Fixed stainless steel braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment and are popular with children because the parts that are replaced every six weeks come in different colours such as pink, turquoise and blue.
Metal braces are the ones most people think of when they hear the word “braces”, but modern metal braces are smaller and less noticeable than the devices most adults remember.
Braces are always a bespoke solution for the individual patient’s mouth but tend to comprise of a series of basic parts. Brackets are small squares that are bonded directly to the front of each tooth with a special dental bonding agent to act like handles, holding the archwire that move the teeth. There are several types of brackets, most commonly stainless steel, and they have elastic ties holding the archwire which is tightened periodically over 12 or 24 months.
Braces work by applying continuous pressure over time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction and as the teeth move, the jawbone accommodates the new position of the roots. The patient must be closely monitored by their orthodontist over the course of treatment and after treatment has finished to ensure the teeth are being moved correctly and remain in a sustainable position.
Springs may be placed on the arch wires between brackets to push, pull, open, or close the spaces between teeth. Some metal braces don’t require ties as the wire is fed directly through the brackets, which often reduces treatment time, discomfort and the number of adjustments needed through the course of treatment.
If you have crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, gaps in your teeth, an overbite or an open bite, book a consultation with a Harley Street Dental and Implant Clinic orthodontist who will examine your mouth and discuss whether you could benefit from metal braces.