What is orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.
Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This can not only improve their appearance but also the way the teeth bite together, while also making them easier to clean.
Orthodontic treatment is most commonly known as being carried out in children, but adults can have orthodontic treatment – and more and more are doing so.
How is treatment carried out?
Orthodontic treatment can be done by many sorts of appliances, which most people know as ‘braces’.
What is a fixed appliance?
Often, teeth need to be guided more accurately than they can be using a removable plate. So fixed appliances are used. These have brackets and bands temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be moved. It is not possible for the patient to take the appliance out and so it is called a fixed appliance.
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. This means that no one need know you are straightening your teeth.
They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. You need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.