Braces Frequently Asked Questions

Is braces painful?

It is likely to be sore for about 3-5 days each time the brace is adjusted. If necessary, simple painkillers such as those you would normally take for a headache should help – please follow the instructions on the packet. If the brace rubs your lips or cheeks, you can use some wax to help with this. Your dentist can give you further advice.

Can I remove the brace?

The brace you are now wearing is fixed to your teeth for the entire duration of your treatment. You should not try to remove it, as you may damage your teeth and the treatment will not work.

Can I eat normally?

Yes, you should be able to eat normally. However, for your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time, it is important to take care of your teeth and brace. To prevent damage, you should:
– Avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime.
– Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard sweets, mints, and sugared chewing gum.
– Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet drinks and sports drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice.
– Avoid hard or chewy foods such as apples, carrots, and crusty bread, or cut them up first as they can damage your brace.

What about tooth brushing?

It is important to brush your teeth well for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste. If possible, carry a brush with you for use after lunch.
Brushing may take a little longer with a fixed brace, so take your time. Pay particular attention to brushing where the gums meet the teeth. Interdental brushes may help you clean around the brace and between the teeth. An alcohol-free fluoride mouthrinse should also be used daily at a different time from when you brush your teeth. This helps maintain fluoride protection for your
teeth. Avoid eating or rinsing for 20 minutes after use. Sugary snacks/drinks and poor cleaning of your teeth and braces will lead to permanent damage to your teeth.

How long will treatment take?

Usually about 12-30 months, but this will vary depending on the severity of your tooth problem. Missed appointments or repeated breakages of the brace will add to your overall treatment time.

Will I need to wear anything in addition to the fixed brace?

You may need to wear elastics and/or headgear at some stage during your treatment. Headgear is usually worn in the evenings and at night. Elastics are worn inside the mouth during the day and night, including at mealtimes.

Will I need to wear another brace once my treatment has finished?

Once the active phase of your treatment is finished, it will be necessary to wear a retaining brace. This may be removable or fixed behind your front teeth. The length of time this needs to be worn can vary. Your dentist will advise you.

How often will I need an appointment?

You will need regular appointments (usually every 5-8 weeks) during treatment for the brace to be adjusted.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist?

Yes, it is important to continue having check-ups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment to check for tooth decay.

What if I play contact sports?

It is recommended that you wear a gumshield. This also applies if you participate in activities requiring a protective helmet, such as roller-blading, skateboarding, and horse riding. Ask your dentist about this.

What if I play a musical instrument?

A fixed brace may make it more difficult to play wind or brass instruments. You will need to discuss this with your music teacher and dentist.

What do I do if my brace breaks?

Contact Smilepoint Dental Centre for an appointment as soon as possible or contact us via WhatsApp. Do not wait for your next routine appointment, as the breakage may slow your treatment or result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace, your treatment may be stopped early.