Undergoing orthodontic treatment now can have a huge influence on your dental health in the future. It can make the difference between early tooth loss and maintaining your teeth for life. If you have crooked teeth, speak to your dentist about having them straightened.
Teeth can be straightened in many different ways, with metal braces being the most traditional method. Fixed metal braces have been used for over 100 years, and they are still the braces of choice for young children and teenagers because of the excellent results they can achieve. Metal braces are strong and durable, meaning they are effective at correcting a range of misalignment issues.
If you have complex orthodontic issues, such as severely crooked teeth, overlapping or overcrowded teeth or gapped or protruding teeth, traditional braces may be the most effective option for you. Traditional braces can also correct more serious jaw alignment problems known as bite disorders; some examples are overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
The only issue with traditional metal braces is that they are highly visible and can draw unwanted attention to your mouth; if you are already unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, this can be an issue. Adults looking to straighten their teeth are often deterred by traditional metal braces because of this reason. If you have complex orthodontic needs and are not in favour of traditional braces, speak to your dentist about more discreet treatment options that can address your needs.
Clear braces Clapham are an excellent solution for patients who need fixed braces but would prefer a more discreet option. Clear braces are very similar to traditional metal braces and work in the same way; however, the difference between the two is that the brackets of clear braces are made from clear or tooth-coloured ceramic rather than metal. This means that clear braces are also very effective at addressing complex orthodontic issues and have the added advantage of drawing significantly less attention to your teeth.
Another difference is that since metal can exert more pressure, clear braces might take longer to straighten your teeth. However, if you take into consideration the advantage of discretion, then it is worth waiting a little longer to complete the treatment process. Also, clear braces are not available on the NHS; if you choose to straighten your teeth with clear braces, this will have to be done privately.
Taking care of your braces
Clear braces are not as strong as traditional metal braces. You should avoid certain foods such as popcorn, nuts, ice, chewing gum and other hard, sticky or chewy foods. These need to be avoided with traditional metal braces as well to prevent food from getting stuck in the braces and reduce the risk of damage. You should also limit sugary foods and drinks whilst you are undergoing orthodontic treatment to safeguard your braces and prevent excess plaque from building up on your teeth.
Excess plaque increases your chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease. It is thought that fixed braces increase your chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease, so you must visit your dentist regularly to ensure your teeth remain clean and healthy during treatment.
Clear braces can take approximately 18 to 24 months to address your orthodontic issues. For patients who suffer from more complex orthodontic issues or who are older, it may take up to 3 years to straighten their teeth. If you have less severe orthodontic issues or cosmetic issues affecting the alignment of your teeth, you can straighten them in as little as 6 to 12 months. Fixed braces may seem like a slow procedure; however, in this way, they help achieve long-lasting results.
If your teeth are moved too quickly, they can be damaged and may relapse afterwards; however, with fixed braces, it is a gradual process, which means that the results can last for the rest of your life. Your dentist will assess your orthodontic needs and recommend the best treatment option based on your unique dental needs, preferences and budget.