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FAQs

If you have any questions about our orthodontic treatments, we are happy to talk through them with you. Get in touch with us.

You may find the answer to your question here. Why not have a look through our Frequently Asked Questions?

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of improper bites, which may be a result of dental and facial irregularities.

What is a specialist/consultant orthodontist?

Specialist orthodontists have to undergo additional postgraduate training beyond dental school to learn the proper way to diagnose, prevent and treat improper bites. Only those who have taken this training may call themselves "Specialist orthodontists" and are more experienced and qualified than general dentists to provide orthodontic treatments.

Some of our orthodontists have undertaken a further two years of extra training after becoming specialist orthodontists to become consultant orthodontists and hold consultant posts in various hospitals. Consultant orthodontists undertake this extra training to manage difficult orthodontic cases and complex facial and dental irregularity problems.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

For most people, the most significant benefit of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful, confident smile. But having treatment can have considerable benefits for your health and well-being including:

  • Healthier gums as straighter teeth are easier to clean and eliminate food traps, which can lead to gum disease.
  • Improved chewing and speech as a result of a balanced bite following treatment to correct irregularities with the teeth and jaws.
  • Reduce tooth wear by correcting the way the teeth bite so that there are no abnormal stresses placed on the teeth as a result of mal-alignment of the teeth.
  • Boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Enjoy and be proud your smile.
What sort of issues can be treated with orthodontic treatment?

As we are creating beautiful smiles, common issues that can easily be treated by orthodontic treatment include:

  • Crowded or spaced teeth
  • Missing or extra teeth
  • Retruded or protruded teeth or jaws
  • Deep overbite (an increased overlap between the upper and lower front teeth)
  • Openbites (front teeth do not touch each other)
  • Crossbites (upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth instead of the outside)
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • Excessive wear of teeth
  • Facilitate restorative and cosmetic dentistry and replacements of teeth
  • Significant jaw discrepancies

Our orthodontists can help you make a decision as to whether braces are right for you and which type of braces will give you the best result.

When should children be evaluated?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, ideally children should be evaluated around seven or eight years of age. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.

If you are concerned please ask your dentist to refer your child for an assessment.

Can I have braces as an adult?

Contrary to popular belief, braces are not limited to just the young growing individuals, everyone can benefit from and achieve a great smile through orthodontic treatment.

At Orthoclinique, we don’t just look at your teeth, we look at the underlying jaw and the soft tissues and assess your whole facial appearance. What you will look like for the rest of your life is important to us. Many people see a noticeable change not just in their teeth, but in their entire facial appearance.

When it comes to looking better, many adults today are opting for extensive—and invasive—procedures like plastic surgery and facelifts. Why not start with the single most dramatic change that can be achieved easily, comfortably and most cost-effectively i.e. a straighter, brighter and natural smile?

I don't want braces that show. What are my options?

Tooth-coloured ceramic braces are a good alternative to metal braces though the wire is still visible. For totally invisible braces, they may be bonded behind the teeth (lingual braces). Another very discreet option is to use a series of plastic tray aligners which Invisalign uses instead of traditional braces to correct some problems. Our orthodontists will be happy to discuss all the available options with you and you can find more information here.

Click here to find out more about Invisalign.
Click here to find out more about lingual braces.
Click here to find out more about cosmetic braces.

My teeth have been crooked for many years – why should I have orthodontic treatment now?

It's never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function and improve the appearance of your teeth. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

We have lots of finance options to make the treatment affordable and our patients find this to be a convenient way to pay. It makes the decision to transform their smiles, easier to make.

The best way to find out is to get in touch – which you can do here.

How do braces work?

Braces have come a long way in the last few decades, but their basic function is still the same: to move your teeth into alignment with gentle, steady pressure.

Your braces are custom fitted to your mouth. The archwire or plastic aligner slowly and steadily puts pressure on the teeth to guide them into perfect alignment. You can't see the teeth move, but over time the results will show. Your surrounding tissues and the bone structure underneath will remodel to support the tooth in its new position.

How do braces feel, do they hurt?

Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. The teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Our orthodontist will advise patients what, if any, pain relievers to take. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed with over the counter rain relief. Once patients have become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.

How do I take care of my braces?

Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils or fingernails. Also avoid any sugar and fizzy drinks.

Removable braces should be taken out when brushing and should be cleaned with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste and/or Retainer Brite.

With fixed braces, keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be twice a day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. You can buy a 'care pack' from our receptionist which contains all the necessary accessories to help clean your teeth and look after your brace.

Clean, healthy teeth move quicker and will limit any damage to the teeth and supporting tissues.

Can you play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, you will be advised to wear a protective mouth guard whilst playing any contact sports. Our orthodontists can recommend a specific mouth guard.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.

How long will treatment take?

On average brace treatment takes about 18 months, but this depends on the problem and can be significantly reduced for simpler orthodontic problems. You can make a difference by looking after and wearing your braces properly. Broken braces and missed appointments will slow your treatment down.

How often will I need to visit the orthodontist?

Generally your braces will need adjusting approximately every eight weeks to ensure that treatment progresses well.

What do I do if I break my brace?

If you have any breakages or problems, please contact us for advice or to arrange an emergency appointment. For simple breakages without pain, another appointment will be arranged to repair the breakage. Emergency appointments are for patients in pain and will be booked to get patients out of pain. If time permits, the problem will be repaired. Otherwise another appointment will be arranged.

Will I have a retainer after my treatment?

Yes, all patients have a retainer after treatment. When your braces are removed, it is imperative that the teeth are retained in their positions to allow the supporting bone and soft tissue to settle around the teeth again. They will prevent the teeth from moving back to their start position.

If you do not wear your retainers as instructed, your teeth may move back towards how they were before treatment. Current evidence suggests that retainers should be worn for as long as you want your teeth to be straight for.

Teeth move throughout our life; the best way to guarantee keeping your teeth straight is to continue to wear your retainers long term.

If you lose or break a retainer, contact us straight away.

Troopers Yard 23 Bancroft Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 1JW
01462 435 400
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