Orthodontics Frequently Asked Questions

Will my teeth move after I'v​​e finished my orthodontic treatment?

If you do not wear the retainers that have been made for you then your teeth will definitely move/relapse. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight.

How long will my​​ treatment take?

You will be informed by your orthodontist before treatment starts but expect to wear braces for 24-30months.

How often will I have to attend the​​ orthodontic department? 

Expect to attend every 6-8weeks, unless advised otherwise.

How often will I have to ha​​ve my brace checked?

Expect to attend every 6-8weeks, unless advised otherwise.

Will I have to take time off sc​​hool / work?

Yes, the orthodontic department is open from 9.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Can I have white fixed (train trac​​k) braces?

No, unfortunately the department can only offer you the metal type braces.

Will my brace h​​urt?

A certain amount of discomfort can be expected after you have had your brace fitted. This usually lasts a few days. This can be relieved with a headache tablet. Fitting the brace is not painful. Your teeth may feel tender as they start to move. The brace may also rub your lips, tongue and cheeks. For fixed braces, use the relief wax that you have been given and place a small amount over the bracket which is causing the discomfort. If you are unsure then make an appointment and come back to see us.

My brace is broken, what​​ should I do?

You need to contact the department and make an appointment to be seen. If you delay the repair there may be unwanted tooth movement.

How long is the w​​aiting list?

Contact the orthodontic secretaries on 01782 674183 who will advise you on how long you will be waiting before commencement of your treatment.

Will I always be seen by th​​e same person?

Whilst you will always be under the supervision of a named orthodontic consultant you may well be treated by one of our other orthodontic clinicians. Where possible we try to keep you with the same person throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment.

What do I do if I lose ​​my brace?

You need to contact the department and make an appointment as soon as possible, if you delay contacting us there may be unwanted tooth movement.

Why do I need retai​​ners?

The bone around the roots of your teeth take time to adjust to the new tooth positions and there is a risk of relapse in the early months after the brace is removed. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight.

What will happen if I don't wear ​​my retainers?

If you do not wear the retainers then your teeth will almost certainly move/relapse. This movement is likely to be minor but if you want your teeth to stay straight you should wear your retainer as directed.

Why does my retaine​​r not fit anymore?

The retainer has not been worn as instructed by your orthodontist and the teeth could well have moved.

Why haven't I received an appo​intment to check my brace?

Please contact our department on 01782 674653 to check if you have an appointment.

Why are my gums bleeding w​​hen I brush my teeth?

If you neglect toothbrushing at the gum line the plaque (bacteria) will start to irritate the gums and make them bleed. This can be rectified by thorough brushing over / under the brackets and at the gumline.

What are the white / brown​ marks on my teeth?

Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will result in permanent white or brown marks on your teeth.

Why do my teeth feel t​ender?

A certain amount of discomfort can be expected after you have had your brace fitted or after a routine adjustment to your brace. This usually lasts for a one or two days. This can be relieved with a headache tablet.

Why do I need dental x-​​rays?

Dental x-rays enable us to see all your teeth and roots and help us to make an assessment of your mouth.

Why am I not being t​​reated by the consultant?

Whilst you will always be under the supervision of a named orthodontic consultant you may well be treated by one of our other orthodontic clinicians. UHNS is a teaching hospital and the department fully supports the training of orthodontists and dentists. Your care plan will be carefully monitored by your consultant.

When is my brace comi​​ng off?

You will be told when your brace will be removed as it requires two visits on the same day. We cannot predict how slow or fast your teeth will move.

Why can't I contact t​​he reception desk?

We are a very busy department and on occasions our receptionist may not be able to answer the telephone if she is assisting patients at the reception desk. Just keep trying!

Will I need a sports m​​​outh guard?

The department will give you advice on the most suitable mouth guard for you to wear if you participate in any contact sports. 

Can I have colours on my br​​ace?

Most of the time you can have colours on your brace, but not always. This depends on the type of brace you have fitted. Please be aware that certain types of food and drink can discolour the coloured elastics.

Do I still need to see my ​​own dentist for check-ups?

Yes. It is very important you continue with your regular dental check ups at your dentist to check the health of your teeth.

Will I need e​​xtractions?

Extractions may be needed if there is not enough space to align your teeth. The extractions are normally carried out by your own dentist, but may have to be done here at the hospital if they are particularly difficult.

Do I have to we​​ar a brace?

No. Although we may tell you how you would benefit from orthodontic treatment. You are free to make a choice about whether you want treatment of not.

Are there risks to havin​​g fixed braces?

Please click here to see the risks of orthodontic treatment

What is the orthodontic e​​ducation clinic?

Before you are accepted for treatment you will be given an appointment for the Orthodontic Education Clinic. At this clinic you will be shown how to clean your teeth effectively, how to care for your brace and shown the sort of braces you will be expected to wear. We will be happy to answer any questions or quiries that you might have about orthodontic treatment.

Where else can I access m​ore information?