Living with Braces

How long does treatment take?

It depends how serious the problem is. Fixed appliances are usually worn for between 18 and 24 months and sometimes a removable retainer may need to be worn afterwards. We will follow up treatment with further appointments to check your teeth are healthy and stable. Simple orthodontic treatments with aligners to deal with mild gaps or crowding may take as little as six months.

How often will I need to come in for appointments?

It depends on many factors such as whether you’re wearing only one set of braces (upper or lower teeth) or both, as they might need separate adjustments, but as a general rule around once a month. The appointments might need to be more frequent at first. Later we may be able to extend the time between visits to up to eight weeks.

What are the downsides of braces?

With fixed braces — and that includes ceramic braces on the front of your teeth and lingual braces on the tongue side of your teeth — it’s quite normal to feel sensitivity for a few days when they are initially installed and each time they are tightened. Certain tough and chewy foods are best avoided when wearing these braces, such as apples and sweets, and it’s really important to clean your teeth and your braces thoroughly after you eat.

In some cases your speech may be mildly affected by a brace, but it’s rare for this to be a significant problem and most patients adapt within a few days. You may feel self-conscious wearing a brace, but fortunately our <<invisible braces>> are an excellent solution to this problem. Tooth coloured ceramic braces and lingual braces are very difficult for other people to detect.

With removable braces — and that includes invisible aligners and traditional retainers — you might feel some initial discomfort as the device exerts pressure on your teeth. However you can remove your device for eating, making it easier to clean your teeth afterwards and keep it free from food particles. You can also remove it for important events so you won’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious.

What can I eat?

One of the main benefits of aligners is that you can remove them to eat, so your diet won’t be restricted during your course of treatment, whereas food can become entangled in fixed braces and make them difficult to clean. You will, however, have to be just as diligent with your oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing after each meal.

With fixed appliances tough and chewy foods like apples and sweets are best avoided, and you may want to avoid crunchy foods for a day or so after your braces are tightened if your teeth are feeling sensitive.

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