Dental braces have been in use for many years. In fact, they are believed to have been used as far back as 2000BC by the ancient Egyptians. The use of metal and animal parts wrapped around the teeth which have been found in mummies is not something that most of us would recognise as dental braces these days!
Even some modern traditional braces can seem off putting for some people though. The thought of having to wear metal braces that are visible for all to see means that some people choose instead to settle for having crooked teeth.
Thankfully, advances have been made over the years and some, like the Invisalign orthodontics that we provide at the Sync Dental Centres in Addlestone, offer patients the opportunity to have an even smile without the visibility and inconvenience of traditional metal braces.
Most of you will probably associate orthodontics with cosmetic dentistry and you would be largely correct in doing so. There is little doubt that this is the main incentive for most people who choose to have their teeth straightened and it is true that a smile that reveals a set of crooked teeth is far from ideal.
A smile that you are unhappy with can also have a ‘knock on’ effect on your confidence and may mean that you choose to avoid certain situations and are reluctant to smile when mixing with others for fear of revealing your crooked teeth.
Whilst aesthetics are the main reason most people choose orthodontic treatment, it is also worth noting that having straighter teeth usually means that you have a better chance of having healthier teeth and gums. Where teeth are crowded or overlap, pressing against each other, it can be very difficult to get the bristles of a toothbrush in these areas and even flossing may be a challenge. Where areas such as these are not properly cleaned, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease is heightened as sugars and bacteria collect in these hard to reach places.
For those of you who are concerned about having to wear metal braces, there is good news. Modern orthodontics such as the popular Invisalign orthodontic system, mean that you no longer have to have a mouth full of metal wires to straighten your teeth.
Replacing the traditional metal wires and brackets are a series of transparent ‘trays’ that are made from a medical grade plastic to ensure safety and strength. These trays are produced after we have taken impressions and scans of your teeth. Following discussions with you, a series of these trays will be made with each one designed to be worn for a short while and gradually reposition your teeth until the final tray completes the treatment.
The trays are designed to not only be transparent but removable by the patient. This should be done when you are eating (no more spinach stuck in the braces!) and when cleaning your teeth. It is important that you do clean your teeth well before putting the trays back otherwise you will trap food between them and decay could occur.
You should also make sure to wear the trays as instructed and because they are removable doesn’t mean that you should do so whenever you want. Removing them other than for eating meals and cleaning your teeth, is likely to result in the treatment period extending, possibly significantly. It is acceptable, for instance, if you wished to remove them for an interview as long as you put them back afterwards. Doing this every day for work though would dramatically extend the length of time your treatment would take.
When you first wear a tray, it may feel a little strange. Some patients find that it affects their speech a little initially and also excessive saliva flow may occur as your brain will realise that there is a foreign object in the mouth and trigger more saliva in an attempt to remove it. These are ‘teething’ problems though and you should find that they subside quite quickly. Given that straightening teeth can take a year or more, except for milder cases, these initial issues are not a major problem and would occur with any type of brace. Once this initial period has passed, most patients generally find Invisalign trays to be comfortable and almost forget that they have them.
Our Addlestone patients can be assured that they will receive excellent care from our cosmetic dentists and we can offer advice and answer any queries that you might have when you arrange to have your initial consultation. Remember too that we offer a range of finance plans to help you to spread the cost of this, and any other treatment, over a period of time to make it more accessible to all.
For more information on Invisalign or other orthodontics that we provide, such as the Six Month Smiles system, please call the Sync Dental Centres on 01932 856541.