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Braces or fixed appliances treat dental problems such as crowding, spacing and most importantly guide the teeth into their final occlusion. Braces are usually in place for approximately eighteen months but this can vary depending on many factors, but most importantly rate of growth, oral hygiene, breakages and regular attendance. Regular appointments usually at 5-9 week intervals, will be required to adjust the appliance. One week prior to placing the braces, we need to scale and clean all the teeth, apply a topical flouride application and place separators in between the back molar teeth (approximately a 30 minute appointment). Placing braces, at a further week interval, usually requires approximately a 90 minute appointment.
An increasing awareness of the benefit of orthodontic treatment, plus advances in the sophistication and capability of fixed appliances has led to great improvements in the availability of "aesthetic" appliances and has led to a greater increase in the number of patients requesting treatment.
Braces may be fabricated from metal, ceramic or attached to the lingual surfaces of your teeth.
Types of Braces
Metal braces are the most common type, and are now much more comfortable and less obvious than they once were. Made of high-grade surgical stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces you may customise your new smile with a range of coloured elastics!
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials reducing the visual impact of braces. Ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. Ceramic braces tend to be more brittle than their metal counterparts and for this reason, they tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Invisalign® uses a series of invisible aligners to straighten your teeth. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment; plus, brushing and flossing are carried out as routine. The aligners are comfortable to wear and do not cause mouth abrasions during treatment. Please visit our Invisalign® page to learn more about this service.
Lingual braces are attached behind the teeth and are therefore "invisible" when you smile. Lingual braces are 100 percent customized to match the shape of your teeth; the metal appliances are created uniquely for you. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors/actresses, musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.
Advances in bracket design as well as the material from which they are fabricated has led to the development of self-ligating brackets which reduces the need for silicone ties and in turn a greater reduction in plaque accumulation. Self-ligating braces are made from traditional metal, ceramic, or clear brackets. They are a similar size to metal braces, but use a specialized clip instead of elastics to help the arch wire guide teeth into place.