Frequently asked questions from our patients
We understand that you may have additional queries about your treatment. Below are some frequently asked questions, however if you can’t find the answers to your questions here, please drop us an email, call the practice or ask at your next appointment.
Unlike general dentists who can do some simple orthodontic treatments, Specialist Orthodontists have undertaken a further three years of training and passed further exams (MOrthRCS) to be recognised by the General Dental Council as a “Specialist.”
A Specialist Orthodontist has the knowledge, experience and expertise to provide braces for you no matter your age or how complex your dental situation.
Simple straightening can sometimes be carried out as quickly as 6 months, particularly if it’s only the front 6 teeth. However, a relatively short treatment usually produces limited changes and is not always a long-term solution as often this is not enough time to move the whole tooth, including the roots, into the right place. This may mean the teeth may quickly move back to their original positions once the braces are taken off. It often takes between one and two years to get the teeth to bite in a better way, in harmony with the jaws and lips.
Treatment doesn’t hurt but a little discomfort can sometimes be felt when the teeth are moving. We will advise what to do if this is the case.
Appointments are usually scheduled 4-8 weeks apart.
Extractions are always avoided unless there is no satisfactory alternative. Extraction spaces are usually closed up during treatment so there should be no gaps at the end of treatment.
Some foods are a little more difficult to eat with fixed braces but most food is not a problem. One of our Treatment Coordinators will discuss this with you. Our team have even put together some of their favourite “brace friendly” recipes especially for our patients. Click here to read our recipes.
Cleaning your teeth with braces takes a little more time. You should take the time and make the effort to clean your brace, teeth and gums well and regularly during treatment.
Watch our videos on our Brace Care Videos page to see how it’s done.
Some patients find their speech is affected for a couple of days but this soon disappears. Most patients don’t have a problem at all.
If you have a genuine emergency during treatment you can contact us at the weekend on 07984 134 262.
Retainers are clear, removable aligners. When your treatment is finished and the braces are removed, your teeth will immediately start to move back to their original position, so we give you retainers to keep your teeth in their new position.
Initially you will need to wear them day and night 24/7, or in some cases just at night. Your orthodontist will advise you on this. Take them out for eating and drinking or they will become damaged or distorted. But put them straight back in afterwards. If they are left out the teeth will move.
Clean them with a regular toothbrush and water. Please do not use toothpaste or hot water as this will warp them. We recommend “Retainer Brite” as an effective cleaning agent. If your retainers are lost or damaged contact the surgery immediately. There is a NHS charge of about £80 each for replacements. Dogs love to chew retainers so please keep them in a box!
Wear your retainers for as long as you want straight teeth! They never become completely stable but continued wear will keep tooth movement to a minimum.