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Some of our most frequently asked questions

We have collated some of our most frequently asked questions for your convenience. We are happy to help if you need any further information – please get in touch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting the overall alignment of the teeth and jaws. As well as enhancing your smile, well-aligned teeth can help you bite correctly and can be much easier to keep clean. They can also boost your confidence & self-esteem.

What is the difference between a Dentist and a Specialist Orthodontist?

A specialist orthodontist is a dentist who has completed additional further specialist postgraduate training specifically in orthodontics. The title of specialist can only be used by orthodontists who have the recognised qualifications to be registered as specialist with the General Dental Council.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment times vary, with the average being 18-24 months. However, teeth straightening can take between six months to over three years, depending on the severity of your problem. During this time, you will need to wear your braces as instructed and take good care of them, to ensure your treatment stays on track.

How often will I need to come in?

After your brace has been fitted, you will need to see us every 5-12 weeks depending on your treatment needs.

Do braces hurt?

Your teeth may feel tender for a couple of weeks following fitting of your brace and you may experience a little soreness after your regular adjustments, but this will soon pass.

What if I don’t qualify for NHS treatment?

If you have been referred for NHS assessment, Mr Davies can advise whether you qualify for NHS funding once your assessment has been completed. If your orthodontic problems are too mild for NHS treatment, our Treatment Coordinator can discuss private treatment options with you.

Am I too old for braces if I’m over 18?

No. Orthodontic treatment can be performed on patients of all ages, as long as your teeth and gums are healthy and you have a good standard of oral hygiene.

Do I still need to see my own dentist?

Yes. You should continue to see your general dentist for check-ups while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

What are retainers?

Retainers are used after your braces have been taken off to prevent your teeth moving back to their original position. Removable retainers are usually similar to gum shields and worn while you sleep, every night, for around 4-6 months. After this time, you will gradually wear them less frequently but may continue to wear them once or twice a week indefinitely.

Fixed retainers are thin wires bonded discreetly behind your front teeth and, as you won’t forget to put them in, they can help keep your teeth nicely in line.

Will I need to have teeth extracted?

This will depend on the nature of the problem that needs correcting. Not everyone needs teeth extracted to help straighten their teeth but extractions are often required. A decision can only be made after we have carried out a detailed case assessment. We do however try to avoid needing to lose teeth as much as possible.

I had braces when I was younger but my teeth have moved since I stopped wearing my retainer. Is this common?

Yes, this can happen. As we grow & get older, our teeth can move & can slip out of alignment. This is more likely to happen if you haven’t been good at wearing retainers after treatment was completed. Just like any other part of our body, the portion of our teeth will change as the years pass. Retainers will help to prevent significant changes taking place. We strongly recommend you wear your retainers to help protect your investment and keep teeth straight.

Can you play sport while wearing braces?

Yes, but we recommend you wear mouth guards over your brace to protect it and avoid injuries to your mouth. If you are wearing Invisalign aligners, you can simply remove these while playing sport, but remember to put them back in immediately afterwards.

Will orthodontic treatment affect my ability to play a musical instrument?

Some orthodontic appliances can make playing a musical instrument difficult but if you let us know which instrument you play, we may be able to fit you with an appliance that doesn’t affect your playing ability.

I have a complaint, compliment or suggestion

Please contact our Practice Manager, Karina Fogarty, by telephone (01206 756210) or email:

Any more questions?

Deciding to have orthodontic treatment is a big decision which shouldn’t be rushed. Booking an Orthodontic Assessment gives us a chance to consider your particular case and advise you on the best treatment options. It also provides you with the perfect opportunity to ask as many questions as you like!

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