Gain a beautiful straight, healthy smile you can be proud of.
How would you improve the look of your smile? Perhaps you’d like to straighten twisted or crooked teeth, close spaces or improve your overall ability to eat. However complex your dental issues are, braces are the most popular, effective and safe way to move your teeth-helping to improve the appearance, function and general health of your mouth.
Usually we see braces in younger patients. This is because bite and misalignment issues are first detected (and normally treated) in childhood. When used early, braces are very effective and have a high success rate.
As well as general appearance, orthodontic treatment in the younger years can also often help improve facial features and others problems with speech.
Today, an increasing number of adult patients seek a suitable tooth straightening treatment in order to help improve the appearance of their teeth.
Many have missed orthodontic treatment in childhood or found that any straightening carried out in childhood has relapsed overtime. Others have been put off in the past by metal braces and the potential for significant disruption to their daily life.
If this sounds like you, then you’ll be pleased to learn that fixed metal braces are no longer the only way to gain a beautifully straight healthy smile. Today there are a number of highly discreet systems available. Many incorporate white or natural coloured materials which blend in with your natural teeth while some removable options are completely invisible.
With modern orthodontics there are many exciting treatments- often more comfortable, fast working, convenient and cost effective than you might think.
What type of brace will I have?
- To move several teeth effectively and precisely.
- Suitable for mild to complex corrections.
Fixed braces are the most commonly used orthodontic appliance. With fixed braces, small metal brackets are attached directly to the surface of your teeth. Metal wires are then pushed through the brackets. The memory wire is what moves your teeth. At each appointment it is bent and shaped. As the wire slowly returns to its original shape it pulls the teeth with it moving them slowly. First the crown of your tooth will be moved, followed by the root. Treatment with fixed braces generally takes between two and three years.
If you are keen to have fixed braces but would prefer a more discreet finish, lingual braces can be attached to the inside surfaces of your teeth so that they are less visible.
- Generally shorter treatment times as they deal with milder issues.
- Normally used on the top teeth.
In a removable brace a plastic arch sits in the top of the mouth. Wires are attached to the brace as required holding onto the teeth. The plastic arch expands slowly overtime gently pushing teeth into their new positions.
Removable braces must be worn for as long as possible during the day. You should only remove them for short periods of time- for example when cleaning your teeth, eating or for leisure activities.
Treatment with braces:
- Teeth are thoroughly checked for any decay and/or gum problems (x-rays, photos and impressions will all be used).
- Tooth extraction (if required) will be performed prior to the fitting of your brace.
- Regular monthly or bi-monthly appointments are required to allow for checks and adjustments on your brace.
- Alternative accessories (face masks, headgear, biteplates) may be required. Always follow instructions to ensure that treatment continues well.
- Remember to look after your teeth really well during any orthodontic treatment. With fixed braces the risk of tooth decay is increased.
- Be aware of your diet- avoiding sweets and sugary drinks which could damage your teeth.
- Hard foods can also damage the brackets and wires.
- At times your brace may feel a little uncomfortable. This is quite normal and standard painkillers should help. Sticking with softer diet for a few days can also help you to feel more comfortable.
- If you find that metal wires and brackets rub on the inside of your mouth dental wax can be provided.
- Every patient is different, however the average treatment time for fixed braces is between 2 and 3 years.
- Average treatment time for removable braces is generally less (around 1 year).
- With fixed braces, you will attend a de-banding appointment so that they can be removed. Your teeth will also be cleaned and polished.
- You will need to wear a retainer for a specified period of time in order to prevent your teeth from relapsing. This can be a removable appliance of a fixed lingual brace- depending on your requirements and personal situation.