Fixed braces

Fixed braces consist of square metal or ceramic brackets attached to each tooth. A wire connects the brackets and applies a force to move your teeth into the correct position. Treatment time with fixed braces varies but is typically 18-24 months.

Will fixed braces hurt?

It can take a few days for your mouth to adjust to your new braces - to relieve this initial discomfort you can take a painkiller such as paracetamol or whatever you normally take for a headache. Some patients find holding iced cold water in their mouths can help take away some of the pressure from the wire pushing the teeth.

What about rubbing and ulcers?

Your brace care pack contains some wax, which can be placed over any areas of the brace which may be rubbing. Be sure to dry the area carefully first then apply a pea sized amount. If the problem persists or there is a long wire or broken bracket you may need to contact us for an appointment.

What about tooth brushing?

It is essential to look after your teeth and braces during treatment to avoid damaging your brace (which will make treatment take longer) or permanent stains or holes appearing in the teeth (see photos below). This means that not only do you need to use the brushes in the care pack as instructed twice a day (for at least five minutes!) but also avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods and sugary drinks (especially energy drinks). Over the page are details of what brushes to use and how often. Remember, if your gums begin to bleed it is a sign of inflammation indicating more thorough cleaning is needed.

Will I need to wear anything in addition to the fixed brace?

It may be necessary for you to wear elastic bands between the upper and lower braces at some stage during your treatment. These are worn inside the mouth during the day and night, including at mealtimes.

Do I need to avoid certain foods?

You will need to change some of what you eat to avoid problems such as breaking the brace or permanent holes in the teeth.

As a general rule you should:

  • Avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime.
  • Avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and chewing gum. 
  • Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet and energy drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice.
  • Hard or chewy foods - such as apples, carrots and crusty bread - can damage your brace. Avoid them or cut them up first.

How often will I need an appointment?

You will need regular appointments (usually every 8 weeks) during treatment for the brace to be adjusted.

What do I do if my brace breaks?

Ring up for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible. Do not wait for your next routine appointment as the breakage may slow your treatment, or may result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace, your treatment may need to be stopped early.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

Please try to keep your appointments as it may be a while before you can be fitted in again. This will prolong your treatment and repeatedly missing appointments may result in you being discharged.

Will I need to wear another brace once my treatment has finished?

Once your fixed brace has been removed you will need to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth moving back - you will need to wear a retainer on a part time basis for as long as you want the teeth to stay straight.

What about my family dentist?

It is essential to keep seeing your family dentist for routine care and checkups during your orthodontic treatment.

What if I play contact sports?

You may need to wear a gum shield over your braces - there are a number of options. Please ask for details and prices.

Do I need any special equipment or toothpaste?

Your brace care pack contains everything you need and is purpose made for orthodontic patients. Overleaf you will find information on how to use each of the items in your brace care pack.

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