Braces (bands, brackets and wires) are usually made of stainless steel although clear brackets are available, usually at extra cost.
Fitting the braces usually involves two visits. Braces remain on the teeth for the entire duration of treatment.
Patients then attend approximately every 4-8
weeks for adjustments, wire changes, etc.
Rubber Bands and Headgear
During treatment, patients may need to wear such items as rubber bands and/or headgear with their braces. These items provide important extra forces for the correction of the bite.
Orthodontic treatment usually takes 18 - 24 months. Some cases may be finished earlier and others may take longer to complete. The total treatment time depends on the severity of the original malocclusion, the type of treatment carried out, and the co-operation of the patient.
Orthodontic patients should continue to attend their family dentist for regular check-ups during the course of orthodontic treatment.
At the completion of the active part of orthodontic treatment, the braces are removed and retaining appliances (retainers) are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth.
Retainers play an important role in orthodontic treatment for, if they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original position.
The retaining appliances are usually worn:
- Full-time for up to one year
- Just at night for a further year
- Phased out altogether over one more year
The corrected teeth are observed periodically for up to five years after the retainers have been phased out. During retention and the subsequent observation period, patients are expected to attend once or twice a year.