Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on anything and everything to do with braces and orthodontics. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
An 'average' course of orthodontic treatment with fixed braces usually takes between one and two years. Simple problems can often be corrected more quickly – sometimes in just a few months. Once your brace has been removed, you will need to wear fixed and/or removable retainers indefinitely to keep your teeth straight.
If you have a fixed brace we will need to see you every 6-8 weeks. If your brace is removable we may need to see you more frequently. All of your appointments are included in the cost of your treatment.
If you are a private patient, we can offer you early morning, evening and weekend appointments to fit around school and work. If you are having NHS treatment appointment times may be more restricted, but we will always do our best to fit your visits around any important events.
Having a brace fitted is a painless procedure, but you may find that your teeth ache for a couple of days afterwards. Normal painkillers and sipping cold water with ice cubes should help to relieve any discomfort. Eating can also be difficult at first and you might want to stick to soft foods for the first 48 hours.
You might find that your speech is affected by your brace for the first few days, particularly if you have a removable or lingual brace. If your brace is removable, don’t be tempted to take it out as it won’t give your speech a chance to adapt: most problems with speech resolve with time.
Yes, this is very important. Although we are seeing you regularly, your own dentist needs to monitor the health of your teeth and gums throughout your treatment.
Yes, but you should wear a custom fitted mouthguard if you have fixed braces. These start from £80.00 and can be made at the practice in approximately seven days. It is important to have one constructed to fit over your brace, which allows for movement of your teeth during treatment.
You should avoid foods which might pull off your wires or brackets. These include uncooked carrots, celery, popcorn, toffee and chewing gum. It’s important to have a good diet and to brush your teeth regularly and carefully. Failure to keep your teeth clean, an unhealthy diet, or too many drinks high in sugar could mean you are left with marks on your teeth when your braces come off.
If this happens outside surgery hours and you are not in any pain, please call 020 8977 7272 the next working day to arrange an appointment. If you are in pain, please call the above number and you will be given an emergency number to ring straight away. In the meantime relieve any discomfort by applying wax or a special silicone putty to any sharp areas, including long wires and broken brackets. These are available at the practice.
If your fixed brace is rubbing you can use orthodontic wax to help relieve any discomfort. To help the wax stick, try drying the area first with some tissue. If your removable brace is rubbing, wear it as much as you can but contact us as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.
Once your fixed braces have been removed, we’ll provide you with removable retainers. These should be worn as advised by your orthodontist for twelve months. You will need to continue wearing them one or two nights per week to maintain your results. If you are a private patient, you can choose to have fixed retainers fitted to maintain your new smile for life.