What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics Navan is the branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing, correcting and aligning problem teeth and jaws using braces. Orthodontics offers this treatment option for children and adults alike and enables patients to have the smile they want.

Misaligned teeth are a common issue amongst children and young adults. On average, one third of children require braces in the UK, which keeps orthodontists very busy!


What are braces and how do they work?

Braces are made of metal and are attached to the teeth. Their aim and purpose is to align crooked teeth, and resolve any overcrowding of the teeth and underbites or overbites. The result of a brace is that it gives the individual a straight set of teeth that they can be proud of and feel confident about. At the initial consultation the orthodontist will do a thorough assessment including X-rays and scans of the teeth and jaw to ensure that the patient is suited to having braces. Once this is confirmed, a treatment plan will be agreed.

Most treatment plans last between 12 to 18 months, but this will vary for each patient on an individual, case-by-case basis. Braces are usually available both privately and also under the NHS and for those patients with medical cards. Patients should speak to their orthodontist about this at the initial consultation.

Before the braces can be fitted it is important that patients maintain good oral hygiene to ensure that the teeth are ready for the treatment. Brushing and flossing twice daily is essential. Once the braces are fitted patients may experience slight discomfort and soreness of the gums as the braces rub against the sides of the mouth. This does occur occasionally however the gums will heal within a couple of days. Patients can use gels to soothe sore gums should they require.

Once the braces are fitted it is again important that patients maintain good oral hygiene, particularly after eating, as often food can accumulate around the brace, causing bacteria to build up around the gums and lead to infection. Brushing and flossing the teeth regularly will help to reduce the risk of this from happening. Follow up appointments will usually be every 6 to 8 weeks, to tighten the braces and to monitor and assess the progress being made in realigning the teeth.

Once the treatment has been completed and it is time for the braces to be removed patients will be provided with a removable plastic retainer. The purpose of this is to ensure that the aligned teeth do not start to move out of position and to maintain the seamless finish.


Benefits of braces

There are many benefits of having braces. Firstly they are made of metal and therefore are sturdy and durable and less likely to break. This means fewer visits to the dentist to get the braces fixed! Most importantly braces align the teeth to make them straight, resulting in a smile that patients can be happy about and giving them a confidence boost once they see the finished results. Another benefit of having braces is that patients should see an improvement in their dental health, as they will be able to maintain a higher standard of dental hygiene due to having straight teeth.