Frequently Asked Questions: Orthodontics.
Q. What does orthodontics mean?
A. Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that deals with improving the alignment and function of teeth.
Q. What is the best age to have braces fitted?
A. Braces can work for adults but the treatment will take considerably longer so the earlier your braces are fitted the better.
Q. I have crooked teeth and I'd like to try a brace – what types are available?
A. The two most common types of dental braces are: fixed braces and removable braces. Fixed braces are attached to teeth by small brackets connected by wires and only a dentist can remove them. Removable braces are made of plastic with wires that hold the brace in place. You can remove this type of brace to clean it.
Q. What type of brace is most suitable for me?
A. Your dentist will use x-rays and models of your teeth to decide which type of brace is most suitable for you.
Q. I need fixed braces but I don't like the way they look – what can I do?
A. The brackets that hold fixed braces in position are usually made of stainless steel. Ceramic or plastic brackets are tooth coloured and blend in to your teeth much better. They are an increasingly popular choice.
Q. Do braces hurt?
A. You won't feel any pain when your brace is fitted but you might feel some discomfort as the brace starts to work and your teeth begin to move.
Q. For how long will I have to wear a brace?
A. The length of treatment can vary but most braces take 18 months to move your teeth into the correct position. Another type brace - called a retainer - is then fitted to hold your teeth in place for the next few months.
Q. Can braces damage my teeth?
A. Braces use very gentle pressure to move your teeth into position so, as long as you avoid tooth decay by keeping your brace and your teeth clean, it won't do any damage. See orthodontics.
Q. Does orthodontics work for adults?
A. Yes. Orthodontics can be used to correct problems in adults but the treatment can take a lot longer.