Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ's for Braces
What are the first steps in my treatment?
Your orthodontist will carry out an initial consultation. Following this, a further appointment is required for records. This can include X-rays, photos and impressions for plaster study models of your teeth. Your orthodontist will then plan your treatment using these records. Occasionally where the teeth are very crowded and there is not enough space in the jaws for all of them, permanent teeth are removed. The orthodontist will request for your dentist to extract the teeth necessary. Your dentist carries out the extractions just before or after the fitting of your braces.
How are the braces attached?
The braces are either fitted or bonded on to the teeth. This is a pain free process. Full help is given on the care of the braces and an explanation given on what to do in case of problems at the brace fitting appointment.
How often do I see my orthodontist?
Every 6 to 10 weeks adjustments are made to the braces by way of wire-changes, adding springs, elastics or other accessories.
Accessories are necessary to make your braces work. Elastics are used to get your upper and lower teeth to bite together properly. It is very important to use all accessories exactly as you have been told, if not, progress of the treatment stops and may in some cases may reverse.
What happens when my treatment is complete?
Your fixed braces will be removed at a debonding appointment. Moulds of your teeth in their new positions are taken to make retainers. After your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions indefinitely. These retainers may need to be replaced from time to time at an additional cost.
How long will my treatment take?
The normal period of treatment with fixed braces is usually about 15-18 months, however this depends on every individual's response to treatment. You will need to visit your orthodontist for adjustments every 4 - 8 weeks if you wish your treatment as planned.
Will my speech be affected by my braces?
With regular fixed braces, speech is normally not affected at all. However, if your condition requires a palatal expander appliance to be fitted at the roof of your mouth, this may interfere with your speech. If you have lingual braces or a removable brace, you will take some time to learn to speak properly with the braces. Playing musical instruments: If you play a musical instrument with a mouthpiece, it will take you one to two weeks of good practice before you become as skillful as before.
How do I clean my teeth with braces on?
With braces on, your teeth are more difficult to clean. Do not leave food on your braces. Brushing your teeth properly after every snack and meal will reduce the risk of decay and gum disease, in addition to brushing your teeth in the morning and at a night. Keep your toothbrush with you so you can brush after meals as well as just before your orthodontic visits. Disclosing tablets or solution can be used to help aid your cleaning. These are available from the practice or chemist.
Interdental brushes are invaluable for keeping the brace clean. Your orthodontist will show you how to use these around the brace at the brace fitting appointment. Interdental brushes are available from St. James Dental Practice build and most supermarkets and chemists.
What type of food can I eat?
Eating hard food or biting on large pieces of food may dislodge the brackets or bands and damage the wires. Avoid eating nuts and biting on nails or pencils. Cut hard vegetables or fruits into small pieces before eating them. Avoid food and drinks with high sugar content such as sweets and soft drinks.