Frequently Asked Questions
If your orthodontist or dentist recommends braces, you probably need them. You can always ask your orthodontist how necessary they are, but keep in mind that getting braces is not just about a better smile. Having straighter teeth also helps keep you healthier and can prevent dental and jaw issues down the road.
3M has developed a variety of quality materials to treat almost any case while still providing options for the look you want – and the fit you need. We can help advise you on the best solution for your smile and lifestyle.
Check out the main types of braces:
Like braces themselves, there’s no single answer that fits all cases. Costs will vary depending on your choice of braces, the complexity of your treatment, and possibly your geographic location. Fortunately, there are many options to fit a wide range of budgets and lifestyles. Contact us about your personal and financial priorities.
Payment Plans: Your orthodontist may offer different options for payment plans. Be sure to ask during your consultation.
Insurance: Many dental insurance plans have orthodontic benefits to help with some of the cost of getting braces. Call your insurance company to ask about your coverage.
Flexible Spending Accounts: If your employer offers this savings option, braces will qualify as an approved medical expense. You may be able to pay your orthodontist directly from your FSA account; if not, simply submit your treatment receipts for reimbursement.
It will probably take 1 to 2 weeks to adjust to your new braces. Your teeth may “feel” larger, and your lips, cheeks and tongue may be sensitive as they get used to the braces. Your orthodontist will give you some special wax you can put on your brackets to help relieve any irritation. If you have behind-the-teeth braces, your speech may also feel a little clumsy for the first week or two.
No matter how teeth are straightened, most people experience tenderness when their teeth move. After first getting braces, and after each adjustment, you may feel a little pressure and discomfort when biting or chewing, but this should only last for a few days. Ask your orthodontist about how best to relieve any discomfort. Before you know it, having braces will feel normal and you will be able to enjoy your favorite activities – and snacks – without discomfort.
Once you get your braces put on, you’ll have more questions about the best way to take care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing can be slightly more complicated. While your orthodontist can give you the best advice based on your specific treatment, you can visit our Life with Braces website for some quick tips and basic advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy while your smile straightens.
You may need to make some adjustments when you get braces, but don’t worry – life with braces is easier than you may think! You can still play sports and musical instruments, and you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods.
While reading this page, you are probably already picturing yourself with straighter teeth. But as you get closer to having your braces removed, you might have more questions. Check out our treatment overveiw page for a brief explanation of what to expect in your life immediately after your new smile is revealed. At the end of your treatment we will give you detailed information about how to care for your teeth after braces.
They may move slightly over time making retainers/retention an important part of your treatment. We may give you a removable retainer or attach a longer-term retainer behind your teeth – out of sight. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about what to expect.
Your orthodontist is a highly trained and specialized professional who received several years of education in addition to dental school. It’s important to trust your orthodontist – but that doesn’t mean you won’t have questions! Make a list and bring it along to your first consultation. Here are a few common questions to get you started:
- How is my treatment cost determined, and how much will it be?
- Does your quote include all treatment costs from beginning to end? Are there any additional fees?
- What are my insurance and payment options?
- Can you describe the procedures you will be using?
- How long will it take to get my braces put on and taken off?
- How long will I be wearing braces?
- Do I need headgear? If so, what are my options?
- Will braces significantly affect my eating, oral hygiene or speech?
- How often will I need to schedule my check-up or adjustment appointments?
- What do I do if one of my brackets falls off?
- What follow-up steps or appointments do I need after my braces are removed?
- Will my teeth move after my braces are removed?
Please try to keep your appointments as it may be a while before you can be fitted in again. This will prolong your treatment and repeatedly missing appointments may result in you being discharged.
Invisalign® aligners are very thin and smooth, with no brackets or wires. Nevertheless you may experience minor discomfort and tightness in the first few days after changing aligners. This is due to your teeth adjusting to their new positions and is an encouraging sign that the teeth are moving!
We recommend you do not drink anything hot, colored, acidic or with a high sugar content when wearing aligners. This is to prevent damage to the aligner or to your teeth. Aligners should be removed for eating.
Remove your aligners to smoke, as they will stain – bear in mind that they must be in your mouth at least 22 hours a day to work.
No, gum will stick to the aligners and pull them out.
You should clean your aligners with cold water and your toothbrush (avoid toothpaste). Some people like to use liquid soap and we will give you a starter pack containing aligner-cleaning tablets for you to try. Hot water will cause the aligner to melt or distort.
If you lose or break an aligner and it hasn’t been worn for the full two weeks, put in your previous aligner and contact us as soon as possible for advice. We recommend keeping your aligners in their case when they are not being worn.
Like all orthodontic appliances, Invisalign may temporarily affect speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, this will improve.
Retention is an essential part of all orthodontic treatment. A very thin retention wire is placed behind the four upper front teeth and six lower front teeth to help prevent tooth movement. A removable retainer, similar to an aligner, is then worn at night.
For as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!
Incognito braces are suitable for all age groups, children, adolescents and adults who want to correct their tooth position. Your orthodontist will be glad to provide you with more information. In most cases people opt for Incognito braces as they do not want their braces to be visible for professional or aesthetic reasons.
Our braces have a unique design and fit. The bracket bases are contoured to hug the lingual (tongue-side) surfaces of your teeth for optimal comfort, fit and performance. They have a very low profile so they are less likely to interfere with your speech. Our special custom made archwires are precisely programmed with your unique prescription to ensure efficient, effective tooth movement.
The Incognito braces are 100% customised to deliver specific results for each patient. Your orthodontist determines your treatment plan and then your braces are custom made just for you. We use the latest CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping and robotic technologies to fabricate your braces with your unique treatment prescription built in.
Treatment time varies by each individual patient and the amount of work required to align the teeth. Due to the advanced technology in the customised brackets, precise bracket placement and precision bent wires, your teeth will move in the most efficient manner possible.
As with traditional braces, every person reacts differently. However, most patients do not experience a speech impediment. Those patients who do experience a minor speech impediment during the first couple of weeks find that this improves with each passing day. Your orthodontist can also provide you with speech exercises.
For the first two weeks after your braces are put on, your tongue, lips and teeth may be sore, just as they would be with traditional braces. You will be given instructions from your orthodontist as to how to care for and adjust to your new braces.
Incognito from £4500
We allow our patients to pay for their treatment in manageable installments on an interest free basis.
Clear Braces Questions
Clear braces are ideal for patients with mild to moderate tooth misalignment. Clear aligners are safe and effective at gradually shifting teeth into proper alignment. Some patients with malocclusion can benefit from straightening their crooked teeth. Often times bite issues are related to crooked teeth. We can help you determine if clear braces or traditional orthodontics or retainers will best treat your malocclusion.
Clear braces are discreet, comfortable, and effective. Teen and adult patients benefit from being able to continue their normal daily social and professional interactions with the embarrassment of metal braces. Clear aligners gradually shift teeth into alignment with barely anyone else noticing you are wearing them.
Clear braces fit snugly against the teeth so patients can speak normally while wearing the aligners. They are removable for effective oral hygiene reducing the risk of cavities often associated with traditional metal braces.
Yes. Clear braces are safe and effective for teenaged patients with mild to moderate orthodontic concerns.
Yes. Clear braces are highly effective for closing minor to moderate gaps between teeth. The aligners are designed to gradually shift teeth closer together closing gaps in the teeth.
Clear braces work in the same way as traditional braces – by exerting gradual pressure on one or more teeth.
We carefully plan how much each tooth can move – looking at available space, root positioning and bite (how your teeth work together). A series of braces are then planned, each one designed to move your teeth closer to your future smile. Each clear brace gradually moves one or more teeth approximately 0.3mm at a time.
The longer you wear your aligners each day, the more effective and quicker your treatment will be. We suggest you aim for 24 hours a day, only removing them to eat and clean them.
No! Even really soft foods can damage the plastic when chewing. It is recommended that all drinking and eating is kept to mealtimes when you can remove your braces. If you eat or drink with the aligners in food debris and liquids can become trapped between your teeth and the clear plastic, not only will it look unsightly but it can lead to decay or acid in the fluid can erode the enamel of your teeth. We only recommend drinking still water whilst wearing your clear aligners.
Drinking water whilst wearing your braces is fine.
It is recommended that your braces are removed when drinking hot, carbonated, sugary or acidic drinks.
If you need to drink these types of drinks you must remove your clear braces and make sure you clean your teeth and the brace before inserting them back on your teeth.
The heat from hot drinks can also damage the thin plastic of the braces and prevent them working or deform them.
Metal Braces Questions
It can take a few days for your mouth to adjust to your new braces – to relieve this initial discomfort you can take a painkiller such as paracetamol or whatever you normally take for a headache. Some patients find holding iced cold water in their mouths can help take away some of the pressure from the wire pushing the teeth.
Your brace care pack contains some wax, which can be placed over any areas of the brace which may be rubbing. Be sure to dry the area carefully first then apply a pea sized amount. If the problem persists or there is a long wire or broken bracket you may need to contact us for an appointment.
It is essential to look after your teeth and braces during treatment to avoid damaging your brace (which will make treatment take longer) or permanent stains or holes appearing in the teeth (see photos below). This means that not only do you need to use the brushes in the care pack as instructed twice a day (for at least five minutes!) but also avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods and sugary drinks (especially energy drinks). Over the page are details of what brushes to use and how often. Remember, if your gums begin to bleed it is a sign of inflammation indicating more thorough cleaning is needed.
It may be necessary for you to wear elastic bands between the upper and lower braces at some stage during your treatment. These are worn inside the mouth during the day and night, including at mealtimes.
You will need to change some of what you eat to avoid problems such as breaking the brace or permanent holes in the teeth.
As a general rule you should:
- Avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime.
- Avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and chewing gum.
- Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet and energy drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice.
- Hard or chewy foods – such as apples, carrots and crusty bread – can damage your brace. Avoid them or cut them up first.
You will need regular appointments (usually every 8 weeks) during treatment for the brace to be adjusted.
Orthodontic emergencies are rare. Your braces are held in place by a strong, reliable dental adhesive, and the brackets themselves are designed to bond securely. But if one of your brackets does fall off – or if a band or wire comes loose – call for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible.
Do not wait for your next routine appointment as the breakage may slow your treatment, or may result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace, your treatment may need to be stopped early.
Once your fixed brace has been removed you will need to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth moving back – you will need to wear a retainer on a part time basis for as long as you want the teeth to stay straight.
You may need to wear a gum shield over your braces – there are a number of options. Please ask for details and prices.
Your brace care pack contains everything you need and is purpose made for orthodontic patients. Overleaf you will find information on how to use each of the items in your brace care pack.
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