Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry concerned with the aesthetics and function of the teeth, jaws and face. 

 

We offer at least three types of brace

'Silver' Braces

Stainless steel fixed appliances (train tracks) are normally worn by children but adults can choose them too.

They deliver great results in the minimum time making them the number one choice for most orthodontists.

Tooth Coloured Braces

Tooth coloured braces are very discrete versions of the "silver" train track braces. They are made of tooth coloured porcelain and are a great choice for people who need to wear fixed braces but do not want to advertise it. Children can also have these braces if they are concerned about the appearance of "silver" braces.

Invisalign straightens teeth using a series of nearly invisible aligners that are custom-made to your teeth for comfort. As you replace each aligner every two weeks, your teeth will move gradually towards the final projected position as prescribed. Unlike fixed braces, you can remove the aligners and put them back in again at any time - so you end up with the straight new smile that transforms your life.

For independent and impartial advice

See the Campaign for Safe Braces

See a happy Invisalign customer

Invisalign gave me the confidence to smile again

"I'd developed a complex about my teeth. My front teeth stuck out and my jaw was too small, which meant that I hated smiling. I looked into treatment options and decided Invisalign was the right choice for me. Because they're nearly invisible, I was able to carry on living my life without being self conscious, most people didn't even know I was wearing them.

From start to finish, my treatment took 18 months. I wore the aligners every day, and just removed them to eat and drink. That's the beauty of Invisalign, they fit into your life. Thanks to the treatment I now feel so much more confident. Put simply, I got my smile back."

Khadija

The smile I'd always wanted in just 18 months

The time it takes to complete Invisalign treatment varies from person to person. It depends on how often you wear your aligners, your lifestyle and your treatment goals.

Before

After

Initial Consultation

Visited my Invisalign Provider who confirms my teeth can be straightened using Invisalign.

ClinCheck®

 

I had my teeth scanned using a 3D scanner and with the ClinCheck demo, I was able to see how my teeth should look at the end of my treatment.

Month 1

I received my first set of aligners - I'm surprised at how comfortable they are to wear and easy to remove.

Months 4-9

Receiving a new set of aligners about every two weeks. I'm already starting to see a difference in my teeth.

Months 9-17

Each set of aligners is bringing me closer to the smile I want. And still hardly anyone has even noticed that I'm
wearing them.

Month 18

Removed my final set of aligners to reveal my new straight smile. Such a great feeling.

Frequently asked questions

Why have orthodontic treatment?


Orthodontic treatment can help in several ways:

  • Crowded or crooked teeth are more difficult to clean and maintain over a long period of time. Difficulties with maintaining good oral hygiene may lead to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, and eventual tooth loss. Orthodontic treatment can straighten teeth, making it easier to clean and maintain them.
  • Malocclusions can lead to excessive tooth wear, abnormal strain on the jaw muscles and joints, and inefficient chewing. Orthodontic treatment can help achieve a balanced even bite, thereby reducing the strain on muscles and joints of the jaws and reducing the risk of abnormal wear.
  • There is an increased risk of sustaining trauma to upper front teeth that stick out. Orthodontic treatment can reduce the prominence of upper front teeth and therefore reduce the likelihood of injuring them.
  • Orthodontics can improve the appearance of the teeth. The value of an attractive smile should not be underestimated. A pleasing smile is a vital asset to one’s self-esteem, and a person’s self-confidence often improves as orthodontic treatment brings the teeth, lips and face into a harmonious balanced relationship.
Orthodontic treatment can be an outstanding investment in the overall health and psychological well being of an individual.




What are the most commonly treated orthodontic problems?


  • Protruding upper front teeth
  • Crowding
  • Spacing
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Deep bite




Are there less noticeable braces?


  • Modern orthodontic brackets are generally less noticeable than those of the past. Aesthetic brackets, made from tooth coloured ceramic or plastic, are much less obvious than braces made from stainless steel
  • Appliances are also available that can be fixed to the inside of teeth (lingual appliances)
  • New wires with tooth coloured coating are also available and are less noticeable than uncoated wires
  • Clear removable appliances that work as a series of nearly invisible removable aligners are also available e.g. Invisalign




Do braces hurt?


When braces are initially fitted, or after they have been adjusted, there may be some discomfort and tenderness. This usually lasts 3-5 days. If necessary, pain relief medication normally used for headaches may help When a brace is newly fitted it may take several days for the skin inside the mouth to adjust to the new brace. If there is rubbing or irritation, you can use a pea-sized piece of the protective orthodontic wax to cover the offending part of the brace to make the surface smoother.
Patients who are prone to get mouth ulcers will often get ulcers when a brace is fitted. These often resolve after a few days once the skin in the mouth gets used to the brace.




How long does treatment last?


There are a range of treatment times from 9 months to 3 years or more. The average treatment time is 18 months. Actual treatment time depends upon several factors:

  • Initial severity of problem. Milder problems will require less time to treat
  • Growth
  • Patient cooperation
  • Some patients respond faster to treatment than others




Is it important to cooperate during treatment?


Cooperation is essential to achieve the desired objectives. Successful treatment results can only be achieved through teamwork. Patient (parent's) and orthodontist working together.




How do I care for my braces and teeth?


  • Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is more important then ever for orthodontic patients
  • Tooth decay, decalcification, bad breath and gum disease can arise if teeth are not kept meticulously clean during orthodontic treatment
  • It is essential to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • A fluoride containing mouthwash is also recommended for orthodontic patients
  • Special toothbrushes are available to allow teeth to be kept clean when you have fixed braces. These will be shown to you and will be available from our reception;
  • Removable braces are removed for cleaning, and a normal toothbrush and toothpaste can be used
  • Orthodontic braces are delicate and must be treated with care. Breakages during treatment will extend the duration of treatment
  • Avoid eating hard or sticky foods (toffees, boiled sweets, chewing gum, crusts etc.) to prevent breakages
  • Cut food into small pieces before placing in mouth rather than using front teeth to bite into foods
  • Avoid foods with high sugar content, fruit drinks or fizzy drinks as frequent consumption of these types of food can lead to risk of developing permanent marks on your teeth
  • You must continue to visit your own dentist at regular intervals during orthodontic treatment




Are there risks to having orthodontic treatment?


  • If you do not keep your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment you are at risk of developing permanent marks on your teeth (decalcification) as seen on the adjacent picture, tooth decay or gum disease. These problems are all preventable if you take care of your teeth and gums
  • If you have too may fizzy drinks (diet and non-diet) or eat sugary foods/sweets frequently during treatment, there is risk of developing permanent marks on teeth. Fizzy drinks (carbonated drinks) are acidic and lead to damage to enamel of teeth. Sugary foods allow rapid build up of plaque, which in turn produces acid that leads to enamel damage
  • Teeth that have previously sustained trauma (i.e. have been knocked), may discolour and/or become non-vital. These teeth will need further treatment, usually undertaken by your own dentist. It is important to let your orthodontist know if you have previously sustained trauma to your teeth
  • All orthodontic treatment causes changes to roots of teeth. These are usually minor and of no significance. Rarely, orthodontic treatment may lead to root-shortening (root-resorption) which is more significant. It is often possible to predict if you are at particular risk of root shortening




What happens after fixed brace removal?


  • ​​​​​​After completion of fixed brace treatment, you will be provided with retainers to wear. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight

  • Retainers can be:

  • Removable: Can be removed for brushing, sports and eating
  • Fixed: Usually attached to the inside of the front teeth
  • Your orthodontist will discuss which retainer type is appropriate for you
  • Retainers are just as important as the braces in the overall treatment plan. It is important to wear retainers as instructed. If you do not wear retainers as instructed, your teeth are at risk of movement
  • Changes in position of teeth can continue throughout life and are part of the normal ageing/maturation process. Therefore, you should wear retainers at night times for as long as you want to maintain alignment of teeth




What if I break my brace?


  • You should contact us as soon as possible if you think your brace is broken. We will advise you what to do

  • In the meantime:

  • If part of the fixed brace is broken and is causing irritation or rubbing, then apply the protective orthodontic wax to cover the offending component of the fixed brace to make the surface smoother
  • If your removable brace is broken do not wear it if it is uncomfortable or is at risk of being dislodged
  • During an emergency visit, the orthodontist will make your brace comfortable. The broken brace may not be repaired till a later visit





17-18 The Waterfront,

Sovereign Harbour,

Eastbourne,

East Sussex

BN23 5UZ

info@harbour-orthodontics.co.uk

Phone 01323 472100

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