Orthodontics FAQ'sConnect with us:

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the correction of misaligned teeth and jaws with braces, retainers, or other dental appliances.  

What causes crooked teeth?

Just as we inherit eye color from our parents, mouth and jaw features are also inherited. Local factors such as finger sucking, pacifier sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to a bad bite. One out of every five school age children have a severe bite problem so it is not surprising that so many people need braces.

Why should I have my teeth straightened?

Poorly arranged teeth can break easily and can trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Researchers at the Baylor College of Dentistry, found that malocclusions (a poor fit (alignment) of the teeth and jaws) interfere with the chewing ability to break down foods which affects digestion and overall health. Finally, poorly arranged teeth detract from your smile which is one of the more important features contributing to facial beauty. You only have one chance to make that first impression!

How do braces straighten crooked teeth?

Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper positions. They don't look like they're doing much just sitting there. but in fact, every moment or your orthodontic treatment, there's something happening in your mouth. Something good for you.

The brackets we place on your teeth and the main arch wire that connects them, are the two main components. The bracket is a piece of specially shaped metal or ceramic that we affix to each tooth. Then we bend the arch wire to reflect your 'ideal" bite-what we want you to look like after treatment.

The wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to actually move your teeth. Picture your tooth resting in your jaw bone. With pressure on one side from the arch wire, the bone on the other side gives way. The tooth moves. New bone grows in behind.

It may look like nothing is happening but we're making a new smile here. Thanks to new materials and procedures, all this happens much quicker than ever before. It's kind of an engineering feat.

Will teeth sometimes look worse before they will look better during orthodontic treatment?

Yes, the teeth will move in different directions as the teeth are straightening out. You may see a space between your two front teeth that was never there before or teeth that seemed perfectly straight before the braces were placed may not seem as straight. Be patient and things will start to improve. That space will close and those teeth will line up as treatment continues.

How long would I have to wear a brace?

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. Complex/severe bad bites take longer. The national average is 27 months. The better you are at following your orthodontist's instructions and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Remember that no one else can wear your braces for you!

Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment; therefore, it is very important that the treatment be conducted properly. A licensed orthodontic specialist is a expert at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working with you to help make sure the teeth stay in their new positions. Remember that most orthodontic insurance plans pay for braces only once in a lifetime. Have a orthodontic specialist do it right that one time!

What is "instant orthodontics"?

Instant Orthodontics is not orthodontics at all in that you define orthodontics as moving teeth to straighten them. Instant Orthodontics is performed by non orthodontists. They leave the roots of crooked teeth crooked and place crowns or veneers on the top half of the tooth to make it look straight.

In the December 2006 Journal of the American Dental Association, Dr. Gordon Christensen wrote: "Even the most conservative ceramic veneer placement procedures remove some tooth structure, during either initial tooth preparation or finishing procedures. Ceramic veneers have a finite life expectancy.

"Veneers placed on a young adult will require replacement several times during life, each time requiring the removal of more tooth structure and potentially causing damage to pulp and/or supporting structures.....the orthodontically treated patient retains his or her own tooth structure and tooth anatomy, which can serve for as long as a lifetime.

Do you do after school appointments?

NHS patients must appreciate that after school appointments are very few in number and their appointments will usually be in school time. Do remember that you will only be attending once a month and appointments do not last long. We try to vary appointment times to cause minimum disruption to schooling. If this is a problem, we suggest you schedule your visits into free periods or sport.

In order to be fair to all concerned, we do not allow advanced block booking. We are sorry if this sounds unduly severe in this age of "customer care" but you wouldn't believe what a difficult problem this is.

Will I need to have teeth taken out?

Many orthodontic treatments, especially for crowding or protruding teeth, do involve the extraction of permanent teeth. If these are required, your own dentist will carry then out. We do not take teeth out at Share a Smile. With current advances in technology such as the Damon self ligating brace - the number of teeth that need to be taken out have been dramatically cut.

Can orthodontic treatment damage my teeth?

It is important you brush your teeth well, three times per day and use fluoride toothpaste. A fluoride mouth rinse should also be used last thing at night, after tooth brushing, to further protect teeth. Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will lead to permanent scarring of your teeth.

Does it matter if my teeth are not in good condition?

Problems with tooth brushing or tooth decay may have to be dealt with prior to commencement of the treatment.

What if my brace breaks during treatment?

You will need to contact the practise for an emergency appointment for the brace to be repaired. Repeated breakages slow down the treatment and increase the overall treatment time. As a rule, every time the brace is broken 1-2 months is added to the normal treatment time of 6 - 24 months. If you repeatedly break the brace, treatment may be stopped, leaving your teeth in a worse position than when you started.

Do you offer payment plans for Braces treatment?

We offer professional interest free and low cost payment plans (no deposit required) that we administer through Medenta. Now you can have what you want in the most affordable manner possible.

Please ask us for full details of the payment plans via the braces contact us page. You can find out about Medenta at Medenta's website.

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  • Tuesday evening

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