Will a brace be painful?
Your mouth is likely to be sore for about three to five days each time the brace is adjusted. If necessary, painkillers such as those you would normally take for a headache may help (please read the instructions on the packet). If the brace rubs your lips or cheeks comfort wax can help to alleviate any discomfort.
Can I remove the brace?
Fixed braces are fitted and removed by the orthodontist. You should not try to remove it yourself as you may damage your teeth and the treatment will not work.
Can I eat normally?
Yes, you should be able to eat normally, however, for your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time it is important that you take care of your teeth and brace. In order to prevent damage to both, you should
- Avoid eating toffees, boiled sweets, chewing gum, wine gums, Haribos, chocolate bars and any similar type of sweets or food that will stick to your teeth.
- Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet drinks) and excessive amounts of fruit juice.
- Take care when eating hard foods such as crunchy apples, crusty bread or pizza crusts which might damage the brace. Always cut them up into manageable bite sized pieces first.
What about tooth brushing?
It is important that you brush your teeth well, three times each day using fluoride toothpaste. If possible carry a brush with you for use after lunch. Pay particular attention to brush where the gums meet the teeth. Brushing may take a little longer when you have a fixed brace. A daily fluoride mouth rinse should also be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing, to further protect your teeth. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent damage to your teeth.
How long will treatment take?
It usually takes one to two years to complete a course of orthodontic treatment but this time will vary according to how severe your case is. Failure to attend and cancelled appointments or repeated breakages of your brace will add to the overall treatment time.
Will I need to wear anything in addition to the fixed braces?
At some stage during your course of treatment it may be necessary for you to wear headgear and / or elastics. Headgear is usually worn in the evenings and at night. Elastics are worn inside the mouth all the time, including mealtimes.
Will I need to wear another brace once my treatment has finished?
Once the active phase of your treatment has finished you will need to wear a retaining brace (retainer) to hold your teeth in their corrected position. The retainers may be removable or they may be permanently fixed behind your front teeth. The length of time these have to be worn can vary.
How often will I need to visit the orthodontist?
You will need regular appointments every six to eight weeks during treatment for your brace to be adjusted.
Do I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important for you to have check-ups with your regular dentist throughout your course of orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for any signs of decay.
Will I still be able to play contact sports?
We strongly recommend that you wear a mouthguard for sports such as rugby, hockey, boxing or marshall arts. You will be advised about this by the orthodontist when your brace is fitted.
Will the brace affect me playing a musical instrument?
If you play a wind instrument, particularly the flute or a brass instrument, a fixed brace may make it more difficult. You will need to discuss this with your music teacher.
What do I do if my brace breaks?
This is generally not an emergency, however, ring the Practice during normal working hours to make an appointment. Do not wait for your next routine adjustment appointment as a breakage may slow your treatment or may result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace your treatment may be stopped.