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How dental braces work

Braces in Colchester are orthodontic tools which straighten and rearrange teeth, in order to help them mesh together and form an effective bite, but they can also improve your appearance in the long term. Straight, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to suffer from a build up of plaque and tartar which can encourage the formation of cavities.

Treatment with braces can take between 4 months and 2 years depending on the severity of the orthodontic condition being corrected. This is highly variable depending on the general health of the patient and the condition of their teeth during the process.


Although stereotypically used during late adolescence, orthodontic treatment with braces can be effective throughout your life assuming you have all your adult teeth. Due to the age-related funding of NHS dental care, orthodontic treatment in adolescence is still advantageous for most patients.


There are health limitations with the use of braces in Colchester; the presence of gum disease or teeth weakened by active cavities will not benefit from the use of a brace and may in fact be damaged by the additional pressure being placed upon them. Our dentists will recommend the treatment of any underlying dental conditions that are active before pursuing orthodontics.


A traditional metal brace consists of metal brackets affixed to the teeth and connected by an arch wire. However, this is not the only option available in our clinic; ceramic braces provide similar functionality to the traditional metal brace but are translucent. They are often made from a toughened, hardened sapphire glass, which is more commonly found in designer watches and phone screens. For mild to moderate misalignments, clear aligners could be a viable option; they are lightweight plastic forms similar to a gum shield, but much thinner which fit over the teeth. Again, suitability is heavily dependent on each individual patient and the condition of their teeth.


Treatment provided with any orthodontic tool requires regular check-ups. In the case of braces, adjustments are needed and with an aligner, regular dental check-ups allow our specialist dentist or orthodontist to assess your progress.Oral hygiene while using braces is extremely important; they can easily become clogged with food particles which will encourage cavities to form around the brackets and under the archwire, so diligent cleaning is required after every meal.


The removal of the brace after teeth have been realigned is not the end of your orthodontic treatment. Teeth have an unfortunate habit of reverting to their original positions after a brace has been removed. In order to preserve all of the hard work done up until this point a retainer is used to immobilise the teeth whilst they become fixed in their final position.


Braces have been used in dentistry for more than 100 years with many successful outcomes and the chances of orthodontic treatment with a traditional metal appliance being ineffective is extremely low. They are the approved NHS treatment option for misalignment, bites and overcrowding which may require arch extension.


If you have any further queries about braces in Colchester or are curious if you might need braces yourself feel free to get in contact with our clinic.