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Fixed Braces

This type of brace is stuck onto the teeth during treatment. They are able to rotate teeth, move the roots of teeth and close spaces to achieve teeth straightening with a high degree of precision.
It is possible for private patients to have tooth-coloured ceramic brackets fitted to improve the appearance of fixed braces.

Alternatively, if you want faster treatment, that may also reduce the need for teeth to be extracted, then consider the metal self-ligating braces, such as the Damon Q bracket system.

Removable Braces

Removable braces are used for more straightforward cases of teeth straightening, and often are used as a precursor to fixed appliance treatment. They are made of plastic, and have metal components that are used to tip your teeth.
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Retainers

At the end of your course of treatment you will start a retention programme to maintain the corrected position of your teeth in the long term. Hence the type of brace for this stage of your orthodontic treatment is called a retainer.

This is an important aspect of the treatment as the teeth and gums will not have stabilised their position at the end of your active brace treatment. Therefore if a retainer is not fitted or worn the teeth might go skew again.

Occasionally a bonded wire retainer is fitted onto the inside of your teeth if the teeth have been moved by a significant distance. More often your retainer will be a removable clear plastic one, but needs to be worn all the time for at least 6 months, and then gradually reduced thereafter, with continued wear until 25 years of age.