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National Orthodontic Week – how the University Dental Hospital of Manchester is changing lives

The University Dental Hospital took an active part in this year’s National Orthodontic Week (NOW), which ran from 22nd to 28th February 2011, promoting the importance of the healthy smile for teenagers across the region.
The focus for NOW 2011 was young people, and during the campaign the British Orthodontic Society aimed to highlight the problems of dealing with protruding teeth. To coincide with the main event at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Dental Hospital will set up a display in their Outpatient Department, explaining the important work that orthodontists do to help change young people’s lives.

Conditions such as protruding upper front teeth, crowding or gaps, asymmetry, deep bite, reverse bite, open bite and impacted teeth are all tackled by orthodontists – mainly using corrective techniques involving braces.
A fixed brace is the most common type of brace today, often known as "train tracks". Brackets are glued onto the teeth and linked by wires. Small elastic hoops are often used to hold the wire in position. The wires exert gentle pressure to move the teeth into a new position. The brackets can be metal, ceramic or even gold and the elastic hoops come in many colours.
A removable brace is sometimes used for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth or expanding the dental arch. It has a plastic baseplate with wires and springs attached. Removable braces need to be worn all the time except for cleaning or sport.
David Waring, Consultant Orthodontist at the Dental Hospital said: “Orthodontics is devoted to building beautiful smiles by bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and having an orthodontic brace can make a dramatic change in the appearance of an individual’s teeth.
Children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged men and women are all taking advantage of the simplicity and newer, less visible appliances that can correct tooth positions. There are now orthodontic solutions for every lifestyle and straight teeth function better, are easier to clean and create an improved dentition.