What happens at my first appointment?

At your first appointment, the Orthodontist, Sharon, will take a look at your teeth and possibly take some X-rays of your teeth.  Sharon will want you to tell her what you don't like about your teeth.  She will then talk with you and your parents about what the problems are and what orthodontic treatment can be offered to correct the problems.  Sharon will be happy to answer any questions you have about the type of braces needed.  Sometimes impressions of your teeth are also taken at the first visit.

How long will it take?

It depends what the problem is, but on average, orthodontic treatment lasts approximately 18-24 months.  During that time, visits to the Orthodontist are needed once every 4-6 weeks.  When active treatment is completed, the patient is fitted with retainers and visits to the Orthodontist are only occasional after that.

Does it hurt?

No.  But it does feel odd, and may feel a little strange or uncomfortable at first.  Your Orthodontist will give you recommendations to help you get used to your brace as quickly as possible.

Do I need teeth to be taken out (extractions)?

Possibly, and only if essential to the success of treatment.  Having teeth extracted where indicated does not harm the dental or facial aesthetics, but helps achieve a healthy, stable result.

Do I have to see my own dentist still?

Yes.  This is very important.  Throughout orthodontic treatment, the patient must still attend their dentist for regular check-ups to review dental health.

Does my dentist have to refer me for an Orthodontic Consultation?

No.  If you have heard of the Orthodontist from others, and would like an appointment to see if you need orthodontics, you can just contact the Orthodontist directly and make an appointment.  Your dentist will be sent a written report following as a courtesy, and if you start treatment with the Orthodontist, your dentist will be kept informed of treatment details.

If I have crowded teeth when young, will they naturally straighten with age?

No, this is most unlikely.  You would certainly be best advised to seek an opinion from an Orthodontist whilst you are still young.

Can I still play sport or a musical instrument with braces?

Yes, although specific instructions will be given to you by your Orthodontist depending on what sport/musical instrument you play and what type of brace you have.  A sports mouthguard is considered mandatory for any patient playing contact sport.

How do I eat with braces?

Your Orthodontist will give you all the necessary instructions in the care of your brace when it is fitted.  You will also be advised what foods you can/can’t eat depending on the type of brace you have been fitted with.  With care, most foods can be eaten.

Can I get braces with colours?

Fixed braces use attachments that come in many colours.  These are replaced at every routine orthodontic adjustment appointment.  You can choose to have the same or different colours at every appointment!

Can I have clear braces?

There are a number of clear braces available that may or may not be suitable for your treatment.  Your Orthodontist will advise you what types of braces are available before you start your treatment.