Braces: FAQs

Do I need braces?

Your orthodontist is the best person to answer this question, but if you have crooked teeth or gaps in your smile then braces may be the answer. You may also suffer with irritation in your mouth where teeth that are out of place rub your gums or the inside of your cheek. If you have any of these things, consult with an orthodontist about braces.

How much will it cost?

This depends on the type of treatment you choose and your age and many other factors you can find our more in our article about the costs of orthodontic treatment.

Will I need to wear braces all the time?

If you need fixed braces, like “train tracks” or their modern equivalent, then yes. You will not be able to remove them. If you have a retainer or removable aligners, you can take them out for eating, brushing your teeth, playing sports and even social occasions, though you must wear them for the minimum number of hours as prescribed by your orthodontist.

How long do I have to wear them?

This depends mainly on three things; the amount of correction needed on your teeth, the style of braces you choose and your age. Adults may have to wear braces for longer as their teeth are harder to move. Modern, more expensive treatments may be quicker, but if you have a lot of work needs done, be prepared for the treatment to take months rather than weeks.

Will it be painful?

Having fixed braces attached and then tightened on a regular basis can cause some discomfort and may even affect your speech, until you get used to the equipment in your mouth. Take regular painkillers and use a home-made salt mouthwash to relieve the pain, but consult your orthodontist if it is severe or goes on for more than a few days.

Can I eat anything I want?

Within reason! It is best to stick to soft foods like soup or pasta after having a fixed brace fitted or tightened, but after that you can eat most foods. Cut up hard foods, like apples, into smaller pieces so you don’t need to bite into them with your front teeth; this can break the wires. Avoid sticky, sugary foods as these can become stuck to the brackets or damage your teeth if you are unable to clean them properly. If you have a removable brace, you can eat any food as you will take it out before meals or snacks.