Your Orthodontic questions answered
Yes, and at any age too. However, orthodontics is most successful when carried out in children whose teeth and bones are still actively growing.
The first appointment will take approximately 30 minutes. A brace will not be fitted at this session. At this stage we will use the time to assess your problems, discuss the treatment plan that will be necessary and the optimum time to start treatment. We will also take into account your own concerns, your dental development and your oral hygiene. Patients who are not ready to start treatment will be reviewed at a later date. For those who are ready to start immediately, we will make an appointment to take dental records which includes dental study models, photographs and possibly some x-rays.
Treatment involves wearing a brace (appliance) that is specially made for you. These can be of modern design such as the low friction system braces or the ultimate in cosmetic braces, with near invisible aligners called Invisalign braces. Depending on the type, the appliance can move your teeth into position; guide the way your jaw grows, or even widen your jaw to make room for crowded teeth. Occasionally, it might be necessary to extract some teeth if your mouth is very crowded.
Quite possibly, but do not be discouraged. A few hours after fitting your brace your teeth may well feel tender and sore. This discomfort may last for three to four days and a mild analgesic, such as paracetamol, may be necessary.
This depends on your age and your bite problem. Most people need to wear their brace for about two years, but you can make a difference by looking after and wearing your braces properly. Broken braces and missed appointments will slow your treatment down. What you need to remember is that this is a team effort and the success and speed of your treatment depends on the partnership between you, the dental nurses and your orthodontist.
Generally your brace will need adjusting every 6 to 8 weeks.