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Braces? Who Needs Them?

Braces are often seen as a rite of passage in adolescence and so many teenagers now have orthodontic treatment that it is seen as cool to wear them. It is also more popular than ever before for adults to request treatment to straighten and align their teeth, and the range of orthodontic treatments available is impressive – and much more affordable than in the past.

What if I Need Braces?

Your family dentist will usually be the first port of call if you are seeking orthodontic treatment. You will be referred to a specialist orthodontist, often within the same practice, such as at the Guiney Dental Practice in Cork.

What Does an Orthodontist do?

The orthodontist will examine your teeth, mouth and jaw in detail and ask you to bite the teeth together to diagnose an over- or under-bite. He or she will take a full history of your oral health and will ask whether you have ever had problems with clicking or popping of the jaw, or any difficulties chewing or swallowing.

The orthodontist will probably take X-rays of the mouth and teeth to check whether any permanent teeth are still developing and to analyse the position of your teeth. He or she will also take a mold of your teeth, which will harden to provide a replica of your teeth to help in making decisions about the best treatment options.

What Types of Braces Are There?

Braces put steady pressure on teeth to move them into straighter alignment and correct positioning problems. There are different types of braces, and which you are given will depend on your individual situation:

  • Braces with wires and rubber bands.  Wires help to move the teeth, and rubber bands work to correct alignment. These braces may be metal, clear or ceramic, and some go behind the teeth (lingual braces), which are much less visible.

  • Clear removable braces. In recent years, orthodontists have begun to use clear, removable braces with plastic trays called aligners, which move teeth successfully but can only be used where there is no bite problem.

  • Headgear. This is usually worn only at night and uses a horseshoe shaped wire to push the back teeth further back into the mouth, solving overcrowding problems at the front of the mouth.

  • Invisible Braces. Invisible or cosmetic braces consist of a series of thin, clear plastic ‘gum shields’, which fit over your teeth and straighten them gently over a period of time. These are very effective for minor tooth movements and are comfortable to wear.

Your orthodontist may also recommend the removal or one or more teeth to create more space, and regular monitoring will be important as treatment progresses. On average, braces are worn for around two years, and a plastic retainer is usually used at night following their removal.

Your Family Dentist in Cork Can Help

For excellent dental advice and treatment, including a specialist orthodontist with much experience in invisible, cosmetic and fast braces, call Guiney Dental today on 021-481 0535.


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