When we talk about how to straighten teeth with fixed braces, it’s good to know that patients have several options to choose from. Gone are the clunky appliances of old and instead, in their place are a selection of contemporary, lightweight, comfortable and unobtrusive fixed braces that do a great job of straightening crooked teeth. For this reason, modern dental braces appeal to children, teens and adults alike.
So how do braces work – how do they straighten teeth?
Irrespective of the dental braces type, they all straighten teeth in the same way – by applying gentle sustained pressure to the teeth via a series of brackets and tensioners (arch-wires) to gradually move teeth into their correct position.
As force is applied to the tooth, orthodontic braces are also designed to apply pressure to the periodontal membrane (the connective tissue that holds the teeth to the gums). When force is applied, one side of the membrane will stretch allowing the brackets and wires to push it from the other side, creating sufficient space for the tooth to move into and therefore, shift safely.
So now you know how to straighten teeth, let’s take a closer look at your fixed braces options.
Fixed metal braces
This is the type of fixed orthodontic appliance that most people automatically think of when braces for teeth are mentioned. Although metal braces have been around in one form or another for centuries, they remain the most popular choice for both kids and teens, and, because modern versions are more lightweight and discreet, adults too.
This style of dental braces is suited to most types of misalignments from crossbites and underbites through to overbites and even teeth overcrowding. They can be jazzed up with colourful elastic to make them unique and funky or they can be kept ‘as is’ for a more discreet look.
Fixed ceramic braces
Ceramic braces are similar in style to metal braces, but as the name suggests, stainless steel brackets and arch-wires are swapped out for clear brackets and tooth-coloured wiring for a more discreet look.
In terms of functionality, ceramic braces work in precisely the same way as their metal counterparts and can, therefore, fix a wide variety of misalignments from crooked teeth to overbites and everything in between.
The only real difference aside from their discreet nature is that ceramic braces cost more than metal braces.
For those who want a truly invisible teeth-straightening experience then lingual braces provide the answer. Lingual braces are custom-made and attached to the inside of the teeth rather than the front. They work in exactly the same way as conventional ‘front-mounted’ dental braces except that all the force is applied to the rear of the teeth rather than the front.
The downside is that because they are mounted near the tongue, they can take a lot of getting used to and initially at least, they can impact speech. Also, because lingual braces are more specialised, they are more expensive than most types of orthodontic appliances.
So there you have it…
Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of how to straighten teeth using fixed dental braces and indeed your options. But now and bearing in mind that fixed braces are worn for the entire duration of your treatment, it’s only right and proper that we talk about how long you can expect to wear your dental braces.
Fixed braces timescales
In reality, when it comes to straightening crooked teeth, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Because every patient has different orthodontic needs, it reflects in the varying timescales. These range from 6 months for minor cosmetic corrections like a diastema (slight tooth gap) up to 3 years for complex bite misalignments.
As a general rule of thumb, however, patients can expect their teeth straightening experience to last for around 18 months. – give or take a few.
If you want to know more about how fixed braces straighten teeth, or you would like to discuss your teeth straightening options, then come and talk to the team at Randwick Smiles. We have a special interest in fixed orthodontic solutions for children, teens and adults and can help you make an informed dental decision that fits your needs, requirements and budget.
Schedule an appointment with our highly experienced team today and take the first steps towards a straighter and healthier smile. We look forward to welcoming you and helping you achieve the smile you want.
Call us on (02) 8188 4625 now.