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Providing dentistry and facial aesthetics at our Cricklewood dental practice

Braces

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Whether you are looking to simply ‘tidy up’ a few of your front teeth or deal with a more serious issue such as malocclusion, gaps or a dysfunctional bite we can offer a number of fixed and removable appliances to help you.

For teenagers and adults we are pleased to offer Fast Braces (insert link) which are a great alternative for those seeking a faster working or more affordable treatment. We would be pleased to advise you on the best type of brace available to suit your case.  Why not book a free consultation today to find out more.

Will I have fixed ore removable braces?

Fixed braces are most commonly used due to their suitability for moving large numbers of teeth precisely yet safely.  They can be used to significantly improve tooth straightness and can also help to prevent problems in the future by improving your overall oral health.

Modern fixed braces look more attractive than they have done in previous years. Although the majority are still made from metal, they are generally smaller and brackets and bands can be fitted in a variety of colours to suit your personal preferences. More subtle ceramic or clear plastic braces are also available offering a more aesthetically pleasing option- albeit it at a slightly higher cost.

Lingual braces are another subtle alternative which can attached to the inside of your teeth.

Fixed braces are generally easier to get used to and avoid the need for a plastic arch in the roof of your mouth (as with removable braces) which can often affect speech.

In a fixed brace system the brackets are individually fixed to each tooth with a dental adhesive. A fine metal wire is fitted between each bracket- linking them all together. At each appointment this wire is tightened and bent specifically to encourage the correct movements in your teeth. Over the following weeks the wire slowly returns to its original size and shape.  As it moves it pulls teeth along with it- slowly moving them to the desired position.

Removable braces are more commonly used for younger patients whose teeth are still growing. They are more limited in the tooth movement they can cause so are more suited to correcting minor problems. They are normally used on the top teeth and can be useful in the treatment of irregular bites.  It is important for removable braces to be worn for as long as possible during the day and will need to be worn at night too. They should only be removed for eating, cleaning teeth, sports and other activities such as playing a musical instrument.

How will my fixed braces be fitted?

Before your braces are fitted your Dentist will check for any tooth decay or gum problems. At your first appointment, X-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth will be taken and used as models to effectively plan your treatment.

If required, permanent teeth will be removed to allow room for movement and this will take place before your brace is fitted.  Within the days before your brace fitting elastic separators may be fitted around your back teeth if necessary- this helps to create a slight gap so the bands can fit on your molars.

The fitting of your brace will take place over one or two visits. Firstly, your teeth will be cleaned and prepared and the brackets will be attached. The wire will also be fitted and held in place with bands.  The whole process normally takes between 1 and 2 hours.

Regular check-ups will be required every 6-8 weeks to allow for adjustments to be made as required. These could include wire changes, the adding of springs, new elastics and the introduction of other accessories such as headgear, biteplates and face masks.

The average treatment time for fixed braces is between two and three years. Once complete your brace will be removed at a de-banding appointment. Your teeth will be cleaned and polished to ensure that no adhesive remains. This also helps to remove any plaque build-up which may have occurred whilst the braces were in place.

Following any orthodontic treatment a retainer is required to help keep your teeth in their new positions. Removable or lingual braces can be used for this purpose. You will be advised accordingly- with personal requirements, preference and lifestyle all taken into consideration.

Do braces hurt?

The initial fitting of the brace should not hurt.  You may notice some slight discomfort as your teeth start to move and following any tightening appointments. Standard painkillers can be used to help relieve this pain.  It may be advisable to avoid hard foods if your teeth and gums are feeling tender.

Dental wax can be supplied by your dentist to stop wires rubbing on the inside of your mouth.

If pain persists or is not relieved with painkillers contact us immediately for an emergency appointment.

Keeping your teeth healthy with fixed braces

If you have fixed braces it is very important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.  Food can be easily trapped between wires and brackets which can lead to a build-up of plaque around your teeth. Aim to brush your teeth twice a day and after meals to remove any leftover food and bacteria. If you can’t brush immediately then drink water to rinse out your mouth.

Interdental brushes and disclosing solutions can be used to help remove as much plaque as you can.

Try to avoid foods that can get stuck in the wires such as chewy sweets and gum. Fizzy drinks should also be avoided.  Very hard foods could damage your braces so should be avoided. If you are eating hard foods it is advisable to cut them into small bite sized pieces.

Aim to attend your orthodontic appointments as required and visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular check-ups.

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