Home LifeStyle Health A brief discussion on functional orthodontic appliances to help you take an...

A brief discussion on functional orthodontic appliances to help you take an informed decision


As far as United Kingdom is concerned, nearly one out of every three children require some orthodontic treatment like functional orthodontic appliances or the other. In this critical circumstance let us explore answers to few questions related to braces and orthodontics that are common.

What is the purpose of having braces?

The purpose of wearing braces is same as undergoing an orthodontic treatment. It is meant to make the best of your teeth. One of the common objectives of orthodontic treatment is straightening the teeth by use functional orthodontic appliances. When your teeth are straight and in correct alignment you can take a better care of your teeth. And gums more easily to maintain optimum oral hygiene. Orthodontic treatments are also meant to improve your bite. With an improved bite you can eat with greater comfort. The range of dental treatments also transforms or enhances your smile to help you with better aesthetics.

Orthodontic treatments mostly involve using braces. The range of appliances serves a number of purposes including the following –

  • Close gaps between the teeth
  • Straighten crooked, crowded or protruding teeth
  • Correct bite so that when the mouth is closed the teeth at the top and bottom always meet
Important Tips on How to Relieve Swollen Jaw Pain

As a prerequisite you must possess strong and healthy gums that are free of diseases before signing up for any orthodontic procedure. It is utmost crucial to keep your teeth and the braces exceptionally clean throughout the course of your treatment. Otherwise you may become easily susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. This is the reason why you must have strong and healthy gums – to combat these typical oral health problems easily, explains an orthodontic expert in London who handles a large number of patients with functional appliance braces.  The range of treatments usually lasts anywhere between twelve and thirty months, that is one year to two years and a half. During the course of your treatment you have to visit your treatment provider every four to ten weeks on average.

Does the NHS offer braces?

The NHS offers orthodontic treatments to youngsters below 18 years of age. These treatments are free of cost and the NHS does levy any charge on your patients. However treatment is only provided to a young patient when a dentist feels the individual is in need of the treatment.

As far as adult patients are concerned, usually the NHS does not provide any orthodontic treatment for functional orthodontic appliances. However if an individual requires the treatment for health reasons (and not for any cosmetic or aesthetic enhancement) only then it may be approved on a case to case basis. For more information on this you can access the NHS website or speak with an NHS dentist near you.

When is the best time to be on braces?

Dentists have a slight difference of opinion regarding this matter although the majority of them identify the age around 12 and 13 years as the most ideal age to be on braces. Why this age is chosen? At this age the mouth and the jaws are still growing and thus it is easier to bring about the transformations to their teeth and the jaws. However these treatments can be efficiently carried out earlier or later. The jaws and the facial bones and structure of adults attain maturity and do not grow anymore unlike that in children. As a result adult patients have much limited scope of improvement and their treatment could also last much longer.

What is the procedure to get the braces fitted?

Every child does not require wearing a brace but those who do could be referred to an orthodontist by their dentist. As per the existing legal compliance only registered specialists can identify themselves as a specialist orthodontist. Other dentists who may have completed additional training are also allowed to provide orthodontic treatments. When treatment using functional orthodontic appliances is concerned, apart from orthodontists there are also orthodontic therapists who shoulder the responsibility of adjusting braces under the supervision of an orthodontist. Orthodontic therapists usually work with orthodontists as a team. You can check out the qualifications of an orthodontist in the UK by logging into the website of the General Dental Council and search through its registers.

How about some ideas about braces

Varieties of braces are available each having its own peculiarity and features. By and large you can categorise these appliances into two sections – fixed braces and removable aligners.

  • Fixed braces

As the name implies this range of orthodontic appliances remains fixed to your teeth and stays inside your mouth all the time. The NHS offers free treatment for young patients under the age of 18 years using fixed braces. Fixed braces are made from varieties of materials including metal, clear ceramic and others. The clear braces are obviously more inconspicuous and less visible. An orthodontic expert who charges reasonable cost for functional braces assures; all these varieties of braces are easily available from private dentists.

  • Removable aligners

This range of orthodontic appliances is basically thin mouth guards that are made from high grade, flexible, clear and transparent plastic. You also get these aligner trays easily from private dentists across the country. The custom fitted aligner trays sit snugly over your teeth. You can take the aligners out from your mouth while having meals or brushing the flossing the teeth. you should better clean your removable aligner trays every day and must wear those to your teeth at least 20 to 22 hours a day to facilitate smooth, seamless and timely shifting of your teeth into their correct position.

What is the success rate of braces?

Modern orthodontics dentistry has evolved a lot to deliver expected results. But it is important for you to follow your dentist’s instructions as closely as you can. If as a patient you are committed to your treatment then success will remain a distant dream. Once your treatment gets over you must wear retainers for some time. This prevents your teeth from sinking back into their initial position before the treatment. Varieties of retainers are available these days including fixed and removable ones. Braces can easily trap food debris and cause more plaque build-ups in your mouth than usual, warns a dentist with years of experience in providing You have to take extra care and precaution with cleaning the teeth and maintaining optimum oral hygiene every single day. It is also important to watch what you eat and avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.