1. Your first visit

The first appointment is a consultation. It is important to establish your concerns and needs and how orthodontic treatment will benefit you. Measurements of your teeth and jaws together with an x-ray will be taken. We can then give you general information on the possible treatment options, the types of braces, treatment time, and fees if relevant.

2. Can anyone have treatment?

Yes. There is no age limit to treatment. Providing your dentition and your gums are healthy, treatment can be carried out to improve aesthetics and function. You can still have treatment if you have crowns, veneers and fillings as long as the teeth underneath are healthy.

3. How long does treatment take?

On average eighteen months to two years, depending on severity and co-operation. Simple cases may take less time whilst more complex cases can take longer. Good compliance such as keeping teeth and braces clean, not having breakages and adhering to appointments will reduce treatment time.

4. How often do I need to come in?

After the brace is fitted, every 6-10 weeks. Some removable appliances are seen more frequently.

5. Will the brace affect my speech?

Removable and lingual appliances will affect speech at first but you do adapt. If you wear your removable appliance as instructed and do not keep taking it out, your speech will adapt.

6. How does it feel to have a brace?

Fitting a brace is painless. As the teeth start to move, they will feel tender and ache for a few days. However, this will subside. Normal painkillers and a soft diet will help. After the initial settling period, you will hardly be aware of them.

7. Will I need to have teeth extracted?

Not everyone will require teeth to be removed. It may be advisable in cases with moderate or severe crowding. You will be fully informed and the advantages and disadvantages of each option discussed.

8. Can I still play brass and woodwind instruments?

This is very individual. Some patients find they have no problems, some do and others adapt. For more information on this you can look at the British Orthodontic Society website. www.bos.org.uk

9. Can I still play contact sports?

Yes, but you will need a special orthodontic mouth guard which allows movement of teeth during your treatment. It fits over fixed appliances. Removable appliances can be removed and kept safe in a hard appliance box.

10. What food/drinks should I avoid?

You need to avoid things that may damage your wires and brackets – anything hard, chewy and sticky such as toffee, popcorn, hard chocolate. Cut food into small pieces ie; apples and raw carrots. Avoid acidic (fruit juices) and carbonated drinks (fizzy drinks including carbonated water) as these can cause permanent marks on your teeth as can failure to keep your teeth and braces clean.

11. What if my brace rubs?

Fixed brace - dry the part that is rubbing with a tissue and place some orthodontic wax on it. If a wire is digging in, contact the practice and try to place some wax on it to make it comfortable until you can come in.
Removable brace - try and wear it as much as possible but contact the practice so we can arrange to check it for you.

12. What if my brace is broken?

Contact the practice and we will arrange to see you according to the urgency of the problem. Out of surgery hours, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Any irritation caused by broken braces or wires can be minimized by using orthodontic wax.

13. Do I still need to see my own dentist?

Yes, we recommend that you keep your regular check up with your dentist.

14. What happens at the end of treatment?

Removable retainers are fitted after the braces are removed to hold the teeth in their new position. If not worn, your teeth will drift back to their original position.

Retainers are worn full time initially and then nights for a period of 12 months. After this, we do advise indefinite occasional wear of the retainers to maintain your smile, as teeth are always moving slightly due to ageing and physiological changes. Fixed retainers are used in certain cases and also offered to private patients.

For more information about orthodontics and treatment on orthodontics please visit the British Orthodontic Society website on www.bos.org.uk

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