What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry that is designed to deal with diagnosing, preventing and correcting misaligned teeth and straightening them into position. Orthodontics can also be used to treat overbites and issues relating to the jawbone. Individuals looking to get braces Liverpool will need to visit a specialist orthodontist.

Braces

It is very common for children and young adults to require orthodontic treatment, and more particularly, braces in their lifetime. Braces are specifically designed to straighten the teeth and in doing so they also improve a person’s bite. This enables individuals to be able to eat more comfortably, and treat and care for their teeth easily to maintain their quality. Straight teeth also improve a person’s smile and gives them a boost of confidence.

When people get braces they will treat crooked and uneven teeth, correcting the bite so that the top and bottom set of teeth are level and can meet when they close their mouths. Before having orthodontic treatment, and in particular braces, patients will need to ensure that they have healthy gums and teeth and therefore it is important that patients maintain oral hygiene and take care of their gums, teeth and jawbone. This is because it becomes even more important for patients to keep both their teeth and their braces clean in order to avoid getting any type of tooth decay or infection in the mouth.

woman getting braces

How are braces fitted?

There are different types of braces available to patients; metal braces and ceramic braces. Patients that are offered braces under the NHS will usually be given metal braces. Ceramic braces are less visible and are available privately. There are also removable retainers/aligners that are thin, plastic mouth devices and these are also available both under the NHS and privately.

Metal braces are made of durable material and less likely to break and get damaged if taken care of properly. However it is essential that patients care for their braces as they can often rub against the gums and cause soreness. The orthodontist will explain the aftercare procedure to the patient at the initial consultation. Patients will need to visit their orthodontist every 6 weeks to get their braces tightened and to replace the elastic bands. It is essential that patients do not miss their appointments so that their treatment plan does not get negatively affected or delayed. Treatment plans are often 18-24 months, but can sometimes be for only 12 months. This will depend on the patient and their individual circumstances and the orthodontist will discuss the length of the treatment plan on a case-by-case basis.

Once the braces are removed after the treatment plan is complete patients will have straight, aligned teeth which will enhance their appearance. Patients will be given plastic retainers for a period of 6 months in order to ensure that the teeth do not start moving back into their original positions. Patients will be able to smile confidently, but must keep up their oral hygiene and continue to use their plastic retainers to maintain alignment.

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