Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the correction of the position of the teeth and jaws, aiming for a healthy and attractive smile.
Orthodontics can be used alone to align crooked teeth & improve a smile or to position teeth to allow other dentistry to be more successful e.g. providing optimal space for a bridge or implant.
Typically Orthodontics is carried out on children once their adult teeth have erupted, approximately 11-12 years old. There are however a few exceptions where early treatment is undertaken in order to help minimise developing problems or stop potential problems developing altogether.
Although typically carried out on children, orthodontic treatment can be very successfully carried out on adults and there is no upper age limit for treatment, as long as the teeth and gums are healthy, with the result that more and more adults are undertaking treatment.
Potentially all patients up to the age of 18 are eligible for an orthodontic assessment under the NHS, treatment, however, is restricted to the more severe problems.
The very minor problems although not treatable under NHS can be treated privately.
Types of braces used at Torrington Dental Practice
- fixed braces (railway tracks)
- removable braces
- functional braces
- ‘invisible braces’
Most orthodontic treatment is undertaken using fixed braces (railway tracks). These braces involve a small metal attachment (bracket) ‘glued’ to each individual tooth, these brackets are then linked together by a wire. Most commonly these braces are made of metal but tooth coloured braces are available for private patients.
Removable braces are those braces that can be removed from the mouth for cleaning. They have limited use, quite often used in conjunction with other braces.
Functional braces are special removable braces, typically they are used in young children, with the aim to harness the child’s growth to improve how the upper and lower teeth meet.
‘Invisible braces’- use a series of clear plastic positioners to move the teeth. These braces are only available privately.
How to clean your teeth with braces