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Braces: your questions answered

At Evolve Dentistry, we have many years’ experience looking after patients who have braces. We understand that getting braces can be a daunting prospect, particularly for our younger patients. It is normal to have questions or anxieties you would like to put to rest.

We have put together this list of a few of the most common questions we are asked about braces. It is our hope that you will find it useful, and that it will help ease any anxieties you have.

Will I need an anaesthetic (numbing medicine) when my brace is being fitted to my teeth?

No. Although your dentist will need to see all of your teeth and keep everything dry to make sure that the adhesive can effectively bond the brace to your teeth, it is not usual to need to be made numb to have a brace fitted.

Is having a brace to re-align my teeth painful?

As your teeth begin to move in your mouth, you may feel some small discomfort and your teeth may feel loose for a time. This is normal. If you feel the need, over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol are usually effective in tackling any discomfort. We do not recommend Ibuprofen, however, as it can sometimes slow down tooth movement.

Will my speech be affected?

Braces which are fitted to the outside of your teeth do not usually have any impact on your speech. If you are having braces which are fixed to the inside (or back) of your teeth, or if you have a removable brace, then it may take a few days for your tongue and mouth to get used to the new shape of the inside of your mouth. This means that your speech may sound strange for a few days, however you will quickly adapt and your speech will return to normal, usually within a week.

Will my mouth or lips look swollen when I’m wearing my brace?

It is completely normal to be concerned about your appearance while you’re wearing your brace – after all, appearance is one of the reasons you’re using it! Many people find that their lips feel swollen. The unusual feeling will pass once your lips and mouth are used to your braces being there, usually within a few days.

Your dentist will provide you with advice about what to do if your lips, cheeks, or tongue gets sore and the best way to deal with any discomfort.

How is the brace fitted?

First, your dentist will gently place a soft device called a retractor into your mouth to keep your lips and cheeks out of the way during the procedure. This can feel uncomfortable, but doesn’t hurt. Then the surface of your teeth will be cleaned using a gel, before the glue is applied and the ceramic bracket that will form part of your brace is fixed to the tooth. Lastly, a thin wire is fitted which connects to the brackets with tiny elastic rings or metal ties.

If you are having a removable brace, this will need impressions to be taken and then the brace will be fitted at a later appointment.

Are there any foods I should avoid?

It’s best to stay away from very hard foods (e.g. pizza crusts, sticky or chewy sweets) and we also recommend that you cut back on sugary sweets and drinks to aid your general oral hygiene.

How long will I need to wear a retainer for?

At Evolve, the price we quote is for both a removable and fixed retainer. A fixed retainer is bonded to the back of your front teeth. We then also make a removable retainer which is clear plastic and fits snugly over your teeth.

You will need to wear the removable retainer every night for the first six months, every other night for the following six months, and then at least two nights a week for the rest of your life. Although your retainers should last you for several years, they are unlikely to be the only set that you will ever need to have made.

Contact us today for any further braces-related questions, or to find out more about booking an appointment with us.

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Portishead BS20 7AL

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