North Derbyshire

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Orthodontics FAQs

What happens at my first visit to the Orthodontist

Q.What is orthodontics?

A.

  • Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face.
  • Orthodontists monitor this growth and intervene with braces to improve both the aesthetics and function of the teeth and jaws.
  • The result is a beautiful healthy smile.

Q.Why am I here?

A.

Your dentist has asked us to see you for some specialist orthodontic advice about your jaws and teeth.

Q.Some reasons for the referral to an orthodontist.

A.

  • My front teeth stick out.
  • My teeth are crowded or "wonky".
  • I have some missing teeth or teeth that won't come through my gum.
  • My teeth don't fit together properly.
  • My top teeth don't line up with my bottom teeth.

Q.What will happen at my first visit?

A.

  • We will introduce ourselves and explain your visit today.
  • An orthodontist will examine your jaws and teeth, usually with two small mirrors and a ruler.
  • We may need to take photographs, x-rays and moulds (impressions) of your teeth.
  • You will have an IOTN score done (index of orthodontic treatment need). This will help to determine if you need treatment and if you are eligible for NHS treatment.
  • We will explain the problems with your teeth and how we can help. This may involve braces and/or extractions.

Q.What will happen next?

A.

  • You may not be ready for treatment so we will arrange to see you again when you have grown some more teeth.
  • Your dental health may not be good enough for braces. This is usually due to poor tooth brushing or untreated tooth decay.
  • You may not need treatment or have a low IOTN score where you are not eligible for NHS treatment.
  • You are ready for treatment and eligible. Do you want braces?

Fixed Braces


Q.What should I expect when my braces are fitted?

A.

  • Your teeth may be tender for a couple of days after your brace is first fitted. This usually wears off quickly as you get use to your brace. After each adjustment your teeth may be tender again. Painkillers should be taken for a couple of days but if the pain persists please contact us for an emergency appointment.
  • Occasionally your cheeks and lips may be sore or ulcerated due to bits of the brace digging in. Wax or silicone can be used as a cushion as a temporary measure. Dry the area and mould the wax to the bracket or wire. Contact us for an emergency appointment.
  • Speech is not usually affected with fixed braces, however if you have a holding arch fitted speech may be a little different for a couple of days.

Q.How do I clean them?

A.

  • Brush your teeth and braces after every meal and before bed.
  • Use a brush with a small/medium head and a fluoride toothpaste. Brush all surfaces of the teeth especially the area between the brace and your gum.
  • Use a small interspace brush or spiral brush between the wire and the tooth ensuring you brush right up the brackets.
  • Use a Fluoride mouthwash daily.
  • Disclosing tablets should be used regularly to ensure effective tooth brushing.

Q.Do I need to avoid anything whilst eating?

A.

  • Avoid hard, sticky or chewy foods, these can damage your brace and bend the wires which stops tooth movement.
  • Avoid foods high in sugar content, these encourage germs to build up around the appliance leading to tooth decay. This can result in formation of permanent unsightly marks on the teeth.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices, these are acidic and may cause marks to develop on the teeth.

Q.Can I play contact sports with my fixed braces?

A.

Yes. But you should wear a mouth guard. When you are wearing braces mouth guards that are mouldable in hot water can be adapted as your teeth move. When your braces are removed a custom made mouth guard can be used.

Q.What should I do if my brace is digging in?

A.

Use wax or silicone as a temporary measure and contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment.

Q.What should I do if I break my brace?

A.

Check each band and bracket every day and report any breakages to us. Please bring all the broken parts of your brace with you as often they can be repaired. Contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment.
Do you play contact sports? Mouth guards are available, to be made specifically for you to fit your orthodontic appliance. This will give you even better protection whilst doing sports. We can make an appointment with our clinical laboratory technician if you wish.

Q.Wearing Elastics with braces

A.

The brace will straighten your upper and lower teeth, however, wearing elastics will correct the way you bite and make your upper and lower teeth fit together properly. Not wearing elastics or wearing them incorrectly will make your bite poor. A good bite is important for healthy teeth and jaws and will also maintain the appearance of your orthodontic results once your brace work has finished.
Elastics should be worn all the time, day and night, and only to be taken out whilst you clean your teeth.
Elastics need to be changed once a day. The best time for this is after you have brushed your teeth.
Always follow the instructions on how to place the elastics, they must always be worn the same way.
If you fail to wear the elastics or only wear them occasionally, the brace will not work properly and this will then make treatment last a lot longer.
If you are running low on elastics, please contact the practice and we will be more than happy to send you some more.
If you are unsure about how to wear your elastics, please ask a member of staff, wearing your elastics wrong can prolong treatment.
If one of your elastics snaps or comes off, please replace both elastics so the force on both sides of the mouth is equal.

Removable Appliances


Q.What should I expect when my braces are fitted?

A.

  • Initially the brace may feel “weird” but this will settle down and you will get use to it.
  • You may feel that you have a bit more saliva in your mouth again this is normal.
  • Your speech may seem strange at the beginning but this will improve with practice.

Q.When do I wear them?

A.

  • These braces are designed to be worn 24 hours a day, day and night, eating and sleeping, unless we instruct you otherwise.

Q.When do I take them out?

A.

  • Clean the brace with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Removable braces can also be cleaned in Retainer Brite.

Q.Do I need to avoid anything whilst eating?

A.

  • Avoid hard, sticky or chewy foods, these can damage your brace.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, these can damage your teeth.

Q.What should I do if my brace doesn't feel right?

A.

  • Continue to wear your brace as instructed but contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment.

Q.What should I do if I damage/lose my brace?

A.

  • Contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment. Please bring all the parts of your brace with you as often they can be repaired.
  • If you lose your brace, break it beyond repair or fail to wear it as instructed there are charges for replacements.
  • Do you play contact sports? Mouth guards are available, to be made specifically for you to fit your orthodontic appliance. This will give you even better protection whilst doing sports. We can make an appointment with our clinical laboratory technician if you wish.

Retainers


Q.Why do I need to wear retainers?

A.

  • Retainers are designed to prevent teeth moving back after braces.
  • Initially after braces your teeth may try to move back to their starting positions, later normal age changes may cause your teeth to move.
  • Most retainers are removable, but if you do not wear your retainers your teeth will move.
  • Keeping your teeth straight is up to you.

Q.When do I wear them?

A.

  • For the first six weeks wear your retainers full time, day and night except eating, drinking, contact sports and swimming.
  • After the first six weeks wear your retainers at night time only.
  • If your retainers feel tight when you put them in, your teeth may be moving. Go back to wearing them full time to reposition your teeth.
  • After a year gradually reduce wearing them to one or two nights per week.

Q.How do I clean them?

A.

  • Clear retainers are best cleaned in Retainer brite, tooth brushes and toothpaste may scratch them.
  • Do not use hot water it will distort them and they will not for properly.
  • Retainers that look like removable braces can be cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Q.What should I do if my retainer doesn't feel right?

A.

  • Wear your retainer full time and contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment.

Q.What should I do if I damage/lose my retainer?

A.

  • Contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment. Remember if you are not wearing a retainer your teeth will move.
  • If you lose your retainer, break it or fail to wear it as instructed there are charges for replacements.

Twin Block Therapy


Q.What should I expect when my braces are fitted?

A.

  • Twin blocks come in two parts, one for your top jaw and one for your bottom jaw. Both parts must be worn together to work. Push your bottom jaw forwards, then bite together. Keep the blocks together at all times.
  • Initially the brace may feel “weird” or “bulky” but this will settle down as you get used to it.
  • You may feel that you have a bit more saliva in your mouth again this is normal.
  • Your speech may seem strange at the beginning but this will improve with practice.

Q.When do I wear them?

A.

  • These braces are designed to be worn 24 hours a day, day and night, eating, sleeping unless we instruct otherwise.
  • Eating may be difficult initially but persevere, your treatment will go quicker.

Q.When do I take them out?

A.

  • Remove the brace after every meal and clean it.
  • Remove the brace for contact sports and swimming.

Q.How do I clean them?

A.

  • Clean the brace with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Twin blocks can also be cleaned in Retainer Brite.

Q.Do I need to avoid anything whist eating?

A.

  • Avoid hard, sticky or chewy foods these can damage your brace.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, these can damage your teeth.

Q.What should I do if my brace doesn't feel right?

A.

  • Continue to wear your brace as instructed but contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment.

Q.What should I do if I damage/lose my brace?

A.

  • Contact us as soon as possible and arrange an emergency appointment. Please bring all parts of your brace with you as often they can be repaired.
  • If you lose your brace, break it beyond repair or fail to wear it as instructed there are charges for replacements
  • Do you play contact sports? Mouth guards are available, to be made specifically for you to fit your orthodontic appliance. This will give you even better protection whilst doing sports. We can make an appointment with our clinical laboratory technician if you wish.

Full Case Assessment


Q.So what happens next?

A.

  • The orthodontist has examined your teeth and jaws and has decided that you will benefit from braces and that you are eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment here at Alfreton.

Q.Do you want to wear braces?

A.

  • Brace treatment takes about 18 months to two years to complete.

  • Usually you will have a series of two to three appointments a week apart to get your braces fitted. If you need to rearrange these appointments then the whole series of appointments will need to be changed. Once the brace is fitted we will need to see you about every eight weeks to adjust them.

Q.Are you happy to travel to Alfreton for your treatment?

A.

  • You will still need to see your own dentist for routine check-ups and extractions if you require them.

Q.Your next appointment

A.

  • If you decide you want treatment we will book an appointment for you to come and see us so that we can collect necessary records, these may include moulds of your teeth, x-rays and photographs. The orthodontist will use these records to plan your treatment. If you require extractions the orthodontist will give you a letter to take to your own dentist to have the teeth removed there. Remember it is easy for everyone if you have your teeth removed before your braces are fitted. We will also get a consent form signed and we will book the appointments to get your brace fitted.

Discharge


Q.I have worn braces and retainers what happens next?

A.

  • After braces your braces are removed we will review you and your retainers for one year then we will discharge you.
  • Although we will not see you again it is important to continue wearing your retainers.
  • Remember your retainers are designed to prevent teeth moving back after braces.
  • Keeping your teeth straight is up to you.

Q.How long do I need to continue wearing retainers?

A.

  • You will need to wear retainers for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. Ultimately this is up to you.
  • For the first year you should wear your retainers every night.
  • Over the next year you should be able to reduce that to one or two nights a week.
  • Do not throw your retainers out. If your teeth move a little after braces you may be able to use your retainers to reposition them.

Q.What should I do If I need a new retainer?

A.

Contact us or your own dentist for an appointment to make a new retainer. There are charges for replacement retainers.

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