Common Questions About Braces
Whether you are certain you need braces and planning to have them or you think you might need braces to get your dream smile, you might have questions. While questions about braces are likely best answered by making an appointment with one of our orthodontists, we have done the legwork for you and answered some of the most common questions about braces.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
All orthodontists are dentists who have undertaken 2 to 3 years of postgraduate study to specialize in orthodontics. Your general dentist will help you maintain good oral hygiene, carry out fillings and so on but will usually refer you to an orthodontist for some substantial work, like the fitting of braces.
What causes orthodontic problems?
Malocclusions can be inherited or acquired. Inherited problems can include crowding teeth, too much space between teeth, extra teeth, congenitally missing teeth and a wide range of discrepancies of the jaws, teeth and face. Acquired problems can be caused by traumas such as thumb or finger sucking, airway obstructions by tonsil and adenoids, dental diseases and premature loss of baby or adult teeth. Many of these problems can affect not only alignment of the teeth, but also facial development and appearance as well.
What are the early signs of orthodontic problems?
Determining if treatment is necessary can be difficult without consultation but the following signs may help in prompting you to seek orthodontic advice:
- Crowded or overlapping teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Front teeth not lining up with bottom teeth
- Top teeth not meeting with bottom teeth
- Top teeth covering more than 50% of the bottom teeth
All of these can signal the need to investigate and book a consultation.
What are the alternatives to metal braces?
Metal braces are still one of the most popular options for those who want straighter and gapless teeth. This is a system that we know works well even for very complicated cases. That said, there are alternatives to the traditional metal braces that accommodate patients’ lifestyle and make the ‘ugly betty’ narrative a thing of the past. You can go from discreet, stylish, nearly invisible braces to loud, flamboyant, colourful braces- whatever suits your aesthetics.
There are several systems at Smart Dental Care to choose from:
- Invisalign- custom made, removable, near invisible aligners
- Pitts 21- fixed braces with 3D control for fast and more precise finishes
- Quick Straight Teeth (QST)- a choice of fixed braces with tooth coloured wires and removable clear braces that are nearly invisible. They both give the discreet look.
- Nuvola- another removable braces that guarantees predictable results.
- Six Months Smile- Get straight teeth in 6 months with a choice of fixed braces, using clear brackets and tooth coloured wires, or Invisible removable aligners similar to Nuvola Invisalign and clear QST.
Invisalign is the most popular alternative, so you can join over 8 million people who have transformed their smiles.
Are braces for adults?
When most people think about braces, they think of teenage years. And while it is true that many people get their braces during teenage years, it’s also more true that more and more adults are getting orthodontic treatments to revamp their smile. Again, there are other alternatives to the metal braces, that are particularly suited for adults- discrete options like Invisalign, Nuvola, QST, and so on.
Invisalign was actually designed first and foremost as an alternative treatment for adults who want straighter teeth without having to wear the ‘train tracks’. This was before it was deemed ‘acceptable’ for adults to wear braces. Now, any kind of braces can be a fashion statement!
Do braces do anything other than improve my smile?
Many people mistakenly think that braces are a purely cosmetic treatment. While there is real value in having a straighter, more confident smile, there are plenty of health related reasons to get braces. Many patients will need not only to have their individual teeth straightened, but also their bite corrected. This can make it much easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
- It can eliminate many issues that can make chewing painful or cause long term pain in the jaw.
- You’ll also see less gingivitis, fewer cavities
- Overall, you’ll just be more pleased with how your teeth look.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
This is very dependent on the type of treatment you have. Different types of braces cost different amounts and some patients will need longer treatment than others. You can expect to spend between £1,000 and £8,000 for orthodontic treatment. Of course, we do not require you to make payments at once. We have finance options and payment plans that suit each patient’s budget.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
This is also dependent on the treatment you require. Some people may need just 6 months of treatment, but for most people it can usually take 1 to 2 years.
Does orthodontic treatment or wearing braces hurt?
No, it doesn’t. Although at various stages throughout your treatment, you may experience some discomfort. This is usually around the time you have your braces tightened or when you are given your next set of aligners. If severely uncomfortable, the discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter pain relief such as paracetamol.
Do I still need to visit my dentist while receiving treatments?
Yes, and it is very important that you continue to see your dentist for regular check- ups. This will help to ensure your teeth remain clean and healthy throughout treatment.
Can I clean my teeth while wearing braces?
Yes, and it is paramount that you do so. If your teeth are not kept in optimum condition, this can affect your treatment and cause complications in your oral health. Your dentist will advise how to brush your teeth and additional tools you might need that you can get from any drug store.