Consultant Specialist Orthodontist with over 25 years' experience

Fixed or Removable Braces – What’s the Best Option for Straightening Your Smile?

Fixed or Removable Braces – What’s the Best Option for Straightening Your Smile?

Opting for orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile is a big step as you may undergo changes to your routine and appearance, albeit very minimal ones.  However, the rewards of undergoing treatment will make it worthwhile. As well as being a huge confidence booster, having straighter teeth can be beneficial for your overall oral health, as it may make it easier to clean your teeth and gums.

With so many treatment options available, deciding which is best for you, your teeth and your routine can take time. As both fixed and removable braces have their own benefits, we have listed the key points to help in your decision making:

Fixed Braces

Fixed braces are the most popular orthodontic braces for a straighter smile. The most common choices are traditional metal, ceramic and self-ligating braces.

Their design consists of small brackets, which are securely bonded to each tooth to gradually move it into position. They will sometimes be paired with metal rings, known as bands, which need to be fitted around your molars. Your orthodontic brackets can then be united using archwire, held in position by small elastic rings, known as modules.

Unlike removable braces, fixed braces operate full time, which typically results in shorter treatment time and a more effective treatment.

Also, despite assumptions, while wearing fixed braces your speech and the flavour of your food is completely unaffected. However, to keep your braces clean and functioning you are advised to avoid hard, chewy and sticky food.

Removable Braces

A removable brace is secured onto your teeth using an acrylic base accompanied by stainless steel components. The straightening process involves the stainless-steel springs being distorted during activation by your orthodontist. Your teeth will then eventually be moved back to their intended, straight position.

After each appointment where your removable brace is adjusted, you may experience soreness for a few days, however this is quite normal.  If you do experience discomfort from your brace grazing against your skin, inform your orthodontist immediately and request a check-up appointment.

Your speech may also differ while wearing your new brace but will return to normal within a few days of practising.

On the plus side, removable braces are very convenient, as they can be taken out during sports activities and whilst you bush your teeth and floss. It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day after meals with a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Keeping your teeth and braces clean is vital for keeping them fully functional.

Removable braces are typically recommended to those requiring minor tooth movements, with results presented within 6-9 months. They are gentle on baby teeth and will also correct crossbites when needed for anterior teeth.

Removable braces may also have the added benefit of being less noticeable and therefore may be a more desired option for adults or those who work in public facing roles.

Choosing Your Treatment

Fixed and removable braces both have benefits that can make them seem like the better choice. However, the base of your decision should always be on your orthodontist’s advice and the type of treatment they recommend.

If you’re still unsure, it is always best to book an appointment with an orthodontist for professional advice. For additional information on our treatments, click here or call a member of our friendly team today on 020 7129 7878.