Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the straightening of teeth with the use of removable or fixed appliances. The fixed appliances are either the conventional "train track" braces or lingual braces (braces on the inside of the teeth)

Orthodontics is for people with:

A. Crooked or spaced teeth, teeth that are prevented from erupting into the correct position, teeth that are sticking out or do not bite together properly.
B. Some people have teeth that are missing and spaces that need to be closed or redistributed to create spaces for an implant.
C. Sometimes our jaws do not meet correctly and a combined treatment of orthodontics and surgery is required called orthognathic surgery.

2. How long will the treatment take?

Treatment times will differ according to the severity of the malocclusion. With no breakages and attending regularly every 4-6 weeks the average treatment time for fixed braces whether with a conventional or lingual appliance is 12-18 months.  If extractions are required this can extend to 24 months. A removable functional appliance wearing it full time takes on average 9 months.  The same is true for a fixed functional appliance such as a Herbst appliance. Retainers which are worn after the brace has been removed, are usually worn full time for the first two weeks then night time only for an extended period of time then slowly reducing the wear.

3. Will it hurt?

Braces make your teeth feel tender for the first 3-4 days after the appliance has been fitted.
During this time you can:
A. Have a soft diet
B. Use wax over the brackets to reduce the irritation to the lips or tongue
C. Painkillers if required.
For a full explanation of what to expect at the start, during and end of treatment please see the consent form.

4. Will braces affect my speech?

Conventional braces do not affect your speech. Lingual braces when first placed on the upper teeth can affect your speech temporarily. Normally everyone adapts within the first 3-4 weeks and speech returns to normal.

5. Will my teeth be damaged as a result of treatment?

Good oral hygiene is very important to prevent decalcification of the teeth. This is a problem that can occur more frequently with labial braces.  By ensuring good tooth brushing the effects of decalcification can be minimized and prevented.  Resorption of the roots can also occur to a small degree.  This can happen through out life regardless of braces.  One key factor which increases the risk of root resorption is the length of time in braces.  So again not breaking the brace is very important so as not to extend the treatment time. Please see the consent form for additional information.

6. What age should I be seen?

For fixed braces patients with their adult dentition are most suitable. Normally we have our adult teeth from 11 years of age onwards. This does not mean that orthodontic treatment cannot be carried out on those patients who are in the mixed dentition (have both adult and baby teeth). Alternate options are available e.g. removable appliances, expansion devises.  Patients from 7-8 years of age are most welcome as early interceptive treatment can make a significant difference to which treatment may be required in the future.

7. Am I too old for treatment?

You are never too old for treatment. So long as your teeth, gums and bone levels are healthy you have options.  If you feel self-conscious about having a brace, then lingual braces are for you.  You will be the only person who knows you are wearing a brace, unless you tell your friends!

8. What happens at the first appointment?

This appointment is designed to meet you and understand your needs and concerns.  Following an initial examination it will be possible to discuss whether orthodontics is the best course of treatment for you.  If this is the correct treatment then an appointment can be arranged to have the necessary records taken to be able to fully analyze your case and then carry out an in depth consultation. Please see the consent form for more information.

9. Will my teeth stay straight?

Following orthodontic treatment it is necessary to wear retainers. These are worn full time day and night for the first 3 months then night time only for an extended period of time. You can also have the option of bonded retainers which is a piece of wire adhered on to the inner surface of the front six teeth (sometime front eight teeth if you have had spacing or extractions). This usually relieves the need to wear removable retainers but you have to take care not to break them.

10. What are the clear / tooth coloured braces?

Conventional braces are metal, but it is possible to have ceramic braces that are tooth coloured. These are still on the outside of the teeth but are more aesthetic than metal braces.

11. What is lingual orthodontics?

This is the straightening of teeth using fixed braces which are placed on the inside of the mouth on the inner surface of the teeth. This means that they are invisible. Lingual Braces, on the inside of the teeth
The bracket system that is used at City Orthodontics is called WIN which is a bespoke appliance, custom made just for you. It is the ultimate system in lingual braces.

12. How soon can I start?

Come and see us now. Either fill out the Self-referral form or contact us.