Traditional fixed braces
Traditional fixed braces are the most common type of teeth straightening. If you're having orthodontic treatment through the NHS, you'll most likely have a fixed brace fitted. You can also get fixed braces fitted privately or through Orthodontic Essentials if you’re under 18.
How fixed braces work
You will have brackets bonded to your teeth, held in place with a wire that runs between your teeth. The wire is used to create tension, which gradually pulls your teeth into alignment.
Throughout your treatment, your orthodontist will steadily tighten and change the wires to keep pulling your teeth in the right direction. Your orthodontist might also use springs and elastic bands to help the straightening process.
Living with a fixed brace
Fixed braces require aftercare, making sure your oral hygiene is good to avoid decay. You'll need to consider the foods you eat when you have a fixed brace fitted. Particularly hard foods such as apples and crusty bread require extra caution. You should completely avoid eating foods like toffees, chewing gum or hard boiled sweets, as these can damage your brace.
How long do they take to straighten your teeth?
Your individual treatment will depend on your specific needs, but on average, you should expect to be having treatment for between one to two years. This is because your back teeth take much longer than your front teeth to straighten, as they are denser and have more than one root. You will likely start to notice results much sooner than two years.
What are the alternative options?
Fixed braces are often associated with teens, but they are suitable for all ages. If you’re looking for a more discreet straightening option, there is a range of invisible braces available to you including Invisalign, lingual braces and cosmetic straightening.