Fixed braces work to fix crooked teeth by having a metal bracket glued to each tooth and a wire threaded through them. The wire is connected to brackets on the molars and tightened to force the teeth into a different position. For crooked teeth, a bracket is placed into the tooth and surrounding teeth, forcing a wider space to open for the crooked tooth to move into. One of the main issues with crooked teeth is that they may not have enough room to grow in their natural way, so space must be made by moving other teeth. Once there is enough room, the wires and brackets will be adjusted regularly to align the crooked tooth (or teeth).
Metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces are all examples of fixed braces that can correct crooked teeth. Metal braces are the traditional form of braces and are typically the cheapest. Ceramic braces are similar in design but incorporate a ceramic material, that is similar to the colour of the tooth, to create a more discreet appearance. Lingual braces are placed on the back of the teeth, instead of the front, so they can't be seen from the outside of the mouth. Each of these methods is popular for different reasons but, unfortunately, each comes with a certain level of discomfort. Some patients find lingual braces the most painful, due to them being in regular contact with the tongue.
Whilst fixed braces are ideal for fixing crooked teeth, there are other more comfortable and more discreet options available. Invisalign is a popular option, as are the Clear X Aligners that we offer here at Dental Excellence. Both of these treatment options deliver the same results, in terms of aligning crooked teeth, however, they're far more comfortable due to the lack of metal brackets and wires. They can also offer faster results, especially in the case of the Clear X Aligners as they use 4D technology to reshape the retainer, helping speed up the process.