Many dentists believe it is important to provide prospective orthodontic patients with as much information as possible. We intend to provide information on what an orthodontic brace is made up of, how they are worn and how to look after them.
The purpose of any brace or appliance is to use gentle and constant pressure in order to move your teeth into a new and straighter position – usually to straighten your teeth. There are different types of braces and the brace you will be instructed to wear will depend on your course of orthodontic treatment.
Before any treatment can begin for straight teeth, you may have your mouth checked by a dentist to ensure everything is as it should be and your oral hygiene is good. This includes checking your gums to safeguard against any signs of gum disease. Personalised treatment plans are available helping you to facilitate and maintain your gum health post treatment. See more information.
Alternatively, call 020 8506 0701 if you suspect you may have gum disease.
What are removable braces?
A removable brace is a plastic plate with delicate wires and springs attached. As the name suggests, this appliance can be removed for cleaning. All appliances are made in a special orthodontic laboratory. Fitting and adjusting the removable brace is relatively simple and will not take long.
Removable braces incorporate various types of springs to tip and tilt the teeth into position but they are not able to apply rotational or bodily movement to teeth. Removable appliances are worn 24/7 (except when you are eating, swimming or playing contact sports) and are commonly worn as part of more straightforward orthodontic treatments.
Wearing a removable brace may produce more saliva in your mouth and you may find it harder to talk and swallow for a while, but these symptoms will rapidly disappear. Click here for information on ceramic braces.
Fixed for happy smiles
Individual brackets are stuck directly to the teeth and connected by flexible wires which are tightened at regular intervals. If a fixed brace is recommended, you may be able to choose between ceramic (tooth-coloured) or metal brackets. Fixed appliances are glued directly to the teeth, which is why they are called fixed braces as they are not removable by the patient. They are individually constructed in the mouth and are highly sophisticated pieces of precision engineering.
Sophisticated software provides the designs for the aligners, based on how you want your teeth to look, and they are worn over a period of 12 to 18 months.
Invisalign treatment is offered as an alternative to braces, mainly in the case of adults with completely formed teeth and jaw growth. Invisalign aligners are not noticeable, unlike conventional braces. They are more comfortable and can be removed for eating and brushing.