There are numerous gains to be made from orthodontic treatment, no matter what your age. Not all of them are cosmetic, either, although in the case of adults it is often aesthetic concerns that are the primary driving factor behind their decision to visit an orthodontist.
Orthodontics is fairly standard for children and teenagers these days, and it is often recommended to have an orthodontic check between the ages of seven and nine, because early intervention can make treatment simpler and less invasive, often without the need for orthodontic tooth extractions.
However, the NHS criteria for orthodontic treatment are pretty stringent, which means many young people miss out on treatment that would still benefit both their oral and general health and their self-image and confidence during an important development stage of life.
Harley Street Dental Clinic offers private orthodontics to patients of all ages – children, teenagers, and adults. There are more discreet options available than standard fixed metal braces, too, which is beneficial to adults with busy professional schedules, and to image-conscious teens.
There are two main types of orthodontic appliance: fixed braces, and removable aligners. Braces can be metal, or can be made of clear and tooth-coloured wires combined with porcelain or ceramic. Lingual braces are metal but are fitted to the back of the teeth, rendering them invisible in day-to-day settings.
Aligners are made from clear plastic and fit comfortably over the teeth. Systems such as Invisalign use a series of aligners to move your teeth into a better position week by week – you change your aligner fortnightly.
Meanwhile, another popular aligner system, the Inman Aligner, is a single appliance that works rapidly to improve issues such as crowding or protrusion of the front teeth.
Protruding front teeth are more at risk of damage through accident and injury, so bringing them into better alignment will help to protect them.
Any form of orthodontic treatment has the potential to improve your dental hygiene, because both braces and aligners reduce the hard-to-reach areas where plaque can amass. As long as you observe strong hygiene practices, orthodontics can reduce your risk of both dental decay and gum disease.