Orthodontics is an important and vital branch of dentistry. Recent historical excavations confirm this Particular Branch of Dentistry has existed over the ages and across the societies. To put it in simple words this branch of dentistry deals with correcting misalignment of the teeth or straightening the teeth. It also covers correcting misaligned jaws. As a result the branch of dentistry contributes heavily in improving your smile as well as dental wellbeing.

Treatments that are involved in orthodontic dentistry prove effective in straightening the teeth, closing gaps between the teeth and even correcting an irregular bite. These improvements are mostly achieved through use of braces. Braces – in the conventional sense – are fixed orthodontic appliances. In other words braces remain fixed in your mouth for a specific period of time. Then these are taken out and you start wearing retainers.

People undergo orthodontic treatments in large numbers. A section of these patients want to improve their aesthetics through these treatments whereas others aim to improve their oral health in the long run. A private orthodontist in London says braces are available in a large number of varieties. The range includes fixed braces made of metal to removable clear aligners.

In the following section of this blog post let us explore through few popular types of braces. This discussion is expected to prove helpful for you in taking informed decision as and when the need arises.

 Different types of orthodontic braces

Orthodontic braces can be broadly divided into two categories, namely

Let us start with invisible braces.

Invisible braces or invisible clear aligners

Technological advancements have done wonders for the world of orthodontic dentistry in the recent times. As a result now there are braces that are virtually invisible. Thus you can easily straighten the teeth with absolute discreetness. These invisible braces come in varieties. Here are some of the standard variations:


This is one of the most popular varieties of invisible braces the world over and the UK is no exception. It makes use of a series of custom designed aligner trays to gradually move your teeth into correct alignment. These aligner trays remain virtually invisible in your mouth. Moreover the aligners are easily removable. On average you wear each set of aligners for about a couple of weeks. Then you shift on to the next set of aligners in the given series. It is crucial to wear the aligners for anywhere between 20 and 22 hours every day for desired and timely result.

Invisalign braces come in different versions. Few examples include the following –

Invisalign Teen – as the name suggests – is meant exclusively for teenagers. It comes with a ‘wear indicator’. This indicator fades from blue to clear when you comply with the rule and wear the braces regularly. On the other hand Invisalign i7 can straighten your teeth in just 3 months flat. It makes use of a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth into correct alignment. Invisalign i7 is used in minor to mild cases of crowding.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces fit behind with the inner surface of your teeth discreetly. These braces prove effective in correcting the misalignment of the teeth. There are different varieties of lingual braces available. Each variety caters to a particular purpose. According to one of the Best Orthodontists in London a version of these braces is categorically meant to straighten only the six to eight teeth at the front. Once your treatment ends you have to visit your dentist to have lingual braces removed.

Ceramic braces

Popularly called ceramic braces these are actually brackets that come either transparent or in the colour of the tooth. Compared to traditional braces made of metal this variety has a much subtler appearance. Similar to traditional metal braces these brackets too take about 18 to 24 months on average to straighten the teeth.

Cosmetic straightening

Cosmetic straightening focuses only on straightening the six to eight teeth at the front of the mouth. These front teeth are most visible. This is how cosmetic straightening differs from orthodontic braces. Since this procedure has a targeted approach it delivers results very fast. The procedure can bring your desired results in just as little as six months. Moreover the procedure makes use of techniques that are far more discreet compared to metal braces.

Conventional fixed orthodontic braces

In this category the options include –

Fixed metal braces

Fixed metal braces are a very common option to straighten the teeth. in fact there is hardly anyone who does not know about it. This option is very common among teenagers. It provides effective and reliable results. The brackets of these braces are bonded to your teeth using a wire. The wire connects the brackets. The brackets exert slow but steady pressure to pull the teeth gradually into correct alignment.

Self-ligating braces

These look very similar to the traditional metal braces. The only difference is the wire in this range of braces is fitted using a spring clip and not elastic bands as in conventional braces. This minimises friction between the wire and the brackets. Self-ligating braces offer less potential discomfort. Moreover these are less prone to discolouring, easier to clean and enable more teeth movement compared to the other varieties.

Role of retainers in orthodontic treatments

Technically retainers have no role in an orthodontic treatment. But retainers play a crucial role in the aftercare part. Without the retainers you perhaps can never achieve straighter teeth successfully. Once the braces have done their part and your treatment is officially over you have to be on retainers to prevent the teeth from a relapse. A relapse is when the teeth try to sink back into their previous alignment once you stop wearing braces on completion of the treatment. This is a very common phenomenon. In order to prevent this from happening dentists prescribe retainers to orthodontic patients during the aftercare stage. Retainer prevents your teeth from sinking back into their previous locations.

A renowned Wimbledon Orthodontist explains retainers are of two types, namely –

Removable retainers are usually worn at night. These are thin clear gum shields that mould to the teeth to hold them in line. Expert dentists at the Confidental Wimbledon in London explain fixed retainers make use of a wire made from stainless steel. Fixed retainers are unbelievably discreet and it is easy to forget about those.

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