Braces FAQs

Not sure what to expect before you get braces.

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions we get. Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Send our knowledgeable team a message.

SmileXpress is an alternative treatment to traditional braces. They give you the same results but in a quicker time.

We offer two types of SmileXpress treatments:

  • Quick Treatment – designed for patient who want to achieve quick straight teeth but doesn’t have the time to go for the full treatment. It is also ideal for teenagers with their formal just around the corner.
  • Full Treatment – Ideal for patients who are not worried about how long the treatment will take. It can usually take around 6-9 months.

Yes, you can still play sport while undergoing the treatment. We would recommend getting a custom mouth guard made to protect your teeth from any potential damage.

Being fitted with braces means that you will see the orthodontist quite regularly for the duration of your treatment. Many think that this means that they no longer need to see their regular dentist when quite the opposite is true. Your orthodontist is only  responsible for the appliance, straightening your teeth etc. Your dentist is the one who checks your oral health and helps you overcome any dental issues that you may have.

Plaque forms when bacteria build up on the surface of the teeth. This build-up creates groups of thick white or yellow plaque that can actually be seen on the teeth within hours. If you do not treat or remove this build-up, the bacteria will begin to produce acid that wears away your tooth enamel, causing decay. All of this can be prevented by regular, good brushing. You want to make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly so you don’t leave any spots with plaque build-up.

Everything will be covered in fine detail at your consultation but here are the basics.

Getting braces takes between 45 minutes to an hour and begins with the orthodontist polishing your teeth. They will then paint on a solution to prime your teeth for the adhesive. A bonding glue will then be applied and the braces stuck on. Finally your archwire will be slid through and held in place with elastics (unless you are wearing self-ligating braces which don’t need ties). Once applied you will be instructed on how to properly care for your new braces

Metal braces are still one of the most popular options for those in search of straighter teeth. It is a system that is known to work well for even the most complicated cases. However, there are some alternatives for those who don’t want metal braces. Other options include ceramic and even plastic braces that use the same general system as metal braces to straighten teeth. The most favoured alternative to metal braces Invisalign. These are clear plastic aligners that gradually straighten teeth. Many prefer this option because it can be removed from your teeth for eating and for cleaning the teeth and the aligners. If you don’t want metal braces or feel like your case isn’t severe enough for metal braces, there are many alternatives you can ask your orthodontist about.

Many people mistakenly believe that braces are used as a purely cosmetic treatment. Of course there is value in having a straighter, more confident smile, there are also many health-related reasons to get braces. Many patients will need not just their individual teeth straightened, but rather their entire bite corrected. Once improved, it can make it much easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy. It will also eliminate a number of the issues that can make chewing painful or that can cause long term pain in the jaw. You will notice less gingivitis, fewer cavities, and will overall just be more pleased with how your teeth look.

A functional appliance is a type of brace used to correct a “Class II” problem. These problems usually relate to the bite, particularly where the top teeth bite in front of the lower teeth. Functional appliances can be either fixed or removable. The more common removable functional appliances are made from separate upper and lower parts, which come together to place the lower jaw in a more advanced position. Other functional appliances are made from just one piece, although these may adapt slightly less well to the teeth.

There is a lot of debate surrounding use of a functional brace. It seems that functional braces primarily tip teeth, moving top teeth backwards and lower teeth forwards. There is research that suggests that the position and length of the lower jaw is determined by our genetic make-up, meaning that while growth of the lower jaw may be altered in the short-term by a functional brace, in the long-term no significant difference in jaw position is likely to occur. It is true though that moving the teeth can cause changes in lip position with the upper lip covering the top teeth more fully.

Not necessarily. The treatment will not work if the functional appliance is not worn enough. There is also a small group of patients who do not respond particularly well to functional braces. Unfortunately, it is not easy to predict which patients will respond to treatment. Functional appliances seen as most successful when used prior to or during the adolescent growth spurt. This typically occurs between the ages of 11 and 14 in boys and 10 to 13 in girls. It is possible that treatment may be suggested at an earlier or later stage in certain circumstances.

Your dentist may suggest orthodontic treatment if your child has overcrowding, an overbite or underbite. If you’ve made it to adulthood, but you’re not happy with your smile—crooked teeth, pain chewing, gappy teeth—book a consultation with one of our orthodontists.

Prices for braces can vary based on difficulty and length of treatment, as well as the type of braces. We will provide you with a written quote detailing the corrective treatment and costs. We will also sit down with you and work out a payment plan to suit your budget.

You can get braces at any age; however where there are problems with the jaw bone, early treatment is preferable. Adult treatment is still very successful, but requires a longer treatment period.

Each case is different. At the time of consult you will be given an approximate time period, but this may be extended unless you attend all regular check-ups and follow instructions. The average time is 12-18 months.

Yes. You need to take extra special care to floss and brush while you are wearing braces. Food can get trapped in your braces and teeth may discolour if you are not vigilant.

Regular check-ups are 6-8 week intervals, where your braces will be adjusted. Your wires may be changed and if you wish to have the colours changed, this is your opportunity.

In some instances, there is not enough room for crowded teeth to move into position. If treated at an earlier age there’s only a 10—15% chance that you will need teeth removed.

Having the moulds taken of your teeth isn’t the most pleasant experience, but there’s certainly no pain during the process. Afterwards you may experience slight discomfort. Your teeth will feel a bit tender after they are first fitted and again after each adjustment.

Standard braces will not affect how you talk or the sound of your voice. In some instance, where a plate/retainer or Invisalign are used, you may experience a slight lisp. It takes a couple of days to get used to it, before you will start talking as normal.

Braces can develop sore spots. Ortho wax can be placed on your braces to relieve where brackets and wires are rubbing.

In the early days of your treatment and after adjustment visits, your teeth may experience tenderness. You can still eat, but opt for soft foods—mashed potato, jelly, pureed apple and lots of fluids like green smoothies and soups.

Yes, your active lifestyle need not be impeded by the fact that you have braces. However, we recommend that you wear a braces mouthguard when playing sports. You can have one custom made for your teeth (with room for where your teeth will need to move to) at SmartSmile Orthodontics. A mouthguard will not only protect your braces from any potential damage but also keep your cheeks and lips from sustaining any serious cuts or injury if you fall or are hit in the face for whatever reason.

Having braces means that you will need to give your teeth extra care. You should brush your teeth after every meal, including snacks, using a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to pay attention to your individual teeth, the braces themselves and to be rid of any particles that may be left behind after your meal. You should floss at least twice a day. Regular floss is a little harder to use while wearing braces so your orthodontist may recommend interdental brushes or floss threaders so that you can reach between your teeth more easily. Finally, once you are done brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent white spots and cavities.

Visiting the dentist while wearing braces is just as important as visiting the orthodontist. These regular check-ups will allow your dentist to spot any cavities and signs of gum disease and implement any necessary treatments to prevent or stop any potential further damage. They may also perform fluoride treatments in order to give additional protection to your tooth surfaces and prevent decay while you wear braces.

Here at Smart Smile Orthodontics, we recommend that you use Super Floss as it comes in pre-cut strands and inbuilt floss threader.

Thread the stiff end of the floss up under the arch wire and pull it through the thinner part of the floss. Wrap the floss around your fingers on either side of your teeth and slide the floss down between two teeth.

Work the floss against one tooth allowing it to slip under the gum. Use an up and down motion to move the floss against the tooth up the wire and back down under the gum.

By using toothpaste with fluoride, it can strengthen your teeth as well as making them more resistant to attacks from sugar and acid, while offering protection against tooth decay.

Flossing removes plaque as well as preventing tooth decay. If you don’t floss, bacteria will start breeding between your teeth which will result in tooth decay.