What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that focuses on the development of the face, jaws and teeth to achieve optimal function and aesthetics.

Orthodontists are professionals highly skilled in the diagnosis and identification of facial disharmony and dental abnormality. They use a variety of fixed and/or removable braces, to guide a patient’s natural teeth into the most desirable position, resulting in improved facial harmony and a lifetime of beautiful healthy smiles.

Straight teeth not only result in a beautiful smile but a healthier one too. Numerous studies have highlighted the value of an attractive smile –significantly improving an individuals’ personal and professional lives. With improved function and easier cleaning it’s also more likely that you will maintain healthy teeth for your lifetime, with less treatment at the dentist long term.

Adults and children can benefit from orthodontic treatment. New technology, leading to reduced treatment times and inconspicuous braces, means an ever-increasing number of adults and children are undergoing treatment.

Getting Started

If you are wondering if you can benefit from Orthodontic treatment, a consultation with a specialist Orthodontist is necessary. Here at Warwick Orthodontics, we listen to your concerns about your teeth and what it is that you are hoping to achieve. A thorough Orthodontic examination is then carried out. After examining the condition of your teeth, gums and supporting bones, we will discuss the treatment options with you, and inform you of what your treatment will involve and its approximate cost. You will be encouraged to ask questions about any aspect of your proposed treatment.

Because everyone's teeth are distinct to them, it is only after a thorough examination of your teeth and your orthodontic requirements, that we will recommend the optimum course of treatment for improving your smile. So, your first step is to contact us for a consultation appointment.

Adult Orthodontic treatment

In recent years Orthodontic treatment for adults has become more accepted. Public awareness has increased enormously after the American sitcom “Ugly Betty” was shown on UK television screens.

Age is no longer a barrier to having a beautiful smile and a correctly functioning bite. You are never too old for braces with modern materials and techniques which are available at Warwick Orthodontics.

Adults are now able to receive Orthodontic treatment which may not have been available to them as children. Technological advances in Orthodontics have made braces more acceptable to adults because they are less obtrusive, easier to wear and treatment time is considerably shorter. Improvements in dental health mean that more adults are keeping their teeth for life. Orthodontic treatment can help you to keep your teeth for life. When you are happy with your straight smile, you are more likely to look after it and spend the time cleaning your teeth.

At Warwick Orthodontics adults can refer themselves directly, or be referred by their dentist. In the majority of cases Orthodontics alone may offer the solution; in other cases the comprehensive and conservative solution usually involves a combination of general dentistry and Orthodontics. We will be happy to communicate with your dentist if a combination approach is required.

Children Orthodontic treatment

It is recommended that a child’s first visit to an Orthodontic specialist take place no later than the age of seven if an Orthodontic problem is detected by the dentist. Sometimes, malocclusions are present behind seemingly acceptable smiles. And while treatment may not be started until years later, early examination allows the Orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and plan appropriate treatment at the optimum time. In some cases, early treatment may be initiated to prevent more serious problems from developing. This early intervention may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated and avoid the need for extraction of permanent teeth.

Some early warning signs that may indicate your child should see an orthodontist:

  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • Protrusion (overjet)
  • Deep bite (overbite)
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Thumb and finger sucking
  • Speech difficulty
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Signs of tooth wear

Certain treatments can be provided under the NHS if a child comes into the Index of Orthodontic Need (IOTN) criteria. Your orthodontist will explain this to you in more detail.


You are already fully aware that oral hygiene is seriously important; however a regular and meticulous oral hygiene routine becomes doubly important when wearing braces. Without a high standard of hygiene during your Orthodontic treatment, damage to the teeth and gums can occur within a few hours as a result of a build up of plaque and/or food debris. Here is some advice on how best to avoid this:

Brush your teeth regularly

Whilst you are wearing braces, it is necessary to brush your teeth after every meal and snack, using fluoride based toothpaste. To do this, make sure that you take a toothbrush with you to work, school or when out socialising. If you do not develop this routine, the enamel will be permanently stained and damaged in places exposed to attack by food and plaque acids, this is called decalcification.

Your orthodontist will show you the use of proper orthodontic toothbrushes and brushes to clean in between the brackets. Electric toothbrushes should not be used with fixed braces. You need to brush your teeth for 3 minutes each time.


Removable braces are good for correcting mild orthodontic problems, such as moving a single tooth, and are also used as part of bite correction treatment.

You will have to wear your brace full-time, throughout the day and night times for sleeping. You should take it out only for cleaning and for contact sports.


These are the braces made famous by “Ugly Betty”

Fixed braces are glued onto individual teeth. They can precisely control the position of your individual teeth. Using brackets and wires over a period of nine months to two years, a beautiful new smile can be created for you. After the initial fitting you will need to visit your orthodontist every 6-8 weeks for adjustments.

Excellent brushing throughout the course of fixed braces is essential to avoid any permanent damage to your teeth. There are also diet restrictions with fixed braces- hard, chewy, sticky foods need to be avoided throughout the course of fixed braces. These foods can damage the fixed brace, which then leads to slower treatment progress and longer treatment time.

Functional Appliances

Functional appliances are usually fitted to improve the way your jaws function and to improve the way the teeth bite together. They are commonly used to reduce the prominence of upper incisors, thus improve “goofy teeth”. Using functional appliances can save many patients from jaw surgery later in life.

Removable functional appliances are the most popular. Worn over the top teeth and the lower teeth, when the mouth is closed the lower jaw is brought forwards. The functional brace may be in one piece (eg Medium opening activator) or in two separate parts (eg Twin Blocks).

Functional appliances should be worn on a full-time basis, day and night, for about 12 months.

They must be removed for cleaning, swimming and contact sports. After this initial treatment period they are usually worn at night times for about a year.

Further orthodontic treatment with fixed braces may be needed after a course of functional appliance treatment in order to detail the alignment of the teeth.

Fixed functional appliances are sometimes used with fixed braces (eg Herbst appliance) to move the lower teeth forwards.


Invisalign® is a removable, near-invisable brace system that uses a series of custom-moulded aligners to move your teeth. The great thing about Invisalign® is that the aligners are transparent and nearly invisible (no sliver metal brackets or wires), therefore nobody is going to realize that you’re undergoing treatment – unless you tell them!

Using advanced 3-D computer imaging technology to project tooth movement, Invisalign® allows you to visualise your treatment from start to finish, through animated visuals, which can be viewed online.

You will have to replace the old aligner for a new one every two weeks which will continue to guide your teeth in the necessary direction. Each new aligner may give an initial feeling of minor discomfort for a couple of days - this sensation is typically described as a feeling of pressure and is a sign that Invisalign® is working. The aligners gradually reposition your teeth over the period of treatment – the length of which is determined by the complexity of the case and what you and your Orthodontist have agreed to achieve. You will need to visit the orthodontist periodically for Orthodontic appointments in order to check your treatment progress and make sure your teeth are responding to the aligners.

Invisalign® aligners must be worn full time, and are removed for brushing, flossing or eating. With the advantage of removing for eating you can eat and drink all your favourite foods. After each meal, however you must make sure that you brush your teeth, prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain good hygiene.
Invisalign® appliances are not suitable for all types of malocclusion, your orthodontist will advice you if your malocclusion can be corrected with this modern technique.


Teeth are just like every other part of our body - they change with time, whether we have had Orthodontic treatment or not. Also, after braces have been removed, teeth have a tendency to try and return to their original position. To prevent this we advise that you wear retainers. Wearing a retainer is simple, but it is actually a complex piece of equipment and a significant part of your Orthodontic treatment. To maintain the success of your Orthodontic treatment, it is vital that you wear your retainer as advised.

Retainers - retain the tooth alignment-nowadays we recommend wearing your retainer initially full time for 3-6months, then night times for life long and you will be delighted with your smile forever.

There are a range of different retainers available. The most common retainers are clear removable, but sometimes fixed retainers (very thin wire) are placed on the inside surface of your teeth. We will recommend to you the type of retainer that will best keep your teeth in position following treatment.

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