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Updated by Rob Edwards on Apr 11, 2016
Headline for Teeth Straightening – What Are Your Options?
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Rob Edwards Rob Edwards
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Teeth Straightening – What Are Your Options?

As well as allowing our teeth to function properly, having straight teeth also helps to give us confidence in our smile. With so many developments in orthodontic technology over recent years, there are now a number of different teeth straightening treatments available.

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Retainers

Retainers

Once teeth straightening treatment is complete, retainers should be worn to ensure that teeth stay straight. In most cases, it’s recommended that retainers are worn for a minimum of a year, however, as teeth can move throughout life, they can be worn on a longer term basis. Your orthodontist can recommend the most appropriate type of retainers to keep your teeth in position.

2

Functional Braces

Functional Braces

Functional braces are designed to help correct teeth that stick out a lot and affect the bite. They are worn on both the upper and lower teeth, consisting of two plastic removable braces. They are called functional braces as they allow you to function normally when wearing them. This form of treatment is most commonly used for patients who are still growing as functional braces encourage the jaw to grow into the correct biting position, helping to prevent problems in later life.

3

Lingual Braces

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are probably the most discreet teeth straightening solution. As with traditional braces, lingual braces use metal brackets and arch wires, but are fitted to the backs of the teeth and are custom made to fit the individual’s mouth. This form of teeth straightening treatment can also treat some more extreme irregularities that can’t be treated by Invisalign.

4

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic Braces

Similarly to metal braces, ceramic braces are fitted to the front of your teeth, but are much more discreet as the brackets are clear, or tooth coloured, with metal wires running through. Ceramic braces are an ideal treatment for people that have more extreme irregularities of the teeth that can’t be treated by Invisalign, but still want to keep treatment as hidden as possible.

5

Invisalign

Invisalign

Invisalign clear aligners are probably the most popular teeth straightening treatment available as they are almost invisible and can be removed to eat and clean your teeth. Similar to a mouth guard, clear aligners fit over the teeth and can be very successful at straightening gapped, crooked or even overlapping teeth.

Made from wafer thin, medical grade plastic, each set of clear aligners are worn for around 2 weeks, gradually moving the teeth into the desired position.

6

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-Ligating Braces

Self-ligating braces are quite similar to traditional metal braces, but instead of elastic bands, they use small metal clips to keep the wire in place. Self-ligating means that the bracket can tie itself to the arch wire of the brace – as a result, the wires don’t need to be tightened at each appointment.

One of the biggest benefits of self-ligating braces is that they are designed to be smaller and maybe more comfortable than other metal braces and treatment time may be reduced.

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Metal Braces

Metal Braces

When you think of braces, metal braces spring to mind. They consist of small metal brackets that are bonded to the front of your teeth, with a wire running through them that is kept in place by elastic bands. Whilst metal braces or “train tracks” were once widely thought to be bulky, uncomfortable and painful, braces are now much smaller and work faster than they used to.