Children’s Removable Braces
Removable braces have a limited but very important place in the treatment of children and young adults. Your specialist orthodontist is trained in diagnosing and intercepting problems with simple treatment at an early age (8+). This can often reduce the complexity of later treatment or even stop the need for later treatment at all.
It can involve simple tooth corrections to adjust the bite and give an immediate improvement in cosmetic appearance. It can also involve valuable readjustment of the bite in growing patients (known as orthopaedic improvement) to help function, speech and the visual appearance of the jaws and teeth before children reach their socially sensitive years.
Simple removable braces are usually plastic plates that cover the roof of the mouth and clip on to a few teeth. They can only carry out limited tooth movements and are mostly used to complement fixed braces.
Other types of removable braces called retainers are used at the end of treatment to maintain straight teeth. They work by holding the teeth in their new position while the surrounding gum and bone adjusts.
Sometimes we may ask patients to continue wearing their removable brace for one or two nights a week indefinitely, and our young patients usually agree it’s a “no brainer” if it means perfectly straight teeth for life.
Functional removable plastic braces can be fitted onto the upper and lower teeth and work together to change the position of the jaw and teeth in 9-12 months, and these types of appliances need to be worn all the time.