Start the New Year by Improving Your Smile 0

The New Year always provides an opportunity to try and make some changes, whether this be to your lifestyle or even your appearance. If there are things that you feel uncomfortable about or lack confidence in, why not take the opportunity to make some improvements now? If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, we understand that this can have a big effect on you and you may not like showing off your smile. At Northenden House Orthodontics, we can provide a number of treatments to help you get the smile that you desire this New Year.


Traditional Braces

Metal braces are still widely used and are proven to be extremely effective for straightening and realigning crooked teeth. Whilst they have a reputation for being uncomfortable and slow, metal braces now use much smaller brackets than they used to and can provide quicker results.

Self Ligating Braces

Self ligating braces are a more modern alternative to traditional braces. Rather than using elastic bands to keep the wire in place, they use small metal clips. Some of the biggest benefits of self ligating braces is that they are designed to be more comfortable than traditional braces and can achieve faster results as the wires don’t need to be tightened at every appointment.

One of the main reasons that many people avoid seeking orthodontic treatment is that they are worried about what other people might think. Whilst having crooked teeth can have an effect on your self-confidence, this can be even more difficult if you are worried about your braces making your teeth stand out even more. However, in recent years, orthodontic technology has advanced considerably and there are a number of discreet treatments available:

Invisalign® Aligners

Invisalign® aligners are an extremely popular teeth straightening treatment as they are simple to use and almost invisible. Similar to a mouthguard, clear aligners fit over the teeth and are made from transparent, wafer thin medical grade plastic. Invisalign® are comfortable to use and can be taken out to eat, drink and clean your teeth properly. Orthodontists provide a series of clear aligners which are changed to the next pair approximately every 2 weeks, gradually moving the teeth into the required position.

Ceramic Braces

Similarly to traditional braces, ceramic braces are fitted to the front of the teeth, but metal brackets are replaced by subtle tooth coloured or clear brackets with metal wires running through them. As a result, they are much less noticeable than standard metal braces. Many people choose ceramic braces if they suffer from teeth irregularities that mean that Invisalign® treatment isn’t suitable.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces not only treat a number orthodontic problems, but they are probably the most discreet way of straightening teeth. Whilst lingual braces use brackets and wires, unlike traditional braces, all brackets are fitted to the back of the teeth so they are practically invisible to other people. To provide the most efficient treatment, the metal brackets are custom made for the individual shape of the teeth.

If you feel unhappy with your teeth and feel that the New Year is the perfect time to improve your smile, you can call Northenden House Orthodontics on 0161 998 2622 or email

Foods to Avoid This Christmas If You’re Wearing Braces 0

Now that Christmas is just a few weeks away, so too are the decadent and delicious festive foods that will take centre place on the dinner table. However, if you’re wearing braces during this time, it’s important to consider foods that could be damaging to your braces and teeth, however tempting they may be, and what you can eat on the day so you can still fully enjoy the celebrations.

Although there are many traditional treats available at this time of year, sugary, chewy and hard foods should be avoided, as they could get caught in your braces and damage or break them. Food particles could even become lodged in the crevices of the braces and lead to tooth decay or other oral health problems if not cleaned away properly. It may seem difficult, but resisting these sweet, sticky or hard foods will ensure the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment and that the smile you want can be achieved as quickly as possible and without complication. Here we’ve put together a list of foods best to avoid whilst wearing braces this Christmas, as well as foods which you can eat:

Candy canes - Candy canes decorating the Christmas tree or boiled or chewy sweets adorning gingerbread houses, are commonly consumed at Christmas. Although it’s fine to indulge, when braces are involved the chewy sweets can bend wires and harder sweets can pop brackets. Damaging your braces could lead to further treatment costs for repair, or cause a delay in treatment. Foods high in sugar are also more easily damaging to braces wearers’ teeth, as teeth are harder to clean - sugary foods can rot teeth and cause tooth decay and discolouration if teeth aren’t brushed or flossed properly.

Christmas pudding - Besides being high in sugar, festive chewy desserts like Christmas pudding or mince pies can get caught in your teeth. Chewy food can clog up your braces and make eating and chewing difficult, and may well be embarrassing trying to deal with if you have guests around. Chewy foods can also pull the wires off your braces or make them difficult to clean. Again, if your braces and teeth aren’t cleaned properly, cavities, plaque or other tooth problems may result.

Ice cubes - For those celebrating Christmas with your favourite drinks, chewing on the ice cubes should be avoided, as this could seriously damage both your braces and your teeth and create unwanted dental bills. Also, if you’ll be drinking sugary beverages, make sure to take the proper care of your teeth afterwards!

Hard vegetables - Despite vegetables being good for your health, raw vegetable snacks, or other hard festive foods such as stone fruits or crunchy nuts, can damage the wires and brackets of braces quite easily if you’re not careful. Hard foods should be avoided if possible, and vegetables can be made more manageable by being boiled and cut into smaller pieces. 

What You Can Eat

If you’ll be wearing braces this Christmas, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the treats you love to eat, yet you might need to be more careful not to have anything that could damage your braces or leave stains on your teeth once your braces are finally removed. Just remember to take it slowly when you’re eating and you’ll better avoid discomfort or any sudden issues whilst chewing. Here are some festive foods that you can enjoy with braces:

The main Christmas dinner components, such as the turkey, potatoes and vegetables are fine to eat so long as the vegetables are cooked well and cut up into more manageable pieces.

Alternatives to a sticky Christmas pudding include ice cream, or a festive chocolate log which can be more easily cleaned from the wires and brackets, and won’t be as difficult to chew. Alcohol or sugary beverages are best switched for water or a low sugar squash, to lessen the risks of sugar hiding within the brackets and teeth, which can eventually lead to tooth decay. One day of indulgence won’t hurt though, so long as you remember to clean your teeth properly afterwards!

However, if damage does occur to your braces or teeth over the festive period, you can contact the Northenden House dental practice for the earliest possible appointment on 0161 998 2622.

How Lingual Braces Can Give You the Smile You Have Always Wanted 0

For a beautiful smile more and more of us are benefitting from cosmetic dentistry to align our teeth, enhance our facial structure and gain confidence in our appearance. However, many of us considering these benefits may be put off by having to spend quite a long period of time wearing traditional fixed braces, putting on hold the smile we’ve always wanted. Wearing traditional braces can take up to two years, and if you have planned events where you’ll want to look your best, you may feel that this is not an option and that you’ll be left unhappy with your smile. There are alternative orthodontic solutions however, which can improve your smile without even being noticeable to others. Lingual braces are an ‘invisible’ option which allow you to smile confidently, even during treatment.

How Can Lingual Braces Work For Me?

Lingual braces offer exactly the same solution as traditional fixed braces, except that they are completely discreet when you smile. Unlike conventional braces, lingual braces are fixed to the inside surfaces of your teeth, making them virtually invisible to others.

Using latest technologies, the lingual brackets and wires are fully customised to the individual shape of each of your teeth. As a result the brace will be less bulky and more discreet compared with conventional braces, and will also be more comfortable.

If you have always wanted a straighter smile without affecting your social situations and lifestyle, lingual braces could be the best solution. Lingual braces are a perfect treatment option for teenagers or adults who have a limited time frame, or who may feel self-conscious about wearing braces. This orthodontic solution is very popular for people with a public profile, who want to achieve a straighter smile without it being noticed.

Stages of treatment

  1. An initial consultation will review your mouth and check that you are suitable for treatment. Here you can ask any questions about lingual braces and find out more about how it works and how long it will take. The time it will take is highly individual, although treatment usually takes a bit longer than wearing traditional metallic braces. If you’re suitable for treatment, an intricate impression of your teeth will be created, which will then be used to form your custom made braces.
  2. Once your braces are formed they can be fitted. These will need to be fitted individually to match the different contours and shapes of your teeth. When the brackets are in place, the wires are threaded through, and your treatment process can begin.
  3. You’ll need to check in with your orthodontist regularly throughout treatment, and make sure to take proper care of your teeth during this time. Once treatment is complete, you’ll see the results of a straighter and more confident smile that you’ve always wanted.

Lingual braces are an ideal treatment option as they have the same high level of effectiveness in correcting your smile as traditional fixed braces, without the worry of people seeing that you’re straightening your teeth. A common problem with traditional braces is that they can leave signs of decalcification from the erosion of enamel on the front of your teeth. Because lingual braces are placed behind the teeth, they will not leave any unwanted marks that people could see on your front facing teeth, giving you a better looking smile.

If you’re based in Manchester and want to learn more about lingual braces and other orthodontic treatments to get the smile you’ve always wanted, please call us on 0161 998 2622 to book an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

How Do Lingual Braces Work? 0

Studies suggest that your smile is often the first feature noticed by others, however many people may feel that they are unable to smile comfortably and confidently whilst wearing traditional metal braces. Due to modern technologies, traditional braces are now smaller and provide faster treatment than previously. There are also alternative, virtually invisible orthodontic solutions which can give patients confidence and a better experience during treatment, whilst still delivering the desired results. Lingual braces are a highly discreet option to treating a variety of orthodontic problems, helping to achieve straighter teeth and get you noticed with your perfect smile. Here we will discuss in detail the lingual brace treatment and how it can benefit those looking for orthodontic care which has less impact on their appearance during treatment.

What Are Lingual Braces?

Comprised of small metal brackets and arch wires, lingual braces work in the same way as traditional braces. They apply a continuous pressure that gently and gradually straightens teeth, helping to fix gaps, overcrowding, rotated teeth or problems with bite. After treatment teeth will look properly set and aligned, and will continue to grow more naturally. Unlike traditional brace treatment however, lingual braces are bonded to the back of the teeth. The brackets are custom-made to fit the individual shape of the problem teeth. This makes lingual braces virtually invisible to others, and at the same time they work just as effectively as traditional braces to straighten teeth and create a healthy smile.

Lingual braces are a perfect alternative for those patients that are not suitable for clear aligners, as another subtler method of treatment. Furthermore they are far more effective than aligners for complex movements like correcting rotations, changing the heights of teeth and closing spaces.

In terms of cost, getting lingual braces is a more expensive option than wearing traditional braces. This is because the procedure requires more specialised training to affix the customised brackets, which use the latest CAD/CAM technology. Yet the hidden braces can provide fast results and are also less likely to lead to problems such as decay and decalcification than with traditional braces. Any discoloration that occurs will be at the back of the teeth where it will not be visible.

What to Expect When Wearing Lingual Braces

Patients may experience a little discomfort for a longer time than using other treatment options because the braces are attached to the back of the teeth, but after this initial period they are very easy to live with.

Good oral hygiene when wearing lingual braces, as with any other treatment, is essential to keep teeth healthy and make the most care provided. Food can more easily become trapped at the back of the teeth, so it is highly recommended that you take care to brush your teeth after every meal. You should be able to eat normally, though sticky, hard or sugary foods should be avoided. Going for regular check-ups with your dentist will also ensure your teeth are well looked after during treatment, and you’ll get the best results on completion.

Patients participating in contact sports are advised to wear a mouth guard for protection. Other activities, such as cycling, roller-skating, or skateboarding, could also benefit from use of a mouth guard. It also may be difficult to play an instrument initially during lingual treatment, although this will become easier as your mouth becomes accustomed to the brace.

Types of Lingual Braces

There are a number of different types of lingual aligners which can be recommended by your orthodontist to suit your specific requirements. We recommend the following lingual treatments: 

  • Incognito™ lingual braces are custom-made from gold. They are created using state of the art technology to ensure they are an exact fit for your teeth.
  • The STb™ Light Lingual System is a more cost effective alternative to Incognito™, but still delivers a great level of comfort with an efficient treatment.
  • Forestadent® 2D Lingual Brackets are extremely flat, with a thickness of just 1.3 to 1.65mm. The brackets flatness in combination with its round edges and smooth surfaces make it the number one lingual bracket for patient comfort.

If you’re considering getting lingual braces as a more discreet way to achieve your perfect smile, or would like to find out more about the options for treatment, please contact our Manchester clinic on 0161 998 2622.

How Invisalign Works 0

Invisalign® is one of our most popular orthodontic treatments, correcting crooked, gapped or overcrowded teeth to improve the overall smile. Using a custom-made series of clear aligners, which are similar to mouthguards, Invisalign gradually and gently shifts the teeth back into place.

If you are curious about the process or will shortly be undergoing treatment and want to find out more, please read on for our guide to how Invisalign works.