Are you are thinking about having orthodontic treatment as an adult? You might have some questions you would like to ask your orthodontist.
A fixed brace can be used to straighten crooked teeth like these:
Will it be painful?
It is likely to be sore for about 3-5 days each time the brace is adjusted. If necessary, simple painkillers such as the ones you would normally take for a headache should help – please read the instructions on the packet. If the brace rubs your lips or cheeks, you can use some wax to help with this. Dr N Shah and his team can give you further advice.
Can I remove the brace?
The brace you are now wearing is fixed to the teeth for the whole of your treatment. You should not try to remove it, 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 the teeth and brace. In order to prevent damage to both, you should;
- avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime,
- avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and sugared chewing gum,
- avoid fizzy drinks (including diet drinks) and large amounts of fruit juices,
- hard or chewy foods, such as apples, carrots and crusty bread can damage your brace. Avoid them or cut them up first.
What about tooth brushing?
It is important that you brush your teeth well for at least 3 minutes, twice per day. Use a fluoride toothpaste. If possible, carry a brush with you to use after lunch. Brushing may take a little longer when you have a fixed brace so take your time. Pay particular attention to brush where the gums meet the teeth. Inter-dental brushes may help you to clean around the brace and in between the teeth. An alcohol-free fluoride mouth rinse should also be used daily. Use it at a different time of the day to when you brush your teeth. This helps maintain the fluoride protection to your teeth. Avoid eating or rinsing for 20 minutes after use. Sugary snacks/drinks and poor cleaning of your teeth and brace will lead to permanent damage to your teeth.
How long will treatment take?
Usually between 12-30 months but this will vary from patient to patient. Missed appointments and repeated breakages of your brace will add time to your overall treatment.
Will I need to wear anything in addition to the fixed braces?
It may be necessary for you to wear elastics at some stage during your treatment. Elastics are worn inside the mouth during the day and night, including mealtimes some times.
Will I need to wear another brace once my treatment has finished?
Once the active part of your treatment has finished, it will be necessary to wearing a retaining brace. This may be removed or fixed behind the front teeth. Retention is for life, to prevent the teeth from moving.
How often will I need an appointment?
You will need regular appointments every 6-8 weeks during treatment for the brace to be regularly adjusted.
Do I still need to go to my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important you still have check-ups with your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay.
Brentwood Orthodontic & Implant Centre is located opposite Brentwood Cathedral and Brentwood School.
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