So many questions need to be answered before embarking on orthodontic treatment. In the second of Paula’s 2-part blog she answers the top 10 posed questions about teeth straightening and wearing a brace.
Does having braces hurt?
The fitting of fixed braces to the teeth does not hurt as these are “glued on”, but unfortunately the full course of brace treatment does hurt a little – it’s usually a dull ache or tenderness that lasts for a few days after the braces are fitted and each time they are adjusted. The movement of teeth with braces causes swelling around the teeth which is what makes it sore. Happily, the vast majority of patients only suffer mild discomfort which is easily managed with Ibuprofen or a similar pain killer.
How often will I need to see an Orthodontist when in treatment?
Most appointments are 6-8 weeks apart and are only 15-20 minutes long – of course these can be scheduled to suit you and your commitments. Having to take some time off work or school can understandably be a barrier to treatment for some people, but many orthodontists now offer later opening or Saturday clinics, thus any time out of work or school is minimised.
How do my teeth stay straight after orthodontic treatment is finished?
Retainers keep teeth straight after treatment is finished and are always needed – these can be fixed behind the front teeth, removable, or a combination of both. During treatment the teeth are being moved into a new position and initially the teeth will want to move back to where they started (this is called relapse). In addition, if you are an adolescent you are still growing so your mouth is changing and teeth move. Adults are also susceptible to relapse due to age related change.
What do modern braces look like?
There are many different braces including clear braces and braces fitted behind the teeth.
Therefore braces don’t have to be ugly – nowadays braces can be so discreet they can’t be seen. Even the modern metal braces are smaller and sleeker so less noticeable.
Do you have to wait for all your adult teeth to come through to start orthodontic treatment?
You don’t have to wait for all your adult teeth to start treatment – many orthodontists prefer to try and work with the growing mouth to maximise the chance of avoiding having healthy adult teeth removed. So ideally a child should be seen for their first assessment at the age of 8 years old.