Q – Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A – Orthodontic treatment can boost a person’s self-image as an attractive smile is one of the benefits.

Alleviating or preventing physical health problems is just as important. Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction and chewing difficulties. A “bad bite” can contribute to speech impairments, tooth wear, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.

Q – How do braces straighten teeth?
A – Braces use constant, gentle pressure which, over time, moves teeth into their proper positions. Your braces are at work during every moment of your orthodontic treatment. The two main components of fixed braces are: 

- the brackets that are placed on your teeth; and

- the main archwire that connects the brackets.

The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. The archwire is shaped to reflect your “ideal” bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want you to look after treatment. The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting on your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the archwire, the bone on the other side softens allowing the tooth to move. New bone is laid down where the tooth has moved from.

Somethimes attached to your braces are elastics (rubber bands) which exert the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.

The response of teeth to removeable aligners is the same but the forces are applied by the aligners themselves which are made to fit the teeth in their intended position and gently guide them towards this when worn.  Each aligner achieves a small incremental correction in this manner.

Q – When should my child first see an orthodontist?
A – It is recommended that every child should have an orthodontic screening no later than age seven. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed.

Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery or other serious corrections later in life. This is normally picked up by your dentist and you will be offered a referral to your local orthodontic centre.

Q – Can it be too late for a person to be fitted with braces?
A No, because healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can improve the smile of practically anyone - in fact, orthodontists regularly treat patients in their 40s, 50s and beyond!

Q – Are braces suitable for adults as well as children?
A Yes, today's high tech materials are very suitable for adults and children alike.

Some recent innovations include clear or tooth coloured brackets and the sophisticated engineering of the tooth moving wires which result in less time spent wearing braces. Invisible braces options such as invisalign and lingual are obviously popular with adults and older teenagers.

Q – Who needs orthodontics?
A – No one can deny the importance of a winning smile. It creates a pleasing appearance, promotes self esteem and is valuable to social and career success.

Orthodontics is important not only for a great smile and improved self confidence, but for better dental health. Today, orthodontic treatment is convenient and affordable so that individuals from childhood through to retirement can reap its valuable benefits. Braces fit easily into today's active lifestyles. They're comfortable, easy to keep clean and less visible than in the past. New techniques and materials can extend the period between appointments, saving time and expense.

Q – What is the right age for orthodontic treatment?
A – The right age can be any age. Early examination allows us to determine when a child's problem should be treated for maximum improvement, in the least time and at the lowest cost.

Certain treatment techniques provide significant benefits for patients between 6 to 11 years old. Treatment during these growth stages can achieve results not possible once face and jaw bones have finished growing. Full orthodontic treatment with braces is generally begun after all the permanent teeth are in place, often at ages 12 or 13.

Q – How much will treatment cost and what payment plans are available?
A – These will vary, of course, depending on the nature of the problem. You may be surprised to discover that orthodontics is less expensive than you anticipate.

Some treatments for children are available under the NHS. For adults and those children who do not qualify for NHS treatment, we offer various finance plans to help meet individual treatment needs. An interest free 0% finance (subject to status) is available over a 12 month period. This can be extended to 24 months subject to a 30% deposit. Alternatively you can have a low cost payment plan at 7.9% APR over a 24 month payment term.

Of course, it is important to keep in mind the lifetime value that orthodontics provides.