Removable braces and other orthodontic appliances: all you need to know

21 July · 4 minutes

Orthodontics using fixed devices is one of the most commonly known options for aligning teeth. However, removable orthodontic appliances have entered the sector with a bang and have since become the preferred option for patients seeking a more discreet and practical treatment option. Just as effective as traditional braces, removable orthodontics continues to gain popularity every day.

What are removable orthodontic appliances?

Before we get started, it‚Äôs important that we address what a removable orthodontic appliance is. When we talk about removable orthodontics we are referring to aligners or other appliances that are removable - not fixed to the teeth like braces. So really, there is no such thing as ‚Äúremovable braces,‚ÄĚ the correct name is removable orthodontic appliances. Therefore, patients can remove these aligners as needed, like when eating and brushing their teeth. This system offers more freedom, more comfort and better hygiene.

Patient holding her removable orthodontic appliance close to the camera

Types of removable orthodontic appliances

Now that we have a clear understanding of what exactly a removable orthodontic appliance is, we can get into the different types. Contrary to popular belief, there is no single type of removable orthodontic appliance. They are classified into the following two groups:

  • Passive devices. They are used at the end of treatment to maintain the movements made and so that the teeth don‚Äôt become misaligned again. Also known as removable orthodontic retainers, they do not perform any action, they only keep the teeth in position.
  • Active appliances. These devices contain elements that exert pressure so that the pieces move. 

Who can wear this type of orthodontics?

The vast majority of patients who need orthodontic treatment can wear removable appliances. This type of orthodontics is effective in many problems of dental origin and can treat from the simplest to the most complex cases. The vast majority of patients who need to align their teeth can opt for these devices. The removable type of orthodontics appliances is effective for nearly all cases, regardless of the complexity.

Removable orthodontic appliances for kids

Removable braces and other orthodontic appliances are also a great option to fix overbite and other dental problems for the little ones. The only thing to consider is that they’ll have to be taught to wear the appliance correctly for as long as possible and to be taught to take them off only at mealtimes and when brushing their teeth.

Removable braces and other orthodontic appliances for adults

Adults tend to prefer removable braces or other orthodontic appliances, as they give them more freedom but are also much more aesthetically pleasing. Although it’s possible to remove the aligners during an important event, such as a wedding, our specialists recommend wearing them at least 22 hours a day to ensure that the treatment is carried out correctly and within the expected time.

 Close up of a patient’s smile before orthodontic treatment

What problems can removable orthodontic appliances treat? Overbite, gaps, and more

Removable orthodontic appliances are used to treat many dental and malocclusion problems. Some of the problems that can be treated with removable braces or other orthodontics appliances are overbite, gaps, teeth crowding due to lack of space, open occlusion, overjet, deep malocclusion, or posterior crossbite.

In addition to things like overbite and gaps, removable braces or other orthodontic appliances can also treat many other pathologies and diseases. The first time you visit your orthodontist, they will tell you if your case can be treated with removable appliances.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of removable orthodontic appliances?

Like everything, clear removable braces and other orthodontic appliances have some advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at its pros and cons:

Advantages of removable orthodontic appliances

Removable orthodontics offer many advantages. They allow for more comfort, with the possibility of removing the device for important events, but especially when eating and brushing teeth. No more worrying about food (hard foods or dyes), as there are no dietary restrictions.

Clear removable braces or other orthodontic appliances are also aesthetically pleasing, making the treatment invisible from the outside, and requiring less time than traditional braces to properly align the teeth.

Disadvantages of removable orthodontic appliances

However, as the name implies, aligners, or clear removable braces, can be easily removed, which means it’s possible to lose them or be tempted to go a day without them. We recommend that you carefully follow your orthodontist’s instructions and that you are really motivated and disciplined, to ensure the process is effective and everything goes according to plan. In your Kit you will find a box to store the aligners at mealtimes to prevent them from getting lost or broken.

Differences between removable and fixed orthodontics

Close up of a patient’s smile with braces

Although the effectiveness of fixed and removable appliances is the same, these devices differ on some points. Let’s see what are the biggest differences between fixed and removable orthodontic appliances:

  • Esthetics. Removable orthodontic appliances are much more discreet than fixed metal appliances, and also go more unnoticed than invisible braces. Removable orthodontic aligners are transparent and conform to the anatomy of the teeth, so you can smile with total confidence without almost anyone noticing that you wear braces.
  • Comfort. Clear removable aligners are much more practical and comfortable than braces or other types of fixed treatments.Patients have no restrictions when it comes to eating and can eat hard and colored foods (tea, coffee, wine, curry...) or simply bite into a piece of fruit without the risk of breaking the device or staining it. It is also possible to remove them easily.
  • Hygiene. Aligners allow for better oral hygiene, as the toothbrush is not restricted and can easily access all areas of the mouth. The same goes for dental floss, which is recommended daily. When wearing fixed appliances, interdental brushes should be used to clean the areas between the appliance and the teeth. The aligners do not create a bad smell and in turn can be cleaned with cold water and neutral soap to guarantee fresh breath, unlike braces that could lead to a buld-up of bacterial plaque and tartar.
  • Follow-ups. Fixed appliances require regular follow-ups with the orthodontist to adjust them, which is not the case with invisible aligners, They are changed every week or two. In addition, in certain cases, such as with Impress removable orthodontics, it is possible to monitor your treatment remotely, thus saving many follow-up visits. This is also true for when patients enter the phase that requires removable orthodontic retainers.

The cost of removable braces and other orthodontic appliances in the UK

The cost of removable braces and other orthodontic appliances in the UK varies depending on many factors such as the price established by the professional, the prestige of the clinic, the duration of the treatment and the complexity of the case, among others. However, the price of removable orthodontics is usually between £1,000, for the simplest and fastest cases, and£5,500, for the most complex cases and, therefore, will require more months of treatment.

Prices for Impress removable orthodontic treatments are competitive, transparent and without surprises. All aligners, accessories, face-to-face and online visits are included in the total price of the treatment. In addition, we offer financing plans so that you can comfortably pay for your treatment in installments.

Specialist explaining Impress kit to patient

Impress removable orthodontics: the invisible orthodontics revolution

At Impress we are specialists in treatments with removable orthodontic appliances. In our clinics we offer quality, affordable, comfortable and hygienic treatment to align your teeth.

At Impress we offer several types of treatments, depending on the complexity of the case. Our team of orthodontists will be in charge of evaluating your case and indicating which type of treatment is best suited to you. Do you want to know more about our removable invisible orthodontic treatments? You can contact us via WhatsApp, by phone at +44 20 3808 1072, or by filling out our online form to directly schedule an appointment.

Discover more about your personalised treatment plan at your initial consultation with Impress. Find your nearest Impress clinic!

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Frequently asked questions about removable orthodontic appliances

How do you clean removable braces and other orthodontic appliances?

To clean removable orthodontic appliances you should use cold water and brush them with soap with a neutral pH.

Are removable orthodontic appliances useful in adults?

Yes! Removable orthodontics are ideal for adults and just as effective as fixed orthodontics. In addition, being invisible it is ideal to wear it in your day to day without anyone noticing that you are aligning your teeth.


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