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In the quest for the perfect smile, you might be considering braces and wondering what the process involves.

While each type of braces work in their own way, you normally start off by visiting an orthodontist for an introductory consultation. During this meeting, they will do a clinical examination of your teeth and take x-rays, ready to advise what type of braces might be best for you and your lifestyle.

What happens next depends on what type of treatment you have been prescribed. Here, we take a look at the individual types of braces and the process you’ll go through to get them fitted.

Clear retainers

Clear retainers like Invisalign, are a common option for adults looking for an almost invisible solution to teeth straightening. During your first appointment, your orthodontist will take physical impressions of your teeth and map out a precise treatment plan, which will include the total treatment time and the exact movements of your teeth.

Your retainers will then be made from thin, medical grade plastic and you’ll need to wear them for around 20 hours a day to get the best results. One of the main advantages with clear aligners is that you can take them out to eat, if necessary.

As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth will gradually move into the desired position and it is likely that you will need to wear a new set of retainers every week, with scheduled check-ups every six.

Metal braces

For teeth that are particularly crooked or have significant bite problems, it may be that metal, train track braces are the best option. At your fitting appointment, your orthodontist will start by cleaning your teeth and ensuring that they are dry, before putting on an adhesive and sticking on the brackets.

The arch wire will then be threaded through the brackets and elastic will be used to keep them in place. This process normally takes around one to two hours and may cause slight discomfort afterwards.

Getting used to your new metal braces usually takes a week or two and you may find that you have some small sores in your mouth at first.

If you are having lingual braces fitted, this process is the same except that the brackets and wires are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front.

The process for ceramic braces is also the same, but the brackets are much less noticeable than they are on normal metal braces, due to the clear or tooth coloured nature of the brackets.

At the end of your treatment for all types of braces, it is likely that you will need to wear a clear retainer at night to ensure that your teeth stay in their new position.

Caring for your braces

When your braces are on, it’s important to take care of them so that you get the best results and protect your teeth from stains and decay. Ensure that you follow common dental practices, such as daily brushing and flossing, and when it comes to braces with brackets, always spend at least two minutes cleaning around them.

Avoiding high sugar foods can help keep bacteria at bay and protect your teeth from unnecessary decay. In addition, avoiding foods that are hard or sticky, such as chewing gum or apple, can help protect your braces from damage.

Finally, ensuring that you have regular follow ups with your orthodontist means that you stay on track and reach your end goal faster.

Are you ready to create the perfect smile? If so, call our expert team today on 0161 622 0987, or email info@oldhamorthodontics.co.uk.