Can i get clear/invisible braces on the NHS ?
The NHS only provide metal fixed braces (train tracks) as well as removable plate appliances with metal wires (see our Removable Braces page). Less visible options are available out of the NHS. Equally, if your treatment is approved under the NHS you cannot pay extra to “upgrade” to clear braces. Your treatment is entirely NHS or Private and cannot be mixed.
How long does treatment take ?
This varies from patient to patient as everyone’s teeth are different. When you come for your first appointment, we will be in a better position to give you a guideline on how long your treatment is likely to take but it can be anywhere from six months to three years.
What are retainers ?
Retainers are required after moving teeth with braces to ensure that they stay in the same position they are in when we remove your braces. We know that as we get older our teeth move, so retainers are worn to stop this from happening. There are two different types available, and we will discuss which option is best suited for your teeth when you are in for your appointment. See our Retainer page for more information.
Am i too old/young for braces ?
Most orthodontic treatments that are possible in adolescents are equally possible in adults. Crooked teeth can be straightened out in much the same way. Fixed braces must be worn by someone who has all, or most, of their adult teeth though and have lost all, or most, of their baby teeth. This can happen from as young as 9 up until 12 or 13. Beyond this age we may need to intervene and ask your dentist to remove any baby teeth you still have (if the adult teeth are present). As an adult, as long as you have enough of your own teeth and they, your gums and bones around them are in good condition, then you can likely have treatment. So long as we have these, there is no age limit as an adult.
HOW LONG WILL I HAVE MY RETAINERS?
Initially, you will wear them full time and eventually you will wear them for a couple of nights a week whilst you sleep for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. See our Retainers page for more information.
Are there certain things I shouldn't eat when I'm wearing my braces ?
Yes, most of this is common sense and we will go through all this with you when you come in to get your braces fitted. Basic things to remember are: not to use your front teeth to bite directly into food (e.g. an apple). Try and cut everything up prior to eating and chew using your back teeth. Avoid hard and sticky foods in general, for example a chewy caramel. Reduce your fizzy drink intake and try using a straw whenever possible. Also, please avoid chewing pens, opening sport bottles with your teeth and nail biting. For more information have a look at our instructions on our Metal Braces page.
What should i do if my brace breaks ?
If something comes off or becomes loose, as long as you are not in any pain, or near the end or your treatment, there is no need to see us earlier. We can fix and repair your brace at your scheduled appointment. If you have any pain because of something that has broken or is jaggy please contact us and we will aim to see you within one working day. Out of practice hours please call NHS 24 on 111. If you have a piece of your brace which is sharp or jaggy, use a small piece of the wax that we will have provided you with until we can see you. If you do not have wax and are unable to come to the practice then go to your local supermarket and look for any cheese which has a red wax rind, for example Babybel Cheese. Take a small amount of the wax rind and soften with the heat from your hands. Add the softened wax to the part of your brace causing the discomfort. Don’t worry if you swallow this, it is vegetable wax and therefore safe if swallowed.
Will getting fixed braces hurt ?
Having your braces put on by the orthodontist does not hurt, they are placed on with a special adhesive (glue) and there is no jag or drilling involved so it is very non-invasive and painless. Once the braces are on, your teeth may feel tight, almost like a dull ache and you won’t want to bite down onto them. Hence, we will advise a soft food diet for the first few days. You can take whichever painkillers you would usually take for a headache or whichever has been recommended by your doctor should you have certain conditions or medications. The painkillers should be enough to manage the discomfort and you can return to your normal diet when you feel you can chew comfortably without any aches. You will have this after each adjustment appointment but as the teeth get straighter it will become less and less uncomfortable. For more information see our Fixed Braces Instructions on our Metal Braces page.