Patient Choices & Information
Each and every patient requires tailor-made treatment, decided on by the orthodontist and agreed by you, the patient. In order to decide what treatment is appropriate for you,
your orthodontist will want to carry out an assessment of your teeth which is likely to include x-rays, impressions (moulds of the teeth) and photographs. Treatment can take
more than two years so it is important you are happy with what is recommended. Braces are almost always suggested.
Those which are supplied most often are:
A fixed brace – this is the most common type of brace, often known as train tracks. Brackets are glued onto the teeth and connected by a wire. Sometimes small elastic bands are
used to hold the wire in position. This wire exerts a gentle pressure so teeth are turned or moved into a new position. The brackets can be metal, or ceramic and the elastic
bands are availabe in many different colour. You can choose!
A removable brace – this is sometimes recommended for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth. It is a plastic plate with delicate wires and springs attached.
The removable brace should be worn all the time except when it needs cleaning or when you are playing sport.
Functional braces – these are worn to alter the position of the jaws and the way the upper and lower teeth meet. The power of the jaw muscles is applied to move the teeth They
are usually worn on the upper and lower teeth at the same time. They are also usually removable but should be worn all the time.
Retainers – at the end of treatment, all patients should wear retainers to hold their teeth in the new position. These are usually removable but in a small number of cases are
fixed. They are a very important part of treatment and are usually continued at night for a long time.
NHS or Private treatment?
Both NHS and private treatment are available at our practice.
We provide NHS funded orthodontic treatment to patients up to 18 years old.
Patients with very mild irregularities of the teeth may not qualify for NHS treatment, following a change in the regulations in April 2006. However, after your consultation, you will be informed
whether you can be accepted for NHS treatment.
Timing of treatment
Most orthodontic treatment is carried out when all the adult teeth are coming into the mouth. This is usually around or after 11 years of age.
However, your dentist, or the hospital consultant may send you to us at age 8 or 9, as a limited number of patients require early intervention to prevent problems later.
Orthodontics can be carried out at any age, providing that the teeth and gums are healthy. An increasing number of adults are seeking treatment to provide a pleasing smile and improved function of the teeth.
Treatment after the age of 18 years is provided on a private basis and tooth coloured braces are available.
Our mouths contain millions of bacteria which stick to our teeth to form plaque.
Plaque causes tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
Removable braces are removed for brushing and should be cleaned with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste – taking care not to bend any of the wires.
When a fixed brace has been fitted you will need to buy a ”care pack” from our receptionist. This contains special toothbrushes, disclosing tablets, fluoride mouthrinse and soft wax to mould over your brace if it is rubbing.
It is important to exercise care when eating all foods and in particular you must avoid hard and sticky foods which can damage your brace, or break it completely. Hard fruits, raw
vegetables, and crusty bread must be cut into small pieces.
Foods containing sugar react with plaque to form acid. Fizzy drinks and fruit juices also contain acid. This dissolves enamel causing decalcification and tooth decay.