What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance and function of the teeth. It can help to fix crowing, crooked teeth or problems with your bite. An uneven bite can put strain on the jaw muscles leading to jaw and joint pain. Some people have prominent teeth that are more likely to be damaged, and orthodontic treatment can help move them back into line. We have an Orthodontic Specialist on our team and would be happy to arrange a consultation.

At what age should I have orthodontic treatment?

The best time is generally during childhood, but adults can have orthodontic treatment too – this is becoming increasingly popular as we all want the perfect smile. In children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment.

Will I need to have teeth taken out to make room?

You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth. If so, you may need to have some permanent teeth taken out to make space. Our team will inform you if this is the case and discuss your treatment options.

How is treatment carried out?

Orthodontic treatment can be done using many different appliances, commonly referred to as ‘braces’.

What is a removable appliance?

Simple treatment may be carried out with a removable brace (a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned). It has delicate wires and springs attached, which move the teeth using gentle pressure.

What is a fixed appliance?

Often, teeth need to be guided more accurately than they can be using a removable brace. So a fixed brace is used. This has brackets and bands which are temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be moved. You can’t take the appliance out yourself, so it is called a fixed appliance. Sometimes delicate elastic bands are attached to a fixed brace to help move the teeth.

What are ‘invisible braces’?

They are tough, clear plastic ‘aligners’ (moulds) that are used to straighten teeth. Several sets of specially moulded, slightly different aligners are made for each patient. Each set is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next one. They are made from clear plastic, so they are nearly invisible. These are our most popular appliances as nobody has to know you are straightening your teeth. The aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours a day for the best results. They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and for cleaning in between your teeth. You need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.

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