Your teenager may have reached the age where their adult teeth have erupted and they need braces.  They may have an overcrowded mouth, protruding teeth, or a poor bite but they are rebelling at the idea of braces and need answers before their next dental appointment.  The Straight Teeth Suite have compiled a useful list of questions and answers to help you and your children but don’t hesitate to ask any questions we may have omitted.

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Frequently asked questions

Braces are worn to correct irregularities in the position of your teeth.  Your teeth may be overcrowded, have gaps, or stick out and braces will realign your teeth to correct such problems.

Your teeth will function better in the correct position, you will prevent damage to prominent teeth, you will be less prone to dental disease, you will have a great smile and bags more self-confidence.

Obvious signs you need braces are overcrowded teeth or teeth with gaps, sticky-out front teeth, difficulty chewing or an overhung jaw.  There are other signs your dentist can spot during your regular check-ups.

Your teeth should be monitored from an early age. Everyone grows at a different age, losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth. If you need braces, they will usually be fitted in your teenage years once your permanent teeth have erupted.

No. Braces are no longer the sole domain of teenagers. More and more adults, including who had her braces fitted at the age of 61, are resorting to braces and lovely smiles.

Some patients, especially if their teeth are overcrowded, will need to have teeth extracted.  Your dentist will advise you of the treatment you will require and talk you through the whole procedure.

After your braces have been fitted, depending on which type of braces, you will need to see the dentist every four or eight weeks to adjust the wires.  Some patients teeth move more quickly than others and may need more frequent visits to the surgery.

No, but your braces may be uncomfortable for a week or two while you get used to wearing them and adjusting to the pressure of the wire moving your teeth gently to their new position.  Some patients need painkillers for the first few days as their braces begin to work.

If the brace is rubbing you can use dental wax to cover the brackets and relieve the irritation.  If you need to take a painkiller, both paracetamol or Ibuprofen are effective in giving pain relief.

Braces are now made from materials which do not damage the enamel of the teeth.  Poor hygiene is the cause of most damage, and you will need to follow a strict brushing regime to prevent harm.

You will need to brush after every meal and before you go to bed, take care to brush well around the brackets and use mouthwash.  A hygienist will teach you how to keep your braces clean and professionally clean your teeth while you are wearing braces.

Removable braces take a little while to adjust to, and you may lisp for a day or two. Fixed braces do not affect speech.

With a little practice you can adapt to playing most instruments.  If you play the trumpet or other brass instruments, you may find the pressure from the mouthpiece uncomfortable on your braces.

If you have been fitted with removable braces, they must be taken out for contact sports, such as football and tennis and swimming.  For fixed braces it will be necessary to wear a gum shield or mouth guard designed to fit over braces.

No matter the reason for loss or damage of your braces, contact your dentist immediately so they can fit new braces without delay.

This depends on the complexity of the problem being treated.  You may need to wear braces for anything from a year to eighteen months. Your dentist will advise you at your first consultation.

Removable retainers are usually worn for six months after your braces have been removed while your teeth stabilize into their new position.  Fixed retainers are very discreet and are worn for life to prevent the teeth from moving back into their old position.

If you are under the age of 16 your parent or guardian will need to accompany you to your first visit to sign the consent forms.  Your dentist may ask to see your parents again if there are complications.

Not necessarily.  The Straight Teeth Suite will try to schedule your appointments outside of school hours, but this is not always possible.  Your school is obliged to give you time off for dental appointments so be sure to tell them.

We will be seeing you frequently to adjust your braces and will give you regular check-ups.

Braces have come a long way from the train track variety that was once the cause of teasing and bullying.  Some young people choose fixed braces with coloured wires, but Lingual braces are a preferred choice, as they are fixed to the back of the teeth and are almost invisible. No one need know you are wearing braces.

If you would like a free consultation for your child. Make an appointment with the Straight Teeth Suite in Nottingham HERE