Regent Orthodontics

01943 604402

  1. Q

    Adult Orthodontic Questions

    • Can adults really get braces?
    • Are there any age limits?
    • Why do adults get braces?
    • Are there health advantages to adult orthodontic treatment?
    • What does adult orthodontic treatment feel like?
    • Can all adults receive orthodontic treatment?
    • Do some orthodontists specialise in treating adults?
    • How do braces move teeth?
    • Why would I need an X-RAY?
    • What is wrong with my teeth?
    • What does having straight teeth really mean?
    • Will I still be able to play my musical instrument?
    • How will braces impact on my oral health?
    • What are the different braces available?
    • What happens at your first orthodontic appointment?
    • Can I get straight teeth without braces?

    Child Orthodontic Questions

    • When should I start thinking about orthodontic treatment for my child?
    • What happens if I wait until I am older?
    • What experience should I expect from having braces?
    • Why have braces?
    • Braces Improve Your Health
    • How many teenagers have braces?
    • What is orthodontics and how does it work?
    • Do Braces Hurt?
    • Will braces cause my mouth to be sore?
    • How long does orthodontic treatment take?
    • Can I still talk when I have braces?
    • Can I still play contact sports if I have braces?
    • Are there any activities that I should avoid when I have braces?
    • Can I eat when I get braces?
    • What happens if the braces break?
  2. A

    1. Absolutely! Many adults won’t have received orthodontic treatment when they were children, others may have received treatment when they were young but did not wear the retainers prescribed for after treatment to hold the new position of their teeth. This can result in the teeth becoming crooked and misaligned. Orthodontics is a solution for adults who desire straight teeth.
    2. Orthodontics is for everyone! It is a myth that having treatment is only for children and young people. It’s never too late to have braces. Adults are increasingly having orthodontic treatment later in life, often this is because they have found out about some of the modern developments in brace technology, which render braces practically invisible. More and more adults are embracing orthodontics as a way to improve themselves. This can be simply for the cosmetic reason of wanting a great smile, or because of ongoing orthodontic problems such as poor bite or crowded teeth.
    3. Adults choose orthodontic treatment for many reasons. These include reasons such as major life changes - a new job or change of image, to improve self-confidence, treat dental problems and look great for special occasions. Orthodontic treatment not only rejuvenates your smile, it can help you keep your teeth for life.
    4. There can be. When your teeth are crooked, they are harder to clean and will wear unevenly. Your gums can become inflamed and in the longer term this can result in tooth loss. As part of a team approach to your treatment, orthodontic treatment can help prevent gum problems and associated tooth loss.
    5. Orthodontic treatment feels the same whatever your age. When the braces are initially fitted, you may experience some discomfort. As the teeth begin to move they may ache slightly and gums and cheeks may become sore. This is similar to the experience of wearing a new pair of shoes for the first time, they can make your feet sore until you get used to them. Also, it is not unusual for the teeth to feel slightly loose. Each time your brace is adjusted, you may experience some discomfort, however it is mostly slight and should not trouble you greatly. Remember you will achieve a great smile!
    6. There are cases whereby orthodontic treatment is not advisable for an adult. A consultation with one of our specialists will determine your suitability for braces.
    7. Some do but this is usually due to the location of the practice. Our qualified orthodontists have the necessary skill to treat adults and children.
    8. Fixed braces consist of brackets and wires. The wires apply light pressure to each tooth while the brackets are the handles that transmit the force to the tooth. During the treatment, the orthodontist will periodically make adjustments to maintain the directional pressure required to continue the movement of the teeth. Clear plastic aligners move the teeth through slight adjustments in each tray which place pressure on the teeth that need to move. The trays are changed every couple of weeks, as advised by the orthodontist, ensuring constant gradual tooth movement.
    9. Part of the orthodontic consultation process is making sure that all aspects of any problems can be investigated and subsequently cared for. Panoramic radiographs, skull or facial x-rays and intra-oral or mini x-rays of the teeth are all used by your orthodontist to achieve this. X-rays can help to decide whether it is necessary to have teeth removed, or where crowded teeth are impacting on your smile.
    10. The problems that can occur which require orthodontic treatment are generally classed by the type of malocclusion or ‘bad bite’ they fall under. There are several classes, from 1 to 3, and most people can be categorised into these.
    11. When you smile it is generally only the front six teeth which people focus on. However, this is not all there is to having straight teeth! Straight teeth should be assessed on the basis of 32 adult, healthy, working teeth arranged correctly in the upper and lower jaws. The relationship between all teeth, adjacent and opposing, within each jaw should be harmonious and aesthetic.
    12. If you play a wind instrument then you may feel that your playing is affected initially by your braces. However, this is not a permanent situation and the more you practice the less of an impact your braces will have!
    13. It is extremely important when wearing a brace that a good diet and good oral hygiene are observed and maintained. There must be no snacking between meals and teeth must be brushed after every meal to avoid decalcification and plaque build up. Disclosing tablets help you to see where you might be missing brushing.
    14. Braces can be categorised into removable or non removable appliances. The most traditional type of brace is a metal fixed brace, which means it is permanently attached to the teeth for the duration of treatment and is therefore non removable. Fixed braces now come in different materials such as gold or ceramic which gives you a greater variety of choice! Lingual braces are also a form of non removable brace. They are placed behind the teeth, so that they are not in plain view. Removable appliances on the other hand can be removed from the mouth of the patient. They come in the form of custom moulded, invisible plastic trays. In the same category there are ‘twin blocks’ and ‘functional appliances’. Finally, at the end of your treatment plan you will be fitted with a retainer which will ensure that your teeth remain in their correct position.
    15. Your first appointment with your orthodontist gives you the chance to discuss with an expert what is wrong with your teeth and how you would like them improved. The next steps will involve X-rays and record taking and a new appointment will be offered to discuss all of your options, and a treatment plan devised.
    16. It is possible to achieve straight teeth without the need for metal brackets! The latest advances in technology come in the form of clear, plastic, custom-moulded aligners called Invisalign© and Clearstep&trademark;.
    17. From both a parent’s and a dentist’s perspective, the right time for the first orthodontic check-up is generally around the age of 12, or when the last of the baby teeth are being shed. Occasionally some specific problems can merit an earlier assessment but this is fairly rare, and your own dentist can advise you about this.
    18. Most orthodontic treatment can be administered at any age however certain dental problems can be corrected more easily as an adolescent because the jaws are still growing.
    19. The next step in the process involves the type of brace that your child will have, and there can be more than one throughout the period of treatment. Sometimes young people, especially teens can experience angst over their braces, which is why it is important to speak to your orthodontist who can reassure your child!
    20. Braces will improve your smile and can improve the long term prognosis of keeping your teeth for life.
    21. You will be able to chew your food better and you will be able to clean your teeth more effectively which will help you keep your teeth for life! You can avoid dental problems. If you do not get orthodontic treatment when you need it you may have problems with your teeth in years to come; your teeth may be harder to clean. Your teeth may wear in ways that they should not. The effects are significant enough that many adults are now going back to the orthodontist for braces
    22. Just look at your classmates!
    23. Dentistry has many branches and specialties. Orthodontics is the specialty which treats abnormalities of the bite and jaws in children and adults. Improvements in the appearance of the teeth, smile and face are among the cosmetic benefits derived from orthodontic treatment.
    24. It is quite normal to experience discomfort for a day or two after braces/retainers are fitted/adjusted. It can make eating uncomfortable – the discomfort is both normal and temporary. Keep eating soft foods. The use of a mild analgesic such as ibruprofen or paracetamol is advised for the first few days if discomfort is experienced.
    25. Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth ulcers. While braces do not cause them, they may be made worse by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but may be relieved by applying a small amount of topical anaesthetic directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab. Re-apply this when needed or as directed by the instructions on the product. Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between brace and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. Eating will then become more comfortable (avoid hot drinks as this will melt the wax). If the wax is accidentally ingested, it’s not a problem as the wax is harmless.
    26. It varies depending on how complicated your treatment is. If you are having an early (interceptive) treatment this can take 3-9 month. A full treatment involving fixed braces typically takes 18-24 months. For example is you have fixed braces when you are 12 years old, it usually takes about two to two and a half years to move your teeth. It will take longer if you do not do follow instructions from the orthodontist or if you miss your scheduled adjustment appointments.
    27. Yes. Standard braces should not affect how you talk or the sound of your voice. You can talk, sing, yell, and act just as you do now. Braces will not stop you from having fun. Some appliances your orthodontist will require you to wear can initially feel strange because the plastic plates tend to occupy a bit of space in your mouth, but you will soon get used to it. The mouth also tends to produce more saliva than usual because the brain interprets the presence of the appliance as food; this tends to go after one or two days.
    28. Of course, you can still do everything you did before. Just ensure you wear a mouthguard which your orthodontist can tailor make to fit over a fixed appliance. If you have a removable appliance you will need to remove it whilst playing contact sports and wear a mouthguard and put your brace back in once you have finished playing.
    29. We advise against you participating in activities where there will be many blows to your mouth. Sports like boxing, karate, and wrestling should generally be avoided. Fighting should also be avoided. You should wear a mouthguard whenever you participate in any sporting activity.
    30. Of course! You can eat most of the good things that you can eat now; wearing braces should not excessively change your diet. However there are three types of food that may cause significant trouble to braces and should therefore be avoided. Hard foods, such as nuts, ice and caramel, may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes which are attached. Sticky foods, such as toffee or worse still bubble gum, can damage fixed orthodontic appliances by bending wires and pulling cement loose. Foods with a high sugar content, like sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks, will definitely damage the enamel therefore you are not allowed them during treatment. After meals it is best you brush your teeth immediately.
    31. Brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. They are generally positioned in the centre of each tooth. The bracket can be knocked off if hard or crunchy foods have been eaten. If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out you should all the practice as soon as possible.. Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using clean tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it can be bent back down with a cotton bud or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation. When one ligature pops off or breaks, others may follow. Examine all ligatures adjacent to the missing ligature. Please notify your orthodontist to check whether the ligature needs to be replaced. Please call the practice if you have a broken brace and we will see you as a matter of urgency. Please do not turn up at your next appointment with a broken brace as we will often not have enough time booked out to repair it and you may have to be rebooked at a later date.

Damian Petrucci Orthodontist

GDC Number 67064

BDS FDS RCPS M Dentsci MOrthos RCS

Registered as a Dentist & Specialist (GDC)

British Dental Association

British Orthodontics Society

Fellow. Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons