Frequently Asked Questions
Most active orthodontic treatment will last for approximately 18 months. This time will vary according to individual treatment plans.
The overall time will be influenced by breakages and missed appointments.
Following active treatment there will be an indefinite period of retention.
There are three main types of food which can cause problems with orthodontic appliances.
These are hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar content.
Hard and sticky foods can break the appliance or bend the wires, thus stopping tooth movement.
Foods high in sugar content encourage germs to build around the appliance leading to tooth decay. This can result in the formation of permanent unsightly marks on the teeth. Fizzy drinks and fruit juices may also cause marks to develop on the teeth.
All these types of food and drink are to be avoided.
You may be asked to wear elastics to help tooth movement. Failure to wear these as prescribed will prolong your treatment.
Orthodontic treatment may cause root shortening. This usually causes no long-term problems, however, if it is severe, treatment may be needed to be stopped early. Very occasionally teeth may become non vital and may require a root treatment. This is most likely when teeth have been previously traumatised or have very large restorations.
Orthodontic treatment may cause some gum recession. This is less likely if there are good oral hygiene measures in place and healthy gums at the start of treatment.
At the end of orthodontic treatment you will be provided with a set of retainers to be worn on a regular basis to ensure that your teeth remain in their new positions.
If your appliance breaks, please contact us as soon as possible to have it repaired in order to prevent unwanted tooth movement.
You will need to attend regularly to have your brace adjusted.
Missed appointments are very disruptive to your treatment and may increase the overall treatment time.
Good cooperation will result in your treatment being completed in the shortest time possible.
If you cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule.
You should continue to see your usual dentist on a regular basis during orthodontic treatment.
Following removal of your orthodontic appliance, you will be provided with retainers. These should be worn as instructed by your orthodontist because failure to wear them will cause your teeth to move and crowd up again. You will need to wear your retainers indefinitely to prevent your teeth from moving. If you require a new retainer, or damage/lose the ones provided you may have to pay for a new one.
Retainers can be fixed behind your teeth or removable. Your orthodontist will discuss which one is most appropriate for your case.
Photographs are taking of your face and teeth at the start and end of your orthodontic treatment. Other photographs may also be taken to record your progress. These photographs make part of your clinical records.
Yes, you should continue to see your usual dentist on a regular basis during orthodontic treatment.
Your teeth may be tender for a couple of days after your brace is fitted and after each time the brace is adjusted. This should soon wear off, but painkillers can be used for up to two days if required. If the discomfort persists please contact the practice.
If a strict oral hygiene regime is not maintained throughout orthodontic treatment, the germs that build up around the orthodontic appliance can case softening of the tooth enamel leaving yellow/brown marks on your teeth when the brace is removed. To prevent this from occurring in patients with poor oral hygiene or oral hygiene that becomes inadequate during treatment, starting treatment may be delayed or the braces may be removed.