Orthodontic treatment involves correcting of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. It usually involves the wearing of braces (removable or fixed) and very occasionally jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery).
Why might I need orthodontic treatment?
There are 3 main reasons for having orthodontic treatment:
• To improve the appearance of the teeth and face.
• To make your gum healthier by allowing you your teeth better.
• To improve function i.e. to make it easier to eat.
Who will going to treat you?
Orthodontic can be treated by a general dental surgeon (who has undergone adequate of training in orthodontic field) or a specialist (consultant orthodontic). General dental surgeon usually pick the simpler cases whereas the orthodontic consultant sees moderate to difficult cases especially cases the require jaw surgery later. Therefore, a dental examination is required first!!
What types of braces are there?
There are those which can be removed for cleaning, known as removable braces (Usually cater for very mild teeth misalignment or for young children). The second type of brace is fixed to the teeth and cannot be removed for cleaning. This type of brace is commonly used in our practice and it can be further divides into:
- Conventional (metal brackets)
- Transparent (crystal brackets)
- Lingual brace (brackets that places at the back of your teeth)
When will the brace be fitted?
This depends very much on the teeth being present in the mouth and the stage of growth of the face and jaws.
How long will treatment take?
Treatment with braces usually takes between 6 – 36 months to complete depends on the difficulty.
If teeth need to be extracted, who will do this?
General dental surgeon usually does this.
Is it painful?
Having the brace fitted is not painful. However, it is common to have slightly tender teeth for 3 – 5 days after each fitting and adjustment appointment.
How often will I need an appointment?
Once your brace has been fitted you will need monthly appointments for it to be adjusted.
Will the brace affect what I can eat?
In order to prevent damage to both your teeth and brace, you will need to:
• Avoid eating toffees, boiled sweets, sugared chewing gum, chocolate bars, etc.
• Avoid drinking fizzy drinks (including diet drinks) and excessive amounts of fruit juice.
• Take care eating hard foods which might damage the brace such as crunchy apples, crusty bread, etc.
Cut them up first.
Will orthodontic treatment damage my teeth?
It is important you brush your teeth well, three times per day and use interdental brush to clean your brace. A fluoride mouthrinse should also be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing, to further protect the teeth. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent scarring of your teeth. Having orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance of the teeth will be pointless if such scarring is allowed to occur.
Will I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important you still have check-ups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay. Anyway, your teeth and brace will be checked and cleaned grossly every time you see the dentist who treat you!!
Will I still be able to play contact sports?
Yes, but it is recommended you wear a gumshield when doing so. This will also be the case if you enjoy riding a bicycle, roller-skating, or skateboarding. You will
be advised about this.
What if I play a musical instrument?
If you play a wind instrument, particularly the flute or a brass instrument, then a fixed brace may make it more difficult. You will need to discuss this with your
What if my brace breaks during treatment?
You will need to contact the us for an emergency appointment for the brace to be repaired as soon as possible. Repeated breakages will slow down the treatment and increase the overall treatment time.
What happens at the end of treatment?
Your teeth will try to return to their original positions. In order to prevent this you will be fitted with retaining appliances. These may be worn full time at first and
eventually worn part-time.
How successful is orthodontic treatment?
This very much depends on your commitment to the treatment. As a general rule, patients who co-operate well with treatment get good results, whilst
those who do not co-operate well, get poor results. Unless retainers are worn in the longer term some settling and growth changes may occur after treatment.