Dr.ª Carina Brito

Orthodontia and Paediatric Dentistry


Orthodontia beyond the miraculous rubber bands

HPA Magazine 9


Ever since orthodontia became known as a dentistry specialty, a few of the aspects that have always been at the heart and in the success of its approach were the efficacy of the treatment, its evolution and the time required.
Orthodontia has developed hugely with the emergence of new techniques and systems that offer more and more options for treatment. Nowadays, we have an immense variety of removable and fixed, metallic or aesthetic, visible or invisible devices. The goal is always to find the most aesthetic, efficient and comfortable solutions for the patient.


The development of self-ligating brackets, namely the Damon® system, has brought many advantages to orthodontic treatments, using less force, as the system reduces friction to the minimum. As such, the movement of the teeth is easier and faster, offering patients more comfort and fewer consultations.
Self-ligating systems often allow us and, when necessary, to resolve situations without having to resort to extracting teeth.
Self-ligating brackets do not need the famous “coloured elastics”, which despite being attractive to the younger generation, bring two basic disadvantages: i) they easily lose elasticity and therefore need to be substituted more often, causing the need for more consultations and longer total treatment time and ii) they accumulate more bacterial plaque, making oral hygiene more difficult and precipitating gum problems.
The search for more aesthetic braces led to ceramic brackets, lingual braces (placed on the internal side of the tooth) and “invisible” braces, such as Invisalign®.
Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that straightens of the teeth through a series of removable and practically invisible aligners made to measure, through 3D computerised technology.
Teeth shift with a series of aligners, gradually and more comfortably for the patient. The aligners should only be removed in order to eat and sanitise, bringing substantial advantages: allowing free and easier eating, without worrying about braces and for correct hygiene.
With so many options currently available, it is possible to have successful orthodontic treatment, even for adults, improving the aesthetics, health and function of the teeth, thus allowing for better and complete rehabilitation.
The first examination by an orthodontist should be at around the age of 6 or 7, because certain problems are easier and faster to correct at this age. However, there are quite a few problems in adult patients that could also benefit from orthodontic treatment, such as:

  • Gum problems, due to difficulty in hygiene caused by the incorrect position of the teeth;
  • Loss of teeth, with movement of adjacent teeth, causing difficulty in placing implants and the resulting final aesthetic;
  • Excessive and asymmetric dental erosion due to the incorrect position of the teeth and/or jaw;
  • Problems with maxillary articulation can be associated with incorrect dental and/or jaw position and be corrected and resolved in this way.