Teeth could be tender for a few days but in general we advise analgesics (painkillers) like Nurofen. Many people find they do not have any need for painkillers. The braces may rub on the lips or cheeks for a few days until you get used to them. Speech may be affected temporarily especially if there is any type of an appliance on the inside of the mouth. We supply patients with orthodontic wax to protect the cheeks against the irritating area until the cheeks gets used to the appliances.
Orthodontic braces do not lead to swelling of the gums but it is harder to brush your teeth while wearing braces. If you do not brush your teeth, then you get swollen gums and gingivitis. Similarly marks on the teeth are due to poor oral hygiene. Some people feel that with braces on, they do not have to brush but the opposite is the case. If you do not brush your teeth properly with fixed appliances on, you will get markings on your teeth and decay of your teeth far more quickly than if you did not have braces on.
Retainers are appliances that hold your teeth into position. Unfortunately teeth move throughout life, so it is vital to hold the beautiful smile we have just achieved, either with fixed retainers or removable Essix retainers. These are normally worn every night at the start and then gradually reduced on the Doctor’s instructions to one or two nights a week. These are your insurance policy that teeth will not move.
Invisible braces are any type of braces which are less obvious than the traditional metal fixed braces. One type is ceramic braces which are white, made of a hard ceramic material. Another type is plastic which we do not use because they distort. Another type is lingual braces on the inside of the teeth. The trade names we use are Harmony and Incognito. Another type is clear removable aligners like Invisalign. These are very precise closely fitting practically invisible aligners which have little bits of white filling material attached to some of the teeth to help with grip and retention. Metal braces are obviously not invisible but are much smaller than they used to be many years ago so they are now far less obvious than they were in the past.
Generally braces do not hurt. However after certain visits teeth may be tender for a few days. If necessary, take some pain medication such as nurofen provided you are not allergic to it. The majority of patients do not feel any soreness at all. With the new technology self ligating brackets and space age nickel titanium gentle wires, very light forces are used. Just because it does not hurt, does not mean it is not working.
We use self-ligating brackets so it reduces the force levels needed so most people find that they do not need any analgesics. In particular, children find they do not need anything except perhaps some wax. Adults generally need some Nurofen for a couple of days. Invisalign tends to be gentler.
Many dentists do braces and do fillings and crowns and dentures. However an orthodontist is dentist who does nothing else except braces and who has specialized for at least three years in braces whereas the general dentist has to do everything to a non-specialist standard. The reason orthodontic training is so long and specialized is that the orthodontist can advise on the best braces for you. Dr. O’Regan is a specialist for more than 20 years. He is a past president of the Orthodontic Society of Ireland and is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.
In cases of severe crowding taking teeth out may be necessary. However we prefer to treat on a non-extraction basis without taking teeth out but sometimes there may be no choice because of extreme crowding or profile reasons. We will discuss all the options with you at your first appointment.
Normal treatment lasts 18-24 months. However complicated cases can last much longer. Very simple cases can last 6 months.
Generally appointments are every 7-8 weeks but sometimes shorter or longer intervals are needed.
Yes because we like to update you about your child’s progress at each visit.’ remove ‘we do not monitor for gum disease.
Yes for any contact sports but you need a special orthodontic gum shields or Dr. Shock orthodontic gum shield.
Yes. We will give you a list. Generally you cannot eat anything hard or sticky e.g toffee, jellies and mars bars.
Yes. Teeth move throughout life so even if your teeth are perfect and you never had braces, your teeth will move throughout life so you need to wear retainers (removable braces) at night to keep the beautiful smile just achieved.
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