Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. Orthodontics (braces) work by gently pushing teeth into the correct alignment.
Teeth straightening is usually done during the teenage years, when the teeth are going through a period of growth. However, many adults also have treatment to straighten their crooked teeth or to approve their appearance.
The teeth straigntening procedure can take much longer in adults and is therefore more expensive.
Can orthodontics damage my teeth?
Your teeth can be damaged if they are not properly looked after during treatment. Braces will not in themselves cause damage, but poor cleaning and too many sugary drinks and snacks can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Brackets, wires and braces can trap food and cause more plaque than usual to build up so the teeth and brace need to be cleaned very thoroughly.
Is orthodontic work permanent?
Even after retention, it is normal for minor tooth movements to happen throughout life, so no permanent guarantee can be given. However, it is unusual for teeth to alter enough to need further treatment.
Are there any alternatives to orthodontics?
Cosmetic contouring can be used to improve the appearance of teeth. Cosmetic contouring is ideal if you have slightly crowded teeth. It takes about one hour and is less expensive than other forms of cosmetic treatment. It is not recommended for young children.