Short-term orthodontics

Many adults wish to have straighter teeth without the inconvenience of wearing braces for up to two years. Luckily, a straighter, more beautiful smile can be yours in just a few short months- thanks to short term orthodontics. 

What is short-term orthodontics?

As the name suggests, short term orthodontics are braces that are used for a short period of time to align teeth. They are a fairly recent advancement in the field of orthodontics. We used Short term orthodontics to realign the front top and bottom teeth that are most visible when you smile.

How does short-term orthodontics work?

Similar to traditional braces, they rely on brackets and archwires that are attached to the front of teeth. However, in short term braces, moulds of your teeth are sent off, and braces are packaged into a custom-moulded tray. The custom-mould tray conforms to your teeth and gets fitted into your mouth, and the archwire is adjusted.

The Procedure: What’s Involved?

During your consultation, Dr JJ Serfontein will perform a comprehensive examination of your gums, teeth, and oral health to determine if you are a candidate for short term orthodontics. The examination includes taking X-rays, intraoral and facial photographs, and impressions of your teeth. If you are an ideal candidate, we will send your models off to a laboratory where they will create your custom braces. At your next appointment, we will install the brackets and tooth-coloured archwires.  

After the initial placement appointment, you will need to visit us every four to five weeks for adjustments and tightening of the wires until your treatment is complete. These adjustment appointments should last only about 15 minutes. Once your treatment is complete, the wires and brackets are removed, revealing your brand new smile!

The benefits of short term braces

Less time Spent in Braces

Perhaps the best feature of short term braces is that it drastically reduces the time you need to spend in braces. For traditional braces, the average treatment time is two years. With short term orthodontics, the treatment time can be as little as six months.

Less noticeable

Although traditional steel braces are most often the types of braces used, ceramics braces can be substituted to make the braces less visible if you feel self-conscious about wearing braces.


Short term orthodontics is ordinarily less expensive than conventional braces. Since you pay for braces in monthly instalments, it means you will have to pay for fewer months as compared to traditional braces. 

Are short-term braces right for you?

If your goal is an enhanced smile, short-term orthodontics is a suitable option, provided your jaw and teeth have developed fully. While short term braces are ideal for minor straightening issues, they cannot give you the same results as traditional orthodontics. Short term braces are primarily cosmetic and aimed at fixing crooked teeth. They will not fix or treat serious malocclusions such as overbites or underbites.

Caring for your orthodontics

Here’s how you make your treatment go smoothly as possible:

  • Follow all your orthodontist’s instructions on brushing and flossing.
  • Visit our Oral Hygienist every 6 months for a cleaning.
  • Avoid hard, crunchy or sticky foods. Rather eat soft foods which are easy to chew.
  • Beware of sugary, acidic soft drinks including regular and diet drinks, fruit juices, fruit drinks and energy drinks.
  • Wear your elastics.
  • Keep your scheduled appointments with your Orthodontist.

For the best results, we sometimes combine short-term orthodontic treatment with cosmetic treatments such as bonding, contouring and veneers. 

At JJS Dentistry, we are committed to accurately assessing every patient’s need to treat it most effectively in the shortest period of time. We use state-of-the-art appliances and cutting-edge techniques. Contact us for an Orthodontist in Cape Town. We can help you achieve a healthy and gorgeous smile in no time!

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