Generally if you have been referred, fixed braces or “train tracks” will almost certainly be needed. However some patients may require functional removable appliances which need to be worn full time for a period of time before a fixed brace can be fitted.
Getting your brace fitted does not hurt. It involves metal brackets being glued onto the teeth using a special composite and the whole process should only take about 40 minutes to complete. Several hours after the brace is fitted, patients may experience some discomfort and aching. This is normal and should settle down within a week. We advise patients to take a normal painkiller and eat soft foods such as pasta or soup. After each adjustment of the brace there may also be some discomfort.
It is important you brush your teeth well, three times a day with fluoride toothpaste. A fluoride mouthwash should also be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing to further protect the teeth. As well as your ordinary toothbrush, a small Tepe brush will be necessary to ensure that the area around the bracket is kept clean. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent scarring of your teeth, and this is why treatment cannot begin until your oral hygiene is of an acceptable standard.
Patients with braces need to avoid eating any hard, sugary, sticky foods as well as fizzy drinks which can cause damage to the teeth and brackets. This will result in treatment time being lengthened. Food should be cut up into small chunks and chewing gum is a definite no!
If your brace does break it is important that you phone us so that an emergency appointment can be made. On average a patient should only have 1.75 breakages over the entire length of time that the brace is on.
Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight and can either be removable or fixed to the teeth. Now that your teeth are straight, if you do not wear your retainer, your teeth are likely to drift towards their original position. If this happens it may be difficult to correct. Retainers will need to be worn 24 hours a day for the first month, followed by 12 hours a day thereafter. Review appointments will be made every 3 months for a year to check your teeth. After this you will be discharged from our care.
For emergencies during normal opening hours please call the practice. For emergencies outside of normal hours, please call the practice and our answer phone will give you instructions for out of hours treatment.
If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
The following links are websites which provide further information:
British Orthodontic Society: http://www.bos.org.uk/
British Dental Association: http://www.bda.org/
General Dental Council: http://www.gdc-uk.org/
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