Orthodontics is the area of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face. In excess of 200,000 children and teenagers in England and Wales have treatment within the NHS every year, with growing numbers of adults and young people seeking treatment on a private basis.
The purpose of orthodontic treatment is to make the best of your teeth. This includes allowing you to bite correctly, eat more comfortably, and to care for your teeth and gums more easily. And your smile will benefit, too.
The ideal age to have orthodontic treatment is around 12 or 13, while you're still growing. The opportunity for improvement in an adult is more limited and surgery is more likely to be needed.
Treatment usually lasts from 18 months to two years, during which visits to Kirkgate Dental Care are needed every four to six weeks.
There are many different types of braces. Some are removable, which you take out at night, to eat a meal, or clean. Some are fixed and stay in all the time. NHS braces are made of metal, but at Kirkgate Dental Care we offer clear braces for private treatments- which use clear ceramic brackets, so you can hardly see them on your teeth.
Following completion of your course of treatment, you will be required to wear a retainer for a number of hours a day or at night, to ensure your teeth remain in their new position.
Orthodontics usually works very well, but it's important to look after your teeth while you're wearing braces. Braces can trap food and cause more plaque to build up than usual.
You need to take extra care cleaning your teeth and watch what you eat – for example, by avoiding sugary foods and drinks. You also need to see your dentist regularly while having orthodontic treatment.
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