Common questions about braces

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment can take anywhere between six and 24 months, depending on how major or minor your orthodontic needs are. We’ll assess your need for orthodontic treatment at your initial consultation and advise you then how long it will take to achieve your stunning smile.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

No, but for the first few weeks following the fitting of your braces, you may find your teeth, and tongue if you’re fitted with lingual braces, are sore as they become accustomed to your new brace. If the inside of your cheeks or tongue are rubbing against your braces, you can cover the brace with some orthodontic wax to alleviate the problem.


Can I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

Yes, and make sure you do it several times a day! Having braces can leave plaque with more places to hide, so we advise brushing after every meal and using a fluoride mouthwash every evening. Once you’ve had your braces fitted, we’ll show you some techniques for brushing your teeth.

What can I eat with braces?

Whether you are wearing fixed, ceramic or lingual braces, we recommend you avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar content, as well as sticky, chewy or particularly hard foods and fizzy drinks. To help prevent staining, especially in the early stages of treatment, we also advise against eating and drinking certain foods that are high in colour, such as curries and red wine.


We also recommend you eat a softer diet for the first few days following treatment to help your mouth settle. Although orthodontic treatment doesn’t hurt, the first few days after having your appliance fitted or adjusted can cause your teeth to be a little tender. Our team will provide you with dietary advice at your fitting appointment.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist during treatment?

As well as regular reviews here at No1 The Orthodontic Specialists, it is important to maintain routine appointments with your usual dentist and hygienist. We will also work with your dentist throughout your treatment and keep him or her up to date with how your treatment is progressing.

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Common questions about retainers

Why do teeth move after braces?

Orthodontic treatment involves stretching elastic ligaments in the gum to move the teeth into chosen positions; once these appliances are removed the elastic ligaments try to pull the teeth back to their starting positions. It takes time for these fibres to remodel and stop pulling on the teeth. Continued growth of the jaws can also encourage the teeth to move once treatment has been completed. To help avoid this orthodontic relapse we provide our patients with retainers, which hold the teeth in their new position and ensure your beautiful new smile remains that way.

How long should I wear my retainers?

Your orthodontist will recommend a minimum timeframe to reduce the chances of your teeth reverting to their original position. However, as teeth move as a part of the natural ageing process, wearing a retainer indefinitely will preserve your new smile for longer.


How should I clean my retainer?

Removable retainers should be cleaned daily with a toothbrush and soap alongside your usual dental regime and washed over a sink with cold water. If you have a fixed retainer, special types of dental floss and brushes can help you reach the space between the retainer and your teeth. Your orthodontist will guide you how to use these brushes and floss.

Are retainers uncomfortable?

You may notice some initial discomfort in the first week of wearing a retainer, but this isn’t painful and should only last for a week at most.

When should I not wear my removable retainer?

A removable retainer should not be worn when eating, brushing or engaging in physical activities such as sports.

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Common questions about teeth whitening

How does teeth whitening work?

Our in-practice power whitening system uses a special bleaching gel that is applied to your teeth. Treatment takes around one hour. If you would prefer to undertake treatment at your convenience, a mouthguard will be created especially for you, based on an impression of your teeth, which you will use to regularly apply the whitening gel over a period of 2-4 weeks.

Why should I see a dentist over a beautician or using a whitening kit?

Only a registered dentist or dental therapist/hygienist is legally able to carry out teeth whitening. Treatments undertaken by beauticians or kiosks are illegal. Commercial kits are not always assessed for safety and, like untrained dental professionals, could seriously damage your teeth. We can guarantee however, that whitening treatment undertaken at No1 The Orthodontic Specialists will be top quality and as our name implies, will be carried out by trained professionals.


How long will whitening treatment last?

While varying for each person, treatment typically lasts up to two years if staining foods, drinks and smoking are avoided. Once you have your mouthguards, you can simply purchase additional top-ups from us to ensure your teeth maintain their lustre.

How can I take care of my teeth after treatment?

On top of maintaining a regular dental regime, we recommend avoiding foods and drink that can stain teeth, such as berries, curries, red wine and coffee. If you smoke, quitting will also reduce the risk of staining.

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Got another question about orthodontic treatment? Book a free consultation with our treatment coordinator. Our team are happy to answer any questions you have.