What are the different types of orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontics involves straightening and realigning the teeth and jaw, to improve someone’s smile and dental wellbeing.
Treatments can be used to straighten teeth, correct an irregular bite and close gaps between the teeth. This process is done by using braces, which are fixed within the mouth for a set period and are followed by wearing retainers.
Orthodontic treatments are often undertaken for cosmetic reasons but can also improve long-term dental health. Misaligned teeth which do not fit together are much harder to keep clean and are therefore more susceptible to tooth decay or gum disease, so it’s important to get them fixed.
Braces come in lots of different forms, from fixed-metal braces to removable clear aligners. Here’s an overview of the different types of orthodontic treatment available:
What’s a retainer?
While not technically an orthodontic treatment, retainers are a vital part of the aftercare needed for successfully achieving straighter teeth. Once your braces have worked their magic, you will need to wear a retainer to stop them trying to spring back to their irregular shape.
It takes a while for the elastic fibres in the gum to resettle and reform around each tooth’s new position and stop pulling them out of line. This is why retainers are vital until teeth have had time to stabilise. In fact, to really guarantee teeth stay put, retainers should be worn for life.
These look like a thin, clear gum shield which is moulded to your teeth to keep them in line and guarantee comfort. The length of time needed to wear retainers is different per patient, but for most, they’re only worn at night.
These use a stainless-steel wire, which is bonded behind the front teeth to hold the retainer in place. They are very discreet and easy to forget about entirely, you just need to be careful brushing your teeth when fitted with them.
If you're interested in learning more about braces and orthodontic treatment, the best thing to do is to speak to your dentist. Find your local Bupa Dental Care dentist here.
We have a group of practices solely dedicated to teeth straightening, find out more at Total Orthodontics, part of Bupa.
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