How do braces work?

Traditional metal braces are made up of three parts. Each plays an important role in ensuring this appliance moves your teeth into the desired position. 

When we fit your braces we'll begin by attaching small metal brackets to the front surface of your teeth, or in the case of lingual braces, the back surface. This is done using an orthodontic glue. 

Once each tooth has a bracket on it, we'll then get two thin wires, known as an archwire, and connect all the brackets together. One archwire connects the brackets on the top teeth; the other archwire connects the brackets on the bottom teeth. 

Throughout the course of treatment, this wire will be adjusted and tightened as this is what helps to guide your teeth into position. 

Finally, we'll fit the elastic bands, or ligatures. These hook over the top and bottom brackets, usually on teeth towards the back of your mouth. The role of elastics is to provide gentle force to help move your teeth. If you have been fitted with Damon Clear braces, you won't need elastics as these braces have self-ligating brackets.  

What are elastics?

Elastics, also known as ligatures, are small rubber bands which are used to apply a constant force to move your teeth. They hook over the brackets on your top and bottom teeth and are worn in various positions, depending on the direction of movement required. We will explain how elastics must be worn at your fitting appointment. 

You must wear the elastics all the time as directed by your orthodontist. Failure to do so will prolong your treatment time and may affect the final result. The only time your elastics should be removed is when you clean your teeth. 

You will find that elastics tend to break at odd times so carry some wherever you go. To ensure you don't run out of elastics ask us for more at each appointment. 

Unless instructed otherwise, your elastics must be changed every second day.

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