FAQs

What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is a method of straightening or moving teeth. Orthodontic treatment also helps to improve the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

There are many benefits to orthodontic treatment. Specifically, orthodontic treatment helps to improve the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw.

What are braces?

Braces are a device used by orthodontists that are designed to align and straighten your teeth. Braces also help to position a person’s bite, whilst encouraging an improvement in dental health.

What types are braces are there on offer?

Orthodontists of today offer more kinds of braces than ever before. The most popular type of brace we offer is the traditional metal fixed brace. The other types of braces we have here at Alma Dental are ceramic clear fixed braces, these are less noticeable than metal braces. We also offer alternative orthodontic appliances like Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear, plastic retainer. The mouth guard itself is removed and replaced every 2 weeks. Alma Dental also offer removable braces as well as functional braces.

How long does treatment last?

It is first to be noted that everyone is different when it comes to orthodontic treatment. However, an approximate indication can be given on request at the consultation appointment. On average it generally takes around 18-24 months to complete the orthodontic process, but some adult treatment can be shorter if there are just a few teeth to move.

Can anybody be treated?

Yes! Orthodontic treatment is available to everyone who has a full set of adult teeth. Children who do still have their baby teeth, may not be suitable for this kind of treatment. If you have any further enquiries about this situation, please contact us.

What will my treatment consist of?

Your orthodontic treatment will involve wearing a custom-made brace, which will be designed to specifically to fit your teeth. For this to happen, an orthodontic impression has to be taken prior to fitting. This is to ensure the appliances perfectly fit your teeth.

What will happen at my first appointment?

At the consultation appointment, the orthodontist will examine your mouth and take some measurements of your teeth. We will discuss your treatment options, and often take impressions (moulds) and photographs of your teeth. It is very unlikely that you would have braces fitted at your first appointment.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Please contact the practice on 0191 2574338 or email hello@almadental.co.uk to arrange your next appointment.

Will I require a retainer?

Yes! For you to continue to have the best smile, all of our patients are advised to wear a retainer after treatment is complete. Retention is definitely recommended as a lifelong commitment for continuing straight teeth.

Will I have to have teeth removed?

There is an abundance of reasons as to why your orthodontist may suggest the removal of teeth as part of your treatment. But there is a chance you may not need teeth removed. You will be given a good idea if teeth might be needed to be removed at the first consultation.

How do I find someone to treat an orthodontic problem?

Should you have an orthodontic issue that you want to bring up with our specialist team, there are multiple ways to contact us.

How do I pay for treatment?

There are multiple ways to pay for your treatment. Paid at the beginning or your orthodontic treatment, this can be done by cash, cheque or credit card. For any queries regarding fees please email us at hello@almadental.co.uk or telephone us on 0191 257 4338.

Does my dentist have to refer me?

A referral is not needed! All you need to do to make an appointment for a private consultation is contact us via telephone on 0191 257 4338. What we will need to ensure is that you have a general dentist. This will be needed because we will need to liaise with them throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Is brace treatment uncomfortable?

There may be a little discomfort when braces are first fitted. It may take you longer to eat meals than usual, this is due to the need to give yourself time to adjust to chewing with your braces on. It is better, for the first few days, that you stick to eating softer foods, such as soup and pasta.

Will braces affect my speech?

Braces will not affect your speech, in most cases. However, your teeth may feel sensitive, and that may cause a discomfort which may, in turn, affect your speech.

Will I be able to clean my teeth?

Of course! It is very important to keep a healthy brushing routine. When your braces are fitted, you are advised to spend longer brushing your teeth. This is to maintain a high level of oral hygiene, which is a very high priority to ensure the best results.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

For a list of treatment costs, please visit our orthodontic fees page.

Am I too old?

Orthodontics is for everyone! There is no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. Did you know that an around 35% of patients currently receiving orthodontic treatment worldwide are over the age of 50? It’s never too late to have braces!

Is there an ideal age for children to be seen?

There is no ‘ideal age’ for children to be seen by one of our orthodontists, but most dentists will advise as to whether there are any dental development concerns. If the dentist is concerned about your child, they will refer you to the orthodontist. However, a parent with a concern about their children’s teeth can contact us for a private appointment with one of our orthodontists.

What is the best age to visit an orthodontist?

Orthodontic treatment can be suitable for all ages.

For children, we usually require most of the permanent teeth to have erupted before we start braces (usually around the age of 11-12 years), however we would be happy to carry out an assessment at any age if you wish to get some early information and advice.

Can you play sports whilst wearing braces?

Braces won’t deter you from playing sports! However, there are a few precautions you may need to take. If you are playing a contact sport like rugby, you will want to wear a mouth guard. A mouth guard is great is it protects the teeth and it can also prevent concussions.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! It is extremely important that you continue to visit your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment. With braces, in particular, food can get stuck in places your toothbrush can’t simply reach. Due to this, bacteria can start to build up, which will eventually lead to cavities and even gum disease.

What causes crooked teeth?

It is widely received that crooked teeth is caused by having big teeth in small jaws. However, it is actually caused by ‘myofunctional habits’, which are things like mouth breathing and thumb sucking. Braces are designed to straighten up teeth that were previously crooked.

Why should I have my teeth straightened?

There are so many reasons as to why you should have your teeth straightened. As well as their improved look compared to crooked and broken down teeth; straight teeth are actually healthier teeth! This is because straight teeth get fewer cavities, which means they are unlikely to develop issues like discolouration. Also, another reason to get your teeth straightened is that it could potentially help you to live longer. This is due to straight teeth being easier to clean and because of that, you are less likely to have gum disease or heart disease!

How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

The best method to look after your teeth whilst wearing braces is always brush your teeth after every meal. The type of toothpaste you use while wearing braces is very important, it must contain fluoride as it will help to prevent cavities! If you are wearing a removable retainer, it is advised that you keep it clean. The best way to keep a retainer clean is to brush it gently with a toothbrush. Whilst the process is ongoing, it is best to avoid certain foods that are: high in sugar (chocolate and sweets) as well as chewy foods like caramel and chewing gum.

Can I still use teeth whitening products whilst wearing braces?

In theory, you can still whiten your teeth whilst braces are on, however it is not recommended. It is not advised by our orthodontists because when you whiten them, there is a high possibility that the teeth are going to have stripes (dark where the brackets and braces cover the teeth). What can be done to contradict this is complete a spot bleaching procedure when the braces are removed.

Can I have braces if I have veneers?

Yes, it is possible to attach a brace onto veneered or crowned teeth. We can discuss this with you in more detail at your consultation appointment.

What do I do if I have a problem?

If you have any problems we advise that you contact the practice as soon as possible. We will be able to give you advice on whether you need to make an extra appointment to see the orthodontist before your next scheduled visit.

What do I do if my brace breaks or if I lose my brace?

We advise that you contact the practice as soon as possible. We may need to make you an emergency appointment to see the orthodontist to have the brace fixed or replaced.  It is likely you will be charged for a replacement brace if a new one needs to be made.