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When should the first orthodontic consult take place?

It’s good that the orthodontist examines a child at around 7 years old. Usually there is no indication for active treatment at that point, but there are certain cases that need to be corrected at an early stage (such as functional shifts, functional bad habits, traumatic bites) so that they don’t worsen overtime. After the initial consult, the orthodontist makes an individualized recall schedule , to make sure that the child gets the best (and shortest) treatment possible, which can be done if treated at the right time. Keep in mind that the same problem can have different impact and needs different timing and treatment on different people, so an individual check up schedule is the easiest way to avoid long-and costy- treatment in the future.

Are there any signs us parents must keep an eye out for?

  • There are some features that should “ring a bell”, such as - dummy or finger sucking after the age of 4,
  • - decay and early loss of primary (baby) teeth
  • - mouth breathing (adenoids, snoring, “tired face”, allergic reactions and asthma are some indicators)
  • - open mouth in resting position (either because the front teeth are sticking out or because the muscle tone is weak).
  • - Prominent teeth or pain in the palate (gum) while biting.
  • - The child complains about pain behind the upper front teeth.

What should I be aware of when I have braces?

The most important factor in an orthodontic treatment is the person having them in his/her mouth! It is very important to brush properly (both the teeth AND the braces) in the way your orthodontist shows you. Special aids are given to you in order to make it easier and more efficient but the cornerstone is the time you spend cleaning them and the way you do it. Scaling and check ups by your general dentist are not only possible, but SHOULD be done occasionally while you have your braces to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Food intake also changes, as hard and sticky food should be avoided, as well as snacks between meals, soft drinks, chewing gums and candy. These could either break your brackets (make them come loose form your teeth) or distort the wires; either way your treatment takes much longer. When we place the fixed brackets, you get oral and written detailed information about these matters and we practice together your brushing technique. It is also vital that you don’t miss your appointments. Every stage of your treatment needs some time to work, but losing appointments will only make your treatment take longer.

Are there alternatives if I am allergic to some materials?

Even though it is quite rare to have an allergic reaction to orthodontic appliances, there are alternatives to the materials we commonly use. Titanium brackets and wires, ceramic appliances are used if needed. Non-latex gloves are used in our practice to avoid allergic reactions or hypersensitivity. Your orthodontist needs to know about any sort of allergic reaction you might have (before or during your treatment) in order to choose the best solution for you.

Can I have braces if I’m pregnant?

Some women have swelling of their gums (gingivitis) during their pregnancy; this is because of hormonal changes and inadequate brushing. Since orthodontic appliances make brushing more difficult, extra care is needed to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Each case should be assessed individually to have the best plan regarding type and timing of treatment.

Is it always necessary to have retention?

The retention stage is a very important part of your treatment. After we remove the braces, teeth tend to go back to their initial state and it takes time for them to settle in their new, straight positions in the jaw. Also, as the mouth is gradually changing throughout the years (as a living part of your body), the forces’ balance also changes. How long the retention stage will take depends on many factors, such as the initial malocclusion, the treatment plan and the final position of the teeth. It usually comprises of a fixed wire glued on the lingual surface of your teeth (completely invisible) and a removable transparent retainer (also virtually invisible) that needs to be worn during the night.

What is included in the cost of treatment?

Record taking (photographs of your teeth) /Study models of your teeth / All necessary appointments / Emergency appointments / Fixed retainers (upper and lower arches) / Removable retainers / 24 month after care of your fixed retainers. * The payment is done gradually; cash, credit/debit card or bank transfer is accepted.

Braces Comparison Chart

Metal fixed bracesCeramic fixed bracesClear aligners (Invisalign)Lingual Braces (Incognito)
AppearanceObviousDiscreetVirtually invisibleVirtually invisible
EffectivenessFixed braces can straighten teeth from almost any positionFixed braces can straighten teeth from almost any positionClear aligner treatment is not suitable for everyone. Rotations and large spaces can be difficult to correctFixed braces can straighten teeth from almost any position
DietVery hard or sticky food should be avoidedVery hard or sticky food should be avoided. Also coffee, wine and curry can stain the clear elastics, so you should rinse your mouth regularly to avoid thatAligners are removable and are taken out to eat, so diet is unaffected. However, they should not be removed many times per dayVery hard or sticky food should be avoided
Tooth brushingExtra time and care are needed, as well as special brushesExtra time and care are needed, as well as special brushesAligners are removed for brushing, so you can brush and floss as normalExtra time and care are needed, as well as special brushes
SpeechMetal braces have very little impact on your speech. You might notice a small difference during the first couple of days while you're getting used to themCeramic braces have very little impact on your speech. You might notice a small difference in the beginning until you're used to themAligners have very little affect on your speech as they are moulded to fit perfectly on your teeth only. However, a small lisping can be expected during the first few days until you get used to them Speech can be affected for the first 1-2 weeks until your tongue gets used to the braces on the inner surface of your teeth
ComfortMetal brackets and wires, even though they are as thin as possible, can cause ulcers and irritations on the inside if your cheeks during the first weeks of treatmentCeramic brackets are slightly bulkier than metal brackets, so they could cause small irritations on the inside of your lips during the first few weeksThe aligners are smooth and closely fitted to your teeth so they don't cause any irritation on the inside of your mouthTongue irritation can be expected for the first few weeks because the brackets are placed on the lingual surface of the teeth