Fixed tram track braces

This is the name given to a fixed brace which is commonly worn by children and teenagers. It consists of small brackets, with a wire (archwire) running through those brackets, which are attached to the front of the teeth.

Special elastic bands may be used to help secure the brace in position. These bands are available in a range of colours.

Both the brackets and archwire undergo frequent adjustments in order to help move the teeth.

How does the fixed ‘tram track’ brace work?

This brace works by means of small movements which pull the teeth into position. The brackets hold and straighten crooked or misaligned teeth: the archwire forces them to move into this position.


The elastic bands keep the archwire in position. There are different sizes of archwire which refers to the thickness of that wire.

Patients normally start off with a gentle wire which is thinner and flexible than the others. This is exchanged for thicker, rigid wires as the teeth start to straighten and realign themselves.

Archwires are made from three different materials:

  • Nickel titanium
  • Stainless steel
  • Beta-titanium

The type of wire used in your brace will be decided by your dentist. He or she will take into account the shape and condition of your teeth as well as the extent of the orthodontic problem.


These are made from metal although tooth coloured materials are used such as ceramic which enable them to match the colour of your natural teeth. 

Duration of wear

It takes around 18 months or possibly longer to correct misaligned teeth. This is an effective type of brace so the results may appear within months although this depends upon the individual.

But it is important that the treatment plan is followed exactly as stipulated during this time. If the brace is removed too soon then the teeth will move back out of position.

This brace may feel uncomfortable to start with but this soon passes. Stick to foods which are easy to eat during this initial stage and follow any instructions given by your dentist.

You will need to wear a retainer after your teeth have been straightened as this helps to keep them in their new place. There is a risk of the teeth relapsing so it is important that you wear this retainer and continue to do so as directed by your dentist.

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