What the ex­perts Use on their teeth Break­down on adult Braces

In aid of National Smile Month we’ve gath­ered the facts – and fic­tion – on all things toothy, so you can find out how to get your grin look­ing its best

Look (UK) - - LOOK BEAUTY -

The way our teeth look is pretty im­por­tant to us, with a whop­ping 81 per cent of us wor­ry­ing how our teeth look in pho­tos and one in four peo­ple hid­ing them when they smile. It comes as no sur­prise, then, to hear that adult braces are on the up. Whether you missed the boat on get­ting them as a teen or went through a treat­ment but for­got to wear your re­tainer (yes, those things were given to you for rea­son), you might now be feel­ing your teeth aren’t quite in the state you’d like them to be.

But don’t panic! Per­fect­ing those pearly whites doesn’t mean a fast-track ticket to train tracks. There are lots of more dis­creet op­tions on of­fer.

Dr Ra­man Au­lakh, a spe­cial­ist or­tho­don­tist at Bow Lane Den­tal prac­tice, tells us: ‘The main three op­tions for straight­en­ing your teeth are lin­gual braces, clear fixed braces and In­visalign.’

Here, Dr Ra­man talks us through the treat­ments…

lin­gual Braces are: Fixed metal braces that are placed be­hind your teeth in­stead of in front. Pros: They’re com­pletely in­vis­i­ble and work as quickly as fixed braces. cons: They can be un­com­fort­able and ir­ri­tate your tongue. You might also have a lisp for a while, but this should go once you get used to the braces. Food gets stuck in them eas­ily and you have to make sure you clean them care­fully. cost: From £4,000

clear FIXED Braces are: Braces with translu­cent brack­ets and white wires. Pros: They’re less vis­i­ble than metal braces and cheaper than other in­vis­i­ble al­ter­na­tives. cons: They’re not com­pletely in­vis­i­ble and come with all the is­sues of nor­mal braces. They need to be cleaned care­fully af­ter meals to pre­vent tooth stain­ing and de­cay. The wires and brack­ets can be stained by smok­ing and if you eat cer­tain foods, like curry, and drink lots of red wine or cof­fee. cost: From £2,800

In­visalign Braces are: A set of clear plas­tic re­tain­ers called align­ers, which slowly shift your teeth into place. Pros: They’re vir­tu­ally in­vis­i­ble, you can take them out and they’re cheaper than lin­gual braces. cons: You have to take them out to eat or drink and then put them back in straight af­ter­wards. Don’t lose them, though, as they’re costly to re­place. Oh, and be sure to carry a tooth­brush at all times as your teeth need to be clean af­ter eat­ing to put them back on. cost: From £2,99

FAQ How long do you have to wear them for? This de­pends on the sever­ity of the in­di­vid­ual case, but any­where be­tween six months and two years. will they hurt? No, they don’t hurt – it’s more of a pres­sure that’s felt on the teeth. How should I choose my or­tho­don­tist? This is a per­sonal choice, but I’d say go on rec­om­men­da­tions, tes­ti­mo­ni­als and past case ex­am­ples. It’s also re­ally im­por­tant to have a good re­la­tion­ship with your or­tho­don­tist, so I’d sug­gest book­ing a con­sul­ta­tion with them and see­ing if you get along first. are the re­sults per­ma­nent? Yes, but only when a re­ten­tion method is used. This can be in the form of a re­mov­able re­tainer that’s worn ev­ery night or with a fixed wire be­hind the teeth. At Bow Lane, we use both meth­ods and they’re in­cluded in your treat­ment plan. what if I can’t af­ford it right away? Many prac­tices of­fer in­ter­est-free pay­ment plans for treat­ments £1,00 and over.

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