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Everything You Need To Know About Getting Braces

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin) Specialist Orthodontist and Clinical Lecturer at Guy's Hospital, London.

8th November 2021
Getting Braces

Before You Get Braces

There are a number of things you should consider before going ahead with Orthodontic treatment, as well as a few things that your Orthodontist will need to check before they can treat you.

At Orthodontic Gallery we offer Free Video Consultations and Free in-Practice Consultations with our treatment coordinators to anyone considering Orthodontic treatment. Allowing you to discuss all of the options available to you and exactly what you can expect during your smile makeover journey. We also offer Free iTero Scans, which allows you to see your potential results instantly.


Before Your Braces Are Fitted

You will need to be dentally fit. This means if you don’t attend regular dental check-ups we’ll ask you to see your general dentist before we can fit you with any orthodontic appliance.

You’ll need to have a great oral hygiene regime and be prepared to have an even better one once your braces are fitted. Healthy teeth respond better to Orthodontic treatment than teeth suffering from dental problems.

In order to achieve the results you want and results that will stay, you need to be dedicated to taking great care of your teeth during your Orthodontic treatment. Of course, we would suggest you continue to look after your teeth and have regular dental checkups forever, not just during treatment!


Getting Your Braces Fitted

It’s actually rather easy for you, there are no needles, numbing or drilling involved with any type of Orthodontic treatment. If you’re having fixed braces we wash your teeth with a gel that makes the surface rough so that the glue sticks – then, we place the brackets in a precise place on each tooth and set the glue with a light.

With Invisalign, it’s a bit different, but still easy enough for you. Usually, Invisalign patients need ‘attachments’ (small tooth-coloured dots made of composite filling material that are bonded to teeth) to help the Invisalign aligners move teeth efficiently. Patients also usually require, interproximal enamel reduction (IPR) having their clear aligners fitted.

Attachments are fitted much like the brackets of fixed braces, using gel, glue and light. The IPR is done by passing a ‘sandpaper floss’ between the teeth to remove the required fraction of enamel. This sounds like it should be uncomfortable but is similar to filing your nails as enamel has no nerves and has no feeling.


Be Honest With Yourself

Treatment selection is important. We can tell you what will work and deliver amazing results, but your compliance and commitment to treatment are extremely important. Invisalign, for example, requires you to be committed to 22 hours of wear per day. You really should only take them out for eating, drinking & brushing your teeth. It does, of course, allow for the occasional night out, special event and work meeting. If you’d like Invisalign – but you’re not 100% confident that you’ll wear them, then speak to us about ‘wear indicators’ – a series of blue dots on the backs of the aligners that will slowly fade away over the two week period when the aligners are worn. If you fail to wear the aligners as you should, the blue dots will still be visible to your Orthodontist!

Lingual braces are fitted to the backs of your teeth, making them truly invisible braces. However, if you are considering lingual braces you will need to need to be patient and be scrupulous with your cleaning.

Our truly dedicated treatment coordinators can offer all the information you need about the Orthodontic treatments available to you and can advise on the commitment required for each brace treatment. Book a Free Consultation with a treatment coordinator and begin treatment with all the facts!


Getting Your Braces Tightened

It’s not that bad, we promise! The first few days after you have braces fitted your teeth will feel bruised, sore and achy – but that will never feel quite as bad again. The adjustments get easier and less achy each time.

The same can be said for changing your aligners (which you do yourself at home every 1-2 weeks). The first few days of the new aligner may make your teeth feel sore, but that eases off as you progress through your treatment.


Giving Stuff Up!

You’ll tell yourself you will, but in our experience less than half of our patients completely give up foods like; peanuts, popcorn, caramel, gum, Doritos, apples, carrots, corn on the cob, ice, pizza crust, beef jerky, hard candy, pretzels, bagels, french stick, corn chips, and FIZZY DRINKS etc.

So here’s a guide to eating those foods, not getting caught, and tips and tricks on how to get your braces off early.

1. Brush your teeth thoroughly after eating sticky foods, and chew them lightly with the biting surfaces of your back molar teeth

2. Don’t use your front teeth to bite into anything! The glue we use is designed to be ‘snapped’ off and this biting action mimics the force we use to remove your braces.

3. You can eat popcorn. Just be prepared to get your interdental cleaning toothbrush out in the cinema! And, get a water flosser –  you’ll be set to eat any food your heart desires. Except for jawbreakers. Don’t eat jawbreakers!

4. Keep all fizzy drinks, diet, sugar-free and otherwise to a minimum and try to have them with a meal rather than throughout the day.

5. Your braces might break on stupid things – that’s life. Just come and see us ASAP. As soon as that tooth isn’t connected to your brace it starts heading back to where it came from!

6. WEAR YOUR RUBBER BANDS, IT’S NOT RUBBISH! Just. Wear. Them. You SERIOUSLY get your braces off faster.

7. Keep your teeth CLEAN. Happy, healthy, clean teeth move faster than those covered in plaque. Plaque can harden on the wire and stop your teeth from moving altogether. Also! You don’t want to end up with irreversible white square stains on your teeth.


Getting Your Braces Off

Following active treatment, it is vital to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in their newly aligned position. If you don’t, they could start moving and may need straightening again.

Retainers are usually worn full-time for the first three months and then just at night for a further three months.

If you want to protect the time and money you have invested in your teeth, it’s wise to keep your retainers and continue to wear them at least 2-3 nights a week.

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Before and Afters

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