Why Invisalign is the best clear aligner system

Why Invisalign is the best clear aligner system

Why choose Invisalign?

Clear, removable aligners are a popular way to straighten teeth, especially among adults and teens. There are no metal brackets or wires, and you can take them out to eat, drink and clean your teeth.

There are lots of clear aligners to choose from, but our favourite, without a doubt, is Invisalign. It’s backed by two decades of innovation, and other aligners don’t even come close.

Preview your treatment

At the beginning of your treatment, we’ll take some scans of your mouth to create digital models of your teeth and jaws. We’ll use these to plan your treatment and design your custom-made aligners.

Before we manufacture your aligners, we’ll show you a 3D treatment plan and your planned result. You’ll be able to see how your teeth will move and how they’ll look at every step of your transformation.

Invisalign smile preview

SmartTrack material

Invisalign is made from a patented SmartTrack material. It’s designed to provide gentle, continual forces for maximum control and predictable results. The thin aligners will snugly fit the contours of your teeth for added precision and comfort.

Invisalign’s SmartTrack material can even help to speed up your treatment – simple corrections can take as little as three months.

SmartStaging technology

Invisalign’s SmartStaging technology programmes the movements of your teeth in a specific sequence. By moving each tooth at the optimal time, we can achieve greater predictability and the best possible outcome.

SmartForce features

One of the things we love most about Invisalign are its special features, which make it suitable for a wide range of cases. Mail-order aligners are only capable of making simple movements and treating very straightforward complaints.

Invisalign boasts buttons, bite ramps, precision cuts and power ridges, all of which allow us to treat challenging cases without fixed braces.

Recent innovations

Innovation is at the heart of Invisalign, and these clever aligners keep getting better. More recently, Invisalign introduced a solution for class II bites, (where the upper jaw protrudes past the lower jaw), providing growing patients with an alternative to functional appliances and elastics.

The number one choice for specialists

Invisalign is only available from Invisalign-trained dentists and orthodontists. As a specialist orthodontic practice, we only use the best appliances, and Invisalign delivers a fantastic experience from start to finish. Specialist orthodontist Dr Iain Hoeltschi (pictured below) is proud to be an Invisalign Platinum Provider.

Invisalign’s 3D software gives our specialist orthodontists maximum control, so we can tailor your treatment plan to achieve exceptional results.

Iain Hoeltschi Invisalign doctor

The proof is in the smiles

We’ve seen amazing results from Invisalign, and our patients have enjoyed the convenience of a removable brace that’s virtually invisible. Worldwide, Invisalign has been used to straighten more than 8 million smiles, including over 2 million teenagers.

To discover more about Invisalign, contact us to arrange a free consultation with a specialist orthodontist in Hove. We can discuss all your options, including clear and metal fixed braces, and answer all your questions.

Invisalign or braces?

Invisalign or braces?

Invisalign or braces?

Invisalign aligners and fixed braces are both fantastic ways to straighten your teeth. Ultimately, one isn’t better than the other, and it all depends on which brace is the best choice for you.

To help you appreciate their unique differences, we’ve summarised the pros and cons of both options. If you still need help deciding, we’d be delighted to arrange a complimentary consultation with our specialist orthodontist in Hove.


Clear, removable aligners.

Invisalign vs braces

Invisalign turned teeth straightening on its head. Instead of aligning teeth with brackets and wires, it works using clear, removable aligners.

At the beginning of your treatment, we’ll take digital scans of your teeth and jaws. Within minutes, we can show you a preview of your new smile and how your teeth will move throughout your treatment.

Once we’re happy with your virtual treatment plan and projected result, we’ll manufacture your custom-made aligners.

Every 1–2 weeks, you’ll change to a new set of aligners. Just like traditional braces, clear aligners use gentle forces to align your teeth. You’ll see an improvement within just a few months.

Invisalign pros

  • Most people won’t realise you’re wearing braces
  • You can take your aligners out for up to four hours each day
  • You’ll be able to eat and drink all your favourites
  • You can brush and floss as usual to keep your smile healthy
  • Aligners are smoother and less likely to rub than metal braces
  • You’ll see how your teeth will move before we fit your aligners

Invisalign cons

  • They’re not always suitable for more complicated cases
  • Because they’re removable, it is possible to misplace your aligners
  • If you don’t wear your aligners as instructed, you won’t see results
  • Some patients develop a lisp for a few days when they start treatment

Fixed braces

Traditional metal train tracks

Invisalign vs braces

Fixed braces have undoubtedly stood the test of time, and they’re still a popular way to straighten teeth today.

Fixed braces move teeth using brackets and archwires, which are attached to your teeth for the duration of your treatment. We’ll adjust your braces every 6–8 weeks when we see you for your check-ups.

Not everyone wants to hide their braces, but if you are looking for something more discreet, fixed braces also come with clear ceramic brackets.

We also offer self-ligating braces, which use clips instead of elastic bands to secure the archwire in place. Self-ligating braces can speed up your appointments and make it easier to keep your braces clean.

Fixed braces pros

  • They’re suitable for a wide range of cases
  • They give us unparalleled control over your treatment
  • You won’t forget to wear fixed braces – they’re always working
  • Clear brackets blend in discreetly with your teeth
  • They’re one of our most affordable treatment options

Fixed braces cons

  • They are more noticeable compared to Invisalign
  • Your brackets and wires could irritate your mouth at first
  • You’ll need to brush your teeth carefully to keep them clean
  • There are certain foods, like crusty bread, that you’ll need to avoid

To find out more about Invisalign vs braces, contact us to arrange your complimentary consultation. We’ll assess your smile and find out more about your lifestyle to help us recommend the right treatment for you.

Is there an age limit for braces?

Is there an age limit for braces?

Is there an age limit for braces?

Braces are often associated with children and teenagers. However, they’re not the only ones who can benefit from a straighter smile.

We’re helping more adults to straighten their smiles than ever before thanks to the latest invisible braces.

There’s no age limit for orthodontic treatment, and you’re never too old to find a smile you love. Adults can achieve exceptional results, and with the right aftercare, your new smile should last a lifetime.

Invisible braces for all ages

Clear aligners have been welcomed by patients of all ages, especially adults. Unlike traditional metal braces, they’re incredibly discreet. Invisalign aligners are crystal-clear, so they’re almost undetectable.

Invisalign aligner

Invisalign aligners are also removable, and you can take them out for up to four hours a day. This means you can take your aligners out to enjoy food with friends, and to give your teeth a thorough brush afterwards.

Invisalign is deservedly our most popular invisible brace. Our specialist orthodontist Dr Iain Hoeltschi is a Platinum Provider with years of experience. Removable aligners aren’t right for everyone, though, so luckily we have some other options for you to choose from.

Metal fixed braces are available with clear, ceramic brackets, or we can cleverly hide your braces behind your teeth (see below). Of course, you can still opt for traditional train tracks. They’re cost-effective and excellent at aligning teeth.

Hidden lingual braces

Do adult teeth move differently?

Adult teeth can move slightly slower, but the difference is marginal. Overall treatment times are often shorter because adult cases tend to be straightforward.

Lots of patients are looking to simply align their front teeth quickly and conveniently, which can take as little as a few months.

Working around crowns and implants

It’s more common for adult patients to have restorations such as veneers, crowns, bridges and implants. Usually, these don’t present any problems, and we can comfortably plan your treatment around them.

If we do need to replace any restorations during or after your treatment, we’ll liaise closely with your dentist to provide you with a seamless experience.

NHS braces for adults

Our NHS contract covers braces for under 18s who need treatment to improve their dental health.

Unfortunately, NHS braces aren’t usually available to adults. In rare circumstances, it can be provided if you need treatment for health reasons. In the first instance, contact your general dentist for advice.

To help make private treatment more affordable, we offer a range of payment plans to spread the cost of your braces. Our all-inclusive fees cover every step of your transformation, from your scans to your retainers.

To learn more, contact us to arrange your complimentary consultation with a specialist orthodontist.

5 fascinating facts about orthodontists

5 fascinating facts about orthodontists

Facts about orthodontists

1. Orthodontists have more than 8 years of training

In the UK, it takes eight years to qualify as a specialist orthodontist. First, budding orthodontists must train as general dentists, which involves at least five years of study.

Before starting their specialist training, dentists gain valuable work experience in maxillofacial surgery, paediatric and restorative dentistry. Spaces on specialist courses are highly sought after, so the standard of applicants is very high.

The training itself takes three years. Successful graduates can then register as specialist orthodontists with the General Dental Council (GDC).

2. Only a small percentage of dentists are orthodontists

A very small number of dentists train to be orthodontists. In June 2020, 41,770 dentists were registered with the GDC, compared to just 1,384 orthodontists.

Over time, there has been a gender shift in dentistry and orthodontics. In the 19th century, only men could qualify as dentists. Now, just over 50% of specialist orthodontists are women.

Because of their small numbers, orthodontists can be hard to find in some areas. Thankfully, that’s not the case in Brighton & Hove. Splash Orthodontics boasts two highly experienced specialist orthodontists: Dr Iain Hoeltschi and Dr Sarah Grieve (both picture below right).

Female orthodontist

3. Orthodontists created the first dental speciality

Teeth straightening isn’t the only speciality in dentistry. But it was the first! Edward H. Angle was the first member of the dental professional to limit their practice to a specific treatment in 1900.

Other dental specialities include periodontics (gums), endodontics (roots) and prosthodontics (prostheses) – ‘dontics’ is derived from the Greek word for teeth.

Even if you’re having treatment with a specialist, it’s essential to see your dentist for routine check-ups. This is especially true during orthodontic treatment when it’s extra important to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

4. Orthodontists do more than straighten teeth

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just about appearances. We’re also interested in how your teeth function. We want you to enjoy a healthy, confident smile for many years to come.

Using fixed or removable braces, we can reposition your teeth to make sure they bite together correctly, helping you to chew efficiently and avoid uneven wear. As specialists, we treat some of the most complicated orthodontic cases, including multiple missing teeth, jaw discrepancies and cleft lips and palates.

In the UK, we’re lucky to have NHS orthodontic treatment for children who need braces to improve their dental health. Anyone under the age of 18 can be referred to an orthodontist for a free NHS assessment.

5. Orthodontists are always learning

There’s a vast amount of innovation in dentistry, which is incredibly exciting to be a part of. We can now treat most cases using discreet Invisalign aligners just as efficiently as traditional fixed braces. And instead of taking impressions using gloopy alginate, we can use our quick and comfortable digital scanner.

We speak for most orthodontists when we say, we love learning. From conferences to study clubs, there’s always something new for us to digest. To maintain our membership with the GDC, we’re committed to 100 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) every five years. This helps to guarantee the highest standard of dental care in the UK.

Dentistry is a close-knit community, so we also enjoy teaching and sharing our knowledge with our referring dentists and specialists. We regularly work together to provide our patients with the best possible experience and results.

To learn more about orthodontists, why not come and meet us for a complimentary consultation. To arrange your appointment with a specialist, contact us today.

Your free braces consultation

Your free braces consultation

Braces consultation

You can find out a lot about braces online, but nothing compares to a consultation with a specialist orthodontist.

Complimentary private consultations are available for all ages. Meet our friendly experts and ask us all your questions about orthodontic treatment.

Your consultation will last around 60 minutes, and it’s completely free. We do take a booking deposit of £49, but this is refunded in full when you attend your appointment.

What you can expect

You’ll receive a warm welcome when you arrive at our modern practice in Hove. Our receptionists will check you in and make sure that all the essential paperwork has been completed. We’ll send you a medical history and photo consent form to complete before your appointment if you can.

Dedicated treatment coordinator

Throughout your consultation, you’ll have your own knowledgeable treatment coordinator. They’ll be by your side during your appointment and your main point of contact.

If you’re feeling anxious, let them know. Your consultation will be relaxed and comfortable, but we’ll take things extra slowly if you’re nervous.

Photos of your teeth and smile

We’ll start by taking some photos of your teeth for our specialist orthodontist to review. These photos will form part of your orthodontic records and help us to review your progress during your treatment. It’s always great to see how far you’ve come when your braces are taken off.

Orthodontic assessment

Braces consultation

You’ll meet one of our two specialist orthodontists at your consultation: Dr Iain Hoeltschi or Dr Sarah Grieve. Both Iain and Sarah have completed full-time specialist training in orthodontics, and they have decades of experience.

During your assessment, your specialist orthodontist will gently examine your teeth and bite. They’ll be looking at the positions of your teeth and how they bite together. They’ll also make sure your teeth and gums are in tip-top condition and suitable for braces.

Once they’ve assessed your smile, your orthodontist will go through all your treatment options, which may include fixed braces, clear braces and Invisalign. You can also discuss complementary treatments such as home teeth whitening, and of course, retainers.

We’ve transformed thousands of smiles, so we can show you some examples, including cases just like yours. You’ll have plenty of time to ask us all your questions.

Fees and finance

Your treatment coordinator will take you through the costs of your different treatment options, and the various ways you can pay for your new smile.

We’ll give you a quote to take away, so you can take some time to consider all your options. If you think of any questions at home, don’t hesitate to contact us.

When you’re ready to start your treatment, your treatment coordinator will talk you through the next steps. Within a few weeks, you’ll be on your way to a straighter, confident smile.

NHS assessments

If you’re aged 17 or under, you’re eligible for a free assessment for NHS braces. To arrange an NHS consultation, you need to be referred to us by your dentist. You can contact us directly to arrange a private consultation. However, this won’t include an NHS evaluation.

To arrange a free orthodontic consultation, call 01273 203514 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

Can you eat chocolate with braces?

Can you eat chocolate with braces?

orthodontic emergencies

Eggcellent news, you can absolutely eat chocolate while wearing braces. There are a few foods you should avoid if you’re wearing fixed braces, but thankfully Easter eggs are okay (with a few provisos).

Easter do’s

  • Enjoy your Easter eggs at mealtimes, so you’re not grazing on chocolate throughout the day. This will help to limit your teeth’s exposure to sugar.
  • Drink lots of water afterwards to help rinse away the chocolate and sugar.
  • Brush your teeth, but not straight away. Tooth enamel is softened by sugary foods, so give your mouth at least 30 minutes to recover.
  • If you’re wearing Invisalign (pictured below), make sure your teeth are free from chocolate before you pop your aligners back in.
  • Invisalign braces
  • If you can, opt for dark chocolate, which contains less sugar and more cocoa than milk and white chocolate.
  • Brush your teeth using a toothpaste that contains fluoride and floss every day.
  • Use an interdental brush to clean between your brackets and underneath your archwire.

Easter don’ts

  • Don’t bite into thick pieces of chocolate straight from the fridge, this could knock a bracket off or bend a wire.
  • If you receive several eggs (congratulations), resist the urge to eat them all this weekend.
  • If your egg comes with sticky, hard or chewy sweets like toffees, pass them on to a lucky friend or family member.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, which can be very acidic and damaging to teeth.
  • Happy Easter from everyone at Splash Orthodontics.

    Is chewing gum bad for your teeth?

    chewing gum bad for teeth

    Does chewing gum have a negative effect on your teeth?

    chewing gum teethChewing gum is known for its ability to mask bad breath and freshen up your mouth, but how harmful is it for your teeth? If at all?

    Not all chewing gum is the same, which is why it can be difficult to identify which gums are good for your teeth and which are bad. Chewing gums that are high in sugar will obviously place your teeth at a higher risk of developing cavities, however ‘sugar-free’ gums can be viewed as a healthier alternative.

    Is chewing gum bad for your teeth?

    The short answer is no, but only if the chewing gum is the right kind. Leading dental industries have claimed that chewing gum can help keep tooth decay at bay but only if it’s sugar-free gum.

    What’s so special about sugar-free gum?

    Chewing gum should never be seen as a replacement for brushing or flossing your teeth. However, there are some chewing gums that can aid teeth cleaning, especially if they include xylitol; a sugar alcohol that acts as sugar replacement. Some studies claim that xylitol has been found to be promising in reducing dental caries disease and also reversing the process of early caries.

    Gum containing xylitol is widely understood to be ‘better’ for your teeth than gums high in sugar. Chewing xylitol after a meal is thought to help neutralise acids inside bacteria (which results in plaque). Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production, which again, helps neutralise acids released by bacteria.

    Does xylitol help reduce bacteria?

    Combining sugar-free gum with xylitol is thought to help reduce the growth of Streptococcus (a bacteria that causes cavities). Xylitol is thought to help stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth, which helps fight off cavity-causing bacteria.

    Which chewing gums are bad for you?

    bad chewing gumAs stated previously, chewing gums that are high in sugar are worse for your teeth. Stay away from bubble-gums as these are usually very high in sugar and can have the opposite effect on your teeth, contributing to plaque buildup and the spread of bacteria.

    The pros and cons of chewing gum

    We’ve summarised the key pros and cons for chewing gum below:


    Chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva production – chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is thought to help prevent tooth decay due to the amount of saliva you produce. Your saliva essentially helps rinse your mouth of the bacteria that would otherwise remain.

    Improves oral hygiene – chewing sugar-free gum will help negate the positive effects that come with chewing (saliva production, rinsing etc). Chewing gums that are high in sugar will have the opposite effect, as bacteria requires sugar in order to survive.

    Hardens your enamel – casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) is a substance that’s now being used in selected chewing gums. The short name for CPP-ACP is Recaldent, and it’s thought to help harden tooth enamel and fortify it against the threat of tooth decay.


    Tooth decay – chewing gums that are high in sugar (such as bubble gum) are more likely to cause tooth decay, gum diseases and cavities. When you chew these gums, the sugar released clings to your teeth and will slowly wear away at your enamel. The longer the sugar coats your teeth, the weaker your enamel becomes. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming sugary foods and drink is essential.

    Jaw ache – overeating chewing gum can result in jaw ache, and while manufacturers will claim that their gum can be consumed regularly, it’s not advised. Common side effects of chewing too much gum too regularly can result in headaches and sometimes even toothache. In extreme cases, this can cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TPD) a condition that causes discomfort around the face, neck and jaw.

    Stomach problems – chewing gum for longer than necessary can cause your stomach (specifically your intestines) some stress. Chewing gum after a meal is common routine for some, but it’s advised that you abstain from chewing gum immediately after a meal to help your food properly digest.

    Keep on top of your oral hygiene

    is chewing gum bad for your teethThe term ‘sugar-free’ when it comes to chewing can be slightly misleading, but it isn’t a bitter-tasting as it’s sweetened using xylitol or other agents (mannitol, aspartame, sorbitol etc). Fortunately, your saliva is unable to break down these ingredients, so they won’t cause cavities.