Covid-19 Pandemic

Following advice, from the NHS and British Orthodontic Society, Smiles Orthodontic Practice is closed to patients. All appointments for the foreseeable future have been cancelled.

If you have a fixed brace and wear elastics please continue with these. Leave a phone message if you run out so we can send you some more. Removable appliances and retainers should continue to be worn as instructed.

If you have a problem with your orthodontic appliance there is guidance in the Orthodontic Emergencies Protocol on the British Orthodontic Society website.

At this stage please only contact the practice if you have a concern or orthodontic emergency that is causing discomfort. Unfortunately we are unable to replace brackets, repair broken removable appliances or provide replacement retainers.

These are extraordinary times and the safety of our patients, staff and families is paramount.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Smiles as soon as possible.

The Smiles Team

The Brace

NHS Braces for Children and Under 18’s

Occasionally patients start their treatment with a removable brace which may be followed up by the more common fixed brace. Patients receiving NHS treatment will have a standard metal appliance fitted. These are sometimes known as ‘train tracks’. This consists of a brace that uses individual metal brackets, unique to each tooth, that are secured in a precise location onto each tooth. A thin straightening wire is attached to the brackets and is held in place by small elastic bands. The tension in the wire causes the teeth to move gently into position. As the teeth move it is necessary to replace the wire. Your orthodontist will use different wires to achieve different types of movement. Usually treatment takes 18-24 months.

Some treatments which involve correction of the relationship between the jaws require the patient to wear larger elastics worn between the arches usually at the back of the mouth.

Once the fixed braces are removed removable retainers are fitted to prevent relapse. Removable retainers are initially worn every night. The need slowly reduces to only two nights a week and orthodontists recommend this weekly care to guarantee teeth remain aligned. A removable retainer is like a very thin, virtually invisible clear gum shield which is easy to wear. The orthodontist monitors the retention phase for a year but recommends lifelong wear to prevent relapse.