FAQs | Patient Information Billingham | Queensway Orthodontics

Frequently asked questions

It can take a few days for your mouth to adjust to your new braces - to relieve this initial discomfort you can take a painkiller such as paracetamol or whatever you normally take for a headache. Some patients find holding iced cold water in their mouths can help take away some of the pressure from the wire pushing the teeth.

Your brace care pack contains some wax, which can be placed over any areas of the brace which may be rubbing. Be sure to dry the area carefully first then apply a pea sized amount. If the problem persists or there is a long wire or broken bracket you may need to contact us for an appointment.

It is essential to look after your teeth and braces during treatment to avoid damaging your brace (which will make treatment take longer) or permanent stains or holes appearing in the teeth (see photos below). This means that not only do you need to use the brushes in the care pack as instructed twice a day (for at least five minutes!) but also avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods and sugary drinks (especially energy drinks). Over the page are details of what brushes to use and how often. Remember, if your gums begin to bleed it is a sign of inflammation indicating more thorough cleaning is needed.

It may be necessary for you to wear elastic bands between the upper and lower braces at some stage during your treatment. These are worn inside the mouth during the day and night, including at mealtimes.

You will need to change some of what you eat to avoid problems such as breaking the brace or permanent holes in the teeth.

  • Avoid sugary snacks/drinks between meals and at bedtime.
  • Avoid sticky, chewy or hard sweets, mints and chewing gum.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks (including diet and energy drinks) and large amounts of fruit juice.
  • Hard or chewy foods - such as apples, carrots and crusty bread - can damage your brace. Avoid them or cut them up first.

You will need regular appointments (usually every 8 weeks) during treatment for the brace to be adjusted.

Ring up for an appointment as soon as is reasonably possible. Do not wait for your next routine appointment as the breakage may slow your treatment, or may result in damage to your teeth. If you repeatedly break your brace, your treatment may need to be stopped early.

Please try to keep your appointments as it may be a while before you can be fitted in again. This will prolong your treatment and repeatedly missing appointments may result in you being discharged.

Please try to keep your appointments as it may be a while before you can be fitted in again. This will prolong your treatment and repeatedly missing appointments may result in you being discharged.

Once your fixed brace has been removed you will need to wear a retainer to prevent the teeth moving back - you will need to wear a retainer on a part time basis for as long as you want the teeth to stay straight.

It is essential to keep seeing your family dentist for routine care and checkups during your orthodontic treatment.

You may need to wear a gum shield over your braces - there are a number of options. Please ask for details and prices.

Your brace care pack contains everything you need and is purpose made for orthodontic patients. Overleaf you will find information on how to use each of the items in your brace care pack.

Invisalign® aligners are very thin and smooth, with no brackets or wires. Nevertheless you may experience minor discomfort and tightness in the first few days after changing aligners. This is due to your teeth adjusting to their new positions and is an encouraging sign that the teeth are moving!

We recommend you do not drink anything hot, colored, acidic or with a high sugar content when wearing aligners. This is to prevent damage to the aligner or to your teeth. Aligners should be removed for eating.

Remove your aligners to smoke, as they will stain - bear in mind that they must be in your mouth at least 22 hours a day to work.

No, gum will stick to the aligners and pull them out.

You should clean your aligners with cold water and your toothbrush (avoid toothpaste). Some people like to use liquid soap and we will give you a starter pack containing aligner-cleaning tablets for you to try. Hot water will cause the aligner to melt or distort.

If you lose or break an aligner and it hasn’t been worn for the full two weeks, put in your previous aligner and contact us as soon as possible for advice. We recommend keeping your aligners in their case when they are not being worn.

Like all orthodontic appliances, Invisalign® may temporarily affect speech, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, this will improve.

Retention is an essential part of all orthodontic treatment. A very thin retention wire is placed behind the four upper front teeth and six lower front teeth to help prevent tooth movement. A removable retainer, similar to an aligner, is then worn at night.

For as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!

Orthodontics is a specialist field of dentistry which concentrates on straightening a patient’s teeth and correctly aligning their jaws. Each of these elements is important in the overall functionality of your mouth. We need straight teeth and correctly aligned jaws for everyday activities such as eating and chewing.

Both dental professionals play an important role in your oral health. Regular visits to your family dentist are essential for overall maintenance of your teeth, such as fixing cavities and monitoring any risk of gingivitis (gum disease). An orthodontist’s skills and expertise are required for orthodontic problems such as crowding, spacing and bite issues.