Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to common questions about orthodontic treatment.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialist area of dentistry which focuses on improving the appearance and alignment of irregularly placed teeth. Orthodontic treatment is also used to correct malocclusions (bad bites) and facial profile using appliances such as braces and aligners. Orthodontists have undertaken further specialist postgraduate study, after their dental study, in order to practice in this field.
Is orthodontic treatment painful?
Having your orthodontic appliance fitted is not painful. However, it is common to have slightly tender teeth for three-to-five days after each fitting and adjustment appointment. This pain can usually be treated by over-the-counter pain relief, such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.
How long will treatment take?
Orthodontic treatment usually takes 12-36 months but will vary according to how complex your case is. When you come in for your consultation, we’ll outline what treatment we think you would most benefit from and indicate how long this will take.
Do I need to wear head gear?
No. Patients at Share A Smile Orthodontics do not need to wear head gear. This is because we use the latest brace technology available which has eliminated the need for head gear.
Will I need to wear another brace once my treatment has finished?
Once the active phase of your treatment has been finished and your braces have been removed, it will be necessary to wear a retainer. These come in two different types: removable (a bit like a mouthguard) and fixed (wire is attached behind your front teeth). You will need to wear your retainer for as long as you wish your teeth to stay straight. Your orthodontist will advise you on this.
How often will I need an appointment?
Once your brace has been fitted you will need frequent and regular appointments for it to be adjusted (8-10 week intervals).
Will I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important you still have checkups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment. This is so that your teeth can be checked for decay and your gums examined for signs of disease.
How old does a child need to be for treatment to begin?
Many parents and some family dentists assume that they must wait until a child has all of his or her permanent teeth, only to find out that treatment would have been much easier if started earlier.
We recommend a child has a consultation with an orthodontist by the age of 7 or 8. This will enable us to identify any issues your child may have with their teeth in the future and plan to avoid them!
Is it possible to have braces as an adult?
This depends on the type of bite you have, the position of your teeth and the condition of both your teeth and gums. For instance, if you have active gum disease, it is important this is brought under control before having a brace. Essentially adults can be treated at any age as long as the gums and bone holding the teeth are healthy.
Do you offer payment plans for orthodontic treatment?
Yes. We offer professional interest free and low cost payment plans (no deposit required) that we administer through Medenta. Please contact us for full details. At your initial consultation, the treatment plan report we will prepare for you will include the cost of your recommended treatment.
Do I need to clean my teeth once the brace has been fitted?
Definitely! Orthodontic treatment will not normally begin unless you clean your teeth properly. In fixed orthodontic appliance treatment the brackets are more difficult to clean. It is therefore very important to care for your fixed brace by careful brushing and following a sensible diet.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DENTIST AND AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has gone on to study in the field of orthodontics. While both an orthodontist and a dentist are trained to treat patients for dental requirements, such as fillings and overall oral health, an orthodontist concentrates on a patient’s overall facial profile, correcting the misalignment of teeth and jaws.