Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry, which uses braces to move teeth so that the bite and the cosmetic appearance of the smile can be improved.
- To improve the appearance of the teeth and smile.
- To enable easier tooth and gum cleaning.
- To improve the bite of the teeth.
An average course of orthodontic treatment with fixed braces takes between 1 and 2 years for the active treatment. Following treatment, there will be permanent retention using either fixed or removable retainers.
Fixed braces are generally adjusted every 6-10 weeks. Removable braces may be seen more frequently. Appointments are available Monday to Friday. Please check opening times for each clinic.
If it is not painful, please contact the surgery on the next working day to arrange a repair. Apply wax (supplied in the starter kit) to any areas which are sharp, including long wires and broken brackets. Please telephone the surgery number for advice on out of hours emergencies.
Having a brace fitted is a painless procedure. It is likely to ache for about 2 days following fitting. Your normal painkillers can help with this. Sipping iced cold water helps to lessen the pulling sensation on the teeth. Most problems subside within 48 hours.
The wax supplied in your starter kit can be applied to a fixed brace. Try to dry the area first with a piece of tissue to help the wax stick. If a removable brace is rubbing, wear it as much as possible but contact the surgery as soon as possible to have it looked at.
It is likely that your speech will be affected for the first few days. Most people have very few problems after this time. A removable brace should be worn as instructed. If it is continually removed, then it is unlikely that the speech will adapt. Lingual braces take longer to adapt to, but as the appliance is fixed, things should improve in a few days.
The effect on playing is variable. Some people have no problems, whilst others will be slightly more affected. Please ask your music teacher what they feel. For woodwind players we recommend braceguard™ which can be purchased at reception.
Your own dentist will arrange for teeth to be removed, usually under a local anaesthetic. If the extractions are likely to be more complicated, your Orthodontist may refer you to a specialist dental surgeon (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon). Most extractions are done at the dentist under local anaesthetic to make the procedure painless. However if you are very nervous, inform your dentist and they can refer you to the local sedation clinic where they can give administer sedation and carry out all of the necessary extractions.
Yes, this is very important. Although we are seeing you regularly, your own Dentist needs to monitor the health of the teeth and gums throughout treatment.
There are risks to teeth during orthodontic treatment. Many of these can be reduced or eliminated by following the advice you are given. This is primarily related to oral hygiene and diet.
Your treatment can commence as soon as your teeth and gums are healthy. Sometimes it is better to wait for baby teeth to fall out before starting treatment with fixed appliances.
There is a relationship between extractions and profile but this is not usually significant if treatment has been planned correctly and completed properly. Many of our patients have treatment without the need for extractions.
The Enhance Centres can offer you suitable alternatives such as clear aligners and lingual braces. We can also provide aesthetic braces that are less conspicuous than metal braces. Ceramic-coated wires are also available.
At your first appointment your orthodontist may take x-rays, moulds of your teeth and photographs. These are taken to measure the size and shape of your teeth and jaws and help the orthodontist to provide the best advice and the most appropriate treatment.
At the end of treatment the orthodontist will provide you with retainers. This will help minimise the chance of relapse. For more information, please see our Retention page.
If your appointment time becomes inconvenient for you, we are always happy to change it if you provide us with 24 hours notice. This allows us to schedule in a patient who may be in urgent need of our care. Missed or late cancellation of appointments reduces the availability of much needed appointments to other patients in treatment.