Healthy teeth can be moved by applying continuous gentle forces. Braces are tools that deliver forces to the teeth. Orthodontists are trained in the science and craft of moving teeth with braces. An experienced orthodontist can choose the right brace to skillfully deliver the best result for you.
These are some of the braces we use:
The aligner system is the most evolved brace on the market. It is discrete compared to fixed braces but not totally invisible. It is suitable for most adults & children.
The planning & delivery of the result is in the skill of the orthodontist, who uses the digital tools to design the aligners for predictability, efficiency & accuracy of your outcome. There is a misconception that the brace is automatically designed by a computer & therefore bypasses the clinicians' skills. What orthodontists can do with aligner design is very different from dentists or online companies. We not only improve smiles, but we also focus on bite correction. Even difficult cases can be treated with aligners and many have a better outcome than with fixed braces.
The process of design and manufacture accounts for the higher cost compared to fixed braces. They are more comfortable than fixed braces and allow better oral hygiene. Some treatments can take a little longer compared with fixed braces. But fewer surgery appointments are required provided patients wear their aligners religiously, at least 22 hours a day. There are no emergencies & long-distance treatment is possible with some remote monitoring for convenience.
CERAMIC FIXED BRACES
Ceramic braces are more discrete versions of the traditional silver braces. The Clarity Advanced is both aesthetic and practical. We use this bracket for adult patients and increasingly for older teenagers.
Fixed braces are simple and fully customised by the orthodontist at the time of fitting and adjustment. There is no prior design phase that requires a laboratory and can be fitted without delay. They are suitable for most orthodontic problems but not all. The treatment is reliable, time-efficient and cost-effective. Treatment requires regular 4-6 weekly appointments for adjustment. Fixed braces work reliably but require good compliance with hygiene. Emergencies or breakages are more likely than with aligners. Fixed braces tend to be more uncomfortable than aligners, particularly at the beginning.
SILVER FIXED BRACES
Traditional braces are ideal for most children; they are cost-effective and fun. There is a choice of rainbow-colours which can be changed at every visit. These have been used very successfully over the last 40 years to treat children.
My fixed brace is brokenTeeth can be moved by applying constant gentle forces. Braces are tools which help us to move teeth in the direction we choose. There are many types of braces and they all have different uses. with their own advantages and drawbacks. Orthodontists choose a brace which will deliver the best results in their hands. Braces are not a modern invention; they have been around for more than 100 years.
Can I have braces on the NHS?Children below 18 years of age may be entitled to have brace treatment through the NHS. Your dentist will assess you and make a referral to the local NHS clinics. Adults generally do not qualify for NHS treatment unless their problem is very complicated and likely to require treatment in a hospital setting. This often involves a combination of braces and surgery or management of compromised teeth. Adults cannot be referred directly to the hospital department without seeing an orthodontist to assess the suitability for referral. A private consultation will be necessary to see if you are suitable for hospital referral.
Am I too old for braces?There are no age limits. Teeth can be moved at any age, provided there are enough of them to allow a brace to be placed effectively. It is never too late to consider orthodontic treatment, if you would like to change your smile. The only requirement for orthodontic treatment is good dental health and a willingness to wear a brace. More adults are choosing to wear braces later on in life. In most cases orthodontic treatment does not have to be done in the teens. However, it is true that some problems are best treated earlier. Generally, teeth tend to move faster in children than adults.
Will my brace look ugly?Modern braces are invisible or certainly discrete. At your consultation appointment we can discuss which brace may be most suitable for delivering the result you want. People from all walks of life have orthodontic treatment; from celebrities and career people to students and busy mums etc.
Doesn’t orthodontic treatment take years to finish?Most treatments take 9-18 months to compete. Mild problems can be treated in less than 9 months and complex problems can take 2 years or more. Treatment time also depends on the treatment aims and the type of brace used. We can discuss all options and braces with you to help you make the best decision for your needs.
Will my brace be painful?Wearing a brace is uncomfortable during the first week whilst you are getting used to it. Regular painkillers can help during this period but not many people require them. The brace can rub on the lips and cheeks and the wire can sometimes dig in but all these problems are temporary. We will give you dental wax to ease the rough areas. Eating soft food also helps. Most people are able to cope with the inital soreness.
How will I eat?Eating can be difficult at the beginning as the teeth are tender for a week or two after starting of the treatment. It is best to have very soft foods that do not require chewing. As you get used to the brace, you will manage to have a more normal diet. However you will always have to avoid biting into hard chewy or sticky foods (eg. nuts, toffee, whole carrots) because they are likely to break the brace. You can have most things as long as you make it easier to eat by cutting it into small pieces. Fizzy or acidic drinks (including natural juices and sparkling water) and sugary snacks need to be avoided because they dissolve enamel and cause tooth decay.
Will brace treatment interfere with playing sports and wind instruments?A gum shield must be worn when playing contact sports. A removable brace can be taken off for contact sports. A gum shield can be worn over a fixed brace. When playing wind instruments the lips can press against the brace, however it is rarely a major problem unless you are career grade.