It’s natural to have questions when starting orthodontic treatment, so we’ve compiled answers to the queries we hear most from our patients. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, you can ask us about it at your free consultation!
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Orthodontic treatment uses fixed or removable appliances to gently adjust the alignment of your teeth over time with targeted pressure. These treatments are completely customised to a patient’s unique prescription to ensure the most comfortable and efficient experience.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Each treatment at our practice is custom, so the treatment times vary. That being said, a full comprehensive treatment usually takes between 18 - 24 months.
Do you replace missing teeth after orthodontic treatment?
No, we don’t replace missing teeth. During your initial consultation, we will highlight if this is something you need to plan for, and it can be carried out by your general dentist.
What are the different types of brace?
There are a few different types of braces in orthodontics: fixed and removable appliances.
- Removable appliances can refer to clear aligners or functional appliances. Functional appliances are growth modification devices used to guide the development of a child's jaws.
- Fixed appliances are what people usually think of when they imagine orthodontic treatment. Fixed braces are bonded to your teeth and come in metal, clear and hidden options.
Can I change the colours of my elastics?
Absolutely! We will allow you to change your colour every time you visit us for a scheduled check-up.
Does getting braces hurt?
No, it doesn’t hurt. When your braces are first fit, or after adjustments, you may feel some soreness and discomfort for a few days as your mouth adjusts. This can be treated with over-the-counter pain relief as needed and is completely normal.
How long does a fitting appointment take?
If you are getting fitted with clear aligners, it’s a very fast appointment. For the placement of fixed braces, it usually takes about 45 minutes.
Can I go back to school/work after having my braces fitted?
Yes, you can return to your day as soon as you leave your appointment.
What foods should I avoid during orthodontic treatment?
If you are having treatment with clear aligners, you can simply remove them for mealtimes. If you have a fixed appliance, then there are some foods you should avoid (as they can damage your brace).
Watch out for foods that are:
- Chewy - like bagels or hard rolls
- Crunchy - like popcorn, ice or crisps
- Sticky - like toffees, chewy sweets or chewing gum
- Hard - like crusty bread, hard fruit & veg, pizza crusts, etc. (You can still eat many of these foods by cutting them into bite-size pieces first.)
- Sweet - like sugary foods and fizzy drinks, which can damage your enamel and leave marks when we remove your brace
What should I do if I break my brace?
If your brace is broken, damaged or lost call us straight away on 0330 094 8930 and tell us what’s happened. We can give you tips on managing your care at home until we can book you in for a special repair appointment.
Do I need to protect my teeth during contact sports?
Yes. We recommend you wear a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and appliance.
Can I play a wind instrument with braces?
Absolutely! It may require a slight adjustment, but braces shouldn’t prevent you from playing your favourite wind instrument.
How often do I need to make appointments?
How often you come in for adjustments depends upon the specific needs of your case. Most of our patients with braces will be seen every 6 to 10 weeks. However, if a situation justifies closer monitoring, visits will be scheduled accordingly.
Younger patients kept under observation (without corrective appliances in their mouth), are seen every 9 to 18+ months depending on their dental development.
Do I need to continue my dental check-ups during orthodontic treatment?
Yes. It’s very important you continue seeing your dentist regularly throughout your orthodontic treatment. Braces provide extra places for plaque to accumulate, so oral hygiene is even MORE important during orthodontic treatment.