe. With removable braces, treatment takes less time but one might have to wear a removable brace before and/or after they have finished their treatment with a fixed brace.