Fixed Brace (TrainTrack)
Braces consist of tiny brackets that are glued to the teeth. These hold the teeth in place during the straightening process. The archwire runs through these brackets and creates the forces that move your teeth. Patients will begin with the gentlest archwire and move up through the five sizes. This will be held in place by small elastic bands that are available in several different colours.
Do they hurt?
It is common to feel some discomfort for a few days once the brace has been fitted. The best way to combat this is by eating only soft foods and taking up to two tablets of ibuprofen or paracetamol where needed.
What if any parts fall off?
If a bracket comes loose the brace you should leave it until the next dental appointment. If more than one bracket breaks off make an appointment for a repair. In some cases, teeth will be moved due to the archwire protruding at the back. If this starts to scratch your cheek make an appointment to have the end trimmed.
What about oral hygiene?
As the brace is fixed it cannot be removed when brushing your teeth. It is vital that you dedicate additional time for brushing the areas around the brace, particularly near the gums, as plaque can otherwise collect and lead to problems such as bleeding gums and tooth decay. Fluoride mouthwash and special brushes are available and can be used on a daily basis.
Will braces leave any mark on my teeth?
Permanent marks can be caused by insufficient cleaning and the excessive consumption of sugary drinks. It is vital that you brush thoroughly and use fluoride mouthwash.
Can I still play sports?
There can be issues when playing rugby or other contact sports, as it is tricky to create a gum shield which fits over the brace. The best way to get round this is by buying a standard gum shield and softening it in hot water so that it can be moulded to fit over the brace.
When can the orthodontic device be removed?
Ordinarily, it will take approximately 18 months to straighten teeth, but fixed ‘train-track’ braces are normally good at straightening teeth and making them look straighter in mere months. If the brace is removed too early, however, the teeth may not have become fixed in their new position and relapse into their old, crooked alignment.
What keeps the teeth straight after treatment?
A retainer (removable brace) will normally be created for you to wear at night for at least a year after the fixed brace has been removed. In some cases, a wire will be fixed on the inside of your teeth to maintain their alignment.