Orthodontics

Early Intervention

Conventional methods of orthodontics would generally suggest that treatment is not started until all adult teeth are present. With our Non-Extraction philosophy, we believe in assessing children well before school age, especially when there are concerns about crowding or less than ideal facial balance. At this age the jaw is still growing and developing. Intervention treatments such as correcting bad habits, wearing removable plates and doing oral posture exercises can help guide the growth of the jaws into their correct positions. This facial devlopment creates room in the dental arches for all the teeth to grow into, and results in a better and much healthier facial profile.

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Biteplates

These are removable appliances which are designed to enlarge the dental arches to reduce crowding in the teeth, to move individual or groups of teeth with springs or screws, and to align the jaws. Sometimes these appliances can be cemented into place.

They can be made in a variety of colours and need to be thoroughly cleaned after eating as most appliances need to be worn when eating.

They will sometimes be the sole treatment, (especially when used in an early intervention treatment), before and in conjunction with braces, or with myofunctional trainers.

Braces

Braces are made up of two components: metal or clear plastic devices usually glued onto the front of the teeth, and wires that connect them together. The wires are made of a metal that is formed into the ideal curve for your upper and lower teeth. This provides the pattern towards which the straightening treatment is headed.

When the wires are inserted into the braces, the wire tries to move back into its original shape. This creates tension on the teeth, and it is this force which gradually moves the teeth into their ideal position along the curve of the wire’s original shape.

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Myofunctional Training Appliances

These are removable appliances similar to a mouthguard that are worn at night and for 1-2 hours during the day (but not to school).

Their job is to stop the tongue, lips and cheeks from adversely moving the teeth at rest and when swallowing. Some have channels to encourage the new teeth to come down into their correct positions and others can be worn over the top of braces. They can also be used as a retainer after active tooth movement is completed.

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Retainers

Retainers can be removable or permanent (fixed onto the inside of the teeth), and are designed to stop the teeth from moving back away from their corrected positions.

In an ideal situation with good Oral Posture, retainers won't be necessary long term. However this is often not the case, and permanent invisible fixed retainers are often a good option to maintain the teeth in their newly corrected positions - especially in adult re-treatment cases.

There are 4 main types of retainers :-

* Clear plastic removable retainers which we issue after braces are removed

* Harder acrylic and wire retainers, also removable but stronger than plastic

* Myofunctional trainers removable, flexible and similar to a mouthguard

* Fixed (permanent ) retainers which are made of wire on the inside surface of the teeth cemented with filling material - for long-term retention of the front teeth

See other sections on stages of growth