The appliances work by fastening a small bracket to each tooth, these are then connected to each other using a thin wire which is held in place by small elastic rings. The brackets themselves may be metal, plastic or ceramic.
The initial aligning wires are made of superelastic nickel titanium and have been developed using technology from NASA. They keep trying to return to their original shape, which is an 'ideal arch', and in doing so they align the teeth.
The average duration of treatment with fixed appliances is on average 12 -18 months for a child and about 15 - 20 months for an adult. Though more complex and difficult cases can take longer.
Braces are usually placed as soon as all the permanent teeth are erupted.
Remember: teeth have never failed to move if elastics are worn as prescribed ! You will have some discomfort for the first few days, but as long as you continue to wear your elastics as directed, the discomfort will go away. Ibuprofen can help you through the first few days, if you are finding it uncomfortable. Poor elastic wear is the #1 cause of patients wearing their braces longer than predicted. Orthodontics is a partnership between the patient and the doctor, therefore we highly advice you to do your part to help complete your treatment successfully and on schedule.