Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that is concerned with the harmony of the teeth, mouth and jaws. It aims to bring these facial structures into alignment and straightens smiles using braces and other dental appliances. Misaligned teeth and jaws not only look strange, they can cause real medical problems, including head and neck aches, teeth grinding and uneven wear on the teeth leading to tooth loss.
Not everyone will have seen an orthodontist, such as those at the Harley Street Dental Clinic, or even know what they do. Patients in the UK whose teeth grew through relatively straight and even, with no major misalignment of the jaw, won’t have been referred for orthodontic treatment on the NHS as a child. But this doesn’t mean that orthodontics in Harley Street have nothing to offer.
The NHS treatment is only available if major corrections are needed. Mild to moderate misalignments of the teeth (so-called cosmetic adjustments) won’t have been addressed.
As adults, our crooked, crowded and crossed teeth can still be straightened, which can also help to close up gaps between the teeth. This isn’t just good news for the look of our smile, it also means that our teeth will be healthier too. Straighter teeth are more straightforward to clean, as getting the brush and floss into the gaps is easier. And straighter teeth also have fewer spaces for bacteria and plaque to build up in, meaning there is less chance of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
For self-conscious teens and adults, there is a range of options for orthodontics in Harley Street. It’s not just about the conspicuous metal train track braces, sported by many a kid in the 80s. Although these braces are highly effective and necessary in some cases, they are now available in more lightweight materials and with coloured elastic for those that want to wear their braces as an accessory.
For anyone looking for something more discreet, Invisalign clear aligners are available for teens and adults. These transparent braces fit over the teeth and gums like thin mouth guards and are practically invisible.
And for something truly invisible, lingual braces are fitted to the back of the teeth, and so are hidden from view.