Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This can improve their appearance and the way the teeth bite together, while also making them easier to clean.
The benefits of orthodontics can include:
- Correction of dental crowding and straightening of your teeth.
- Correction of your bite so the front and back teeth meet evenly.
- Reducing the chance of damage to prominent teeth.
- Improving your appearance, including your smile.
Orthodontic treatment uses appliances to correct the position of the teeth.
The three main types are:
- Fixed braces - a non-removable brace made up of brackets that are glued to each tooth and linked with wires.
- Removable braces - usually plastic plates that cover the roof of the mouth and clip on to some teeth; they can only carry out very limited tooth movements.
- Functional appliances - a pair of removable plastic braces that are joined together or designed to interact together, and fit on to the upper and lower teeth.
There are other types of braces available such as aligners or invisible braces; or lingual braces that fit on the back of the teeth.
Retainers: They are used near the end of a course of orthodontic treatment. They hold straightened teeth in place while the surrounding gum and bone adjusts to their new position, and can either be removable or fixed. It's likely there will be some tooth movement if you stop wearing your retainer. Changes in the position of your teeth can continue throughout life and are part of the normal ageing process.