Some commonly asked questions about braces and smile design. If you have any questions you can call us or visit us at High Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Ealing.
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People get braces for a whole host of reasons. This can be from the purely aesthetic and cosmetic, to improving self confidence. Whatever the reason for choosing braces, you can be guaranteed a fantastic result with the latest advances in orthodontics and specialists available at Octagon Orthodontics.
Braces consist of brackets and wires. The wires apply light pressure to each tooth while the brackets are the handles that transmit the force to the tooth. During the treatment, the orthodontist will periodically make adjustments to maintain the directional pressure required to continue the movement of the teeth.
Part of the orthodontic consultation process is making sure that all aspects of any problems can be investigated and subsequently cared for. Panoramic radiographs, skull or facial x-rays and intra-oral or mini x-rays of the teeth are all used by your orthodontist to achieve this. X-rays can help to decide whether it is necessary to have teeth removed, or where crowded teeth are impacting on your smile.
The problems that can occur which require orthodontic treatment are generally classed by the type of malocclusion or ‘bad bite’ they fall under. There are several classes, from 1 to 3, and most people can be categorised into these.
When you smile it is generally only the front six teeth which people focus on. However, this is not all there is to having straight teeth! Straight teeth should be assessed on the basis of 32 adult, healthy, working teeth arranged correctly in the upper and lower jaws. The relationship between all teeth, adjacent and opposing, within each jaw should be harmonious and aesthetic.
Orthodontics is for everyone! It is a myth that having treatment is only for children and young people. More and more adults are embracing orthodontics as a way to improve themselves. This can be simply for the cosmetic reason of wanting a great smile, or because of ongoing orthodontic problems such as poor bite or crowded teeth.
If you play a wind instrument then you may feel that your playing is affected initially by your braces. However, this is not a permanent situation and the more you practice the less of an impact your braces will have!
It is extremely important when wearing a brace that good oral hygiene is observed and maintained. Teeth must be brushed after every meal to avoid decalcification and plaque build up. Disclosing tablets help you to see where you might be missing brushing.
Braces can be categorised into removable or non removable appliances. The most traditional type of brace is a metal fixed brace, which means it is permanently attached to the teeth for the duration of treatment and is therefore non removable. Fixed braces now come in different materials such as gold or ceramic which gives you a greater variety of choice! Lingual braces are also a form of non removable brace. They are placed behind the teeth, so that they are not in plain view.
Removable appliances on the other hand can be removed from the mouth of the patient. They include the latest advance in technology, also known as Invisalign, which comes in the form of custom moulded, invisible plastic trays. In the same category there are ‘twin blocks’ and ‘functional appliances’ which are generally used for fine tooth movements.
Finally, at the end of your treatment plan you will be fitted with a retainer which will ensure that your teeth remain in their correct position.
Your first appointment with your orthodontist gives you the chance to discuss with an expert what is wrong with your teeth and how you would like them improved. Once all of your options have been explained, and a treatment plan devised, the next steps will involve X-rays and record taking. Finally, a week or so later you will have a long appointment to fit the brace.
What foods should be avoided with braces? Why is this and how will it affect your treatment? Find out with our article on mealtime machinations! Or find out how a bad bite can affect your eating habits!
We have all heard the anecdote that you are judged on appearance within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, but how important are your teeth in this process? We think a great smile guarantees that your first impression really does count.
We explore from a sociological point of view why having a typically American smile is not what all Brits want!
It’s never too late to have braces. Adults are increasingly having orthodontic treatment later in life, often this is because they have found out about some of the modern developments in brace technology, which render braces practically invisible. If you still need reassurance that you are not the only one considering getting braces, then it would be worth having a read of the following testimonials – one of which is from someone in their 50’s and the other from someone in their 60’s.
It is possible to achieve straight teeth without the need for metal brackets! The latest advances in technology come in the form of clear, plastic, custom-moulded aligners called Invisalign. Read the make-up artist’s story or that of adult Invisalign patients!
Having a bright and beautiful smile is something we all aspire to - Luckily there are a few tricks of the trade to help us achieve this, and one of these is tooth whitening! However, it is important not to forget your lips and tongue in this equation, as a healthy mouth requires all of the above!
Sometimes, no matter what the options available, braces aren’t for everyone. In cases like this advanced and cosmetic dentistry may provide the answer. This can include veneers, crowns, bridges, implants and periodontal treatment. Veneers are a popular choice on ‘instant make-over’ programmes, and whilst they provide an instant change they can also cause long term problems.
The best way to find out the answer to this question is to have an orthodontic consultation. To fully understand some of the more subtle ways in which braces can help your appearance take a look at our Orthodontic and Maxillo-facial surgery article.
Yes! Having braces as an adult is no longer associated with stigma, in fact, it could even be called a trend! People recognise the self improvement aspect of the treatment and respect your choices. Sometimes the best way to understand the impact of having braces as an adult is to read other people’s accounts and see the results for yourself!
The next step in the process involves the type of brace that your child will have, and there can be more than one throughout the period of treatment. Sometimes young people, especially teens can experience angst over their braces, which is why it is important that they read other people’s accounts and are able to view the results of undergoing orthodontic treatment!
From both a parent’s and a dentist’s perspective, the right time for the first orthodontic check-up is no later than the age of 7. This is so that any early problems can be picked up and a suitable treatment plan devised. It may also help to reassure parents about their child’s facial development and crooked teeth.