Orthodontic Treatment Types
Orthodontic treatment, can in some cases, start in children as young as 6 or 7 years old. Because the jaw is still growing and the teeth are still developing at this age, certain conditions such as overcrowding can be easier to address.
Before permanent teeth have come through, it may be possible to help these teeth to erupt into a better position in cases where the dental arch, for example may be too small and narrow to fit all of the teeth. The use of a removable appliance known as an expansion plate could help to widen the arch, making more room for these teeth and avoid the need for unnecessary teeth extractions.
Known as ‘early treatment’ this kind of treatment may fix or improve these problems but doesn’t always eradicate the need for fixed braces later on. It may however significantly decrease treatment times and simplify the complexity of treatment later on.
It is important to note, that early treatment does not apply to all orthodontic problems. The Orthodontist will advise you during consultation.
The most commonly used type of appliance are brackets, that are bonded to the teeth. These brackets are usually either metal, ceramic or plastic. Ceramic brackets are usually clear or tooth-coloured so far less noticeable than the more traditional ones. Clear brackets are an increasingly popular choice due to its discrete nature. Coloured brackets such as pink or blue are also proving popular amongst children and are increasingly ‘fashionable’.
There are different ‘systems’ of brackets used by Orthodontists. Our Consultant Orthodontist, favours where possible the revolutionary Damon Appliance system.
Damon braces are self-ligating brackets which mean that the wires moving the teeth are held in place by a ‘gate’ on the brace. This creates a tunnel in which the wire passes through. Traditional braces use an elastic tie to hold the wire in place. The advantage of the Damon system is that because the wire is held in place passively the teeth will move quicker than with traditional brace systems. This will allow the Orthodontist to move your teeth much quicker and create better results with reduced treatment time.
A newer alternative to brackets are clear customised removable appliances called aligners. These braces are invisible and also removable which means you won’t get food trapped or plaque buildup in the same way as you might do with tradition brackets. They aren’t suitable for adolescents who are still growing but are becoming popular in adults due to their discrete nature. They are only suitable for very minor conditions though and can take longer than other methods. Your Consultant Orthodontist can discuss with you whether your case is suitable for clear aligners.