What happens at my first visit to the Orthodontist
Q.What is orthodontics?
- 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?
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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
Q.What should I expect when my braces are fitted?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
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?
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?
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.
Q.I have worn braces and retainers what happens next?
- 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?
- 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?
Contact us or your own dentist for an appointment to make a new retainer. There are charges for replacement retainers.