Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands bonded or cemented to your teeth (to get a hold of them) and very thin metal wires that gently push your teeth into their right positions.
The wire is tied into the brackets with a steel ligature or a coloured plastic ring. Some brackets have clips to hold the wires and no ties are needed. Brackets can be made of metal or tooth-coloured ceramic or plastic. Ordinary fixed braces are bonded to the front of your teeth. There are also braces that can be bonded on the back of your teeth (lingual braces).
Removable braces are sometimes used when you are still growing or if you still have baby teeth left. Functional removable braces are used to change jaw growth to normalise your bite.
Steps in Fixed Braces Treatment
First Visit: X-rays, photos and impressions for plaster study models of your teeth are taken. Your orthodontist will plan your treatment using these records. Very often, permanent teeth are removed when they are crowded and there is not enough space in the jaws for all of them. The extractions are done just before or just after the fitting of your braces.
Second Visit: Your orthodontist will explain the treatment plan and the braces suitable for your condition. Before braces are fitted, separators (small plastic ‘doughnuts’) are placed between your molars for a week to create spaces for the molar bands.
Third and Fourth Visits: Bands are cemented and brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth.
Subsequent Visits (Every 4 to 8 weeks): Adjustments are made to the braces by way of wire-changes, adding springs, elastics or other accessories.