The Stages of Getting Braces

Are you thinking about improving your smile but don’t know what to expect from the treatment? Or maybe you’re wondering what options would be most suitable for your needs?
Here at River Practice, we want to make sure you are happy with both your treatment as well as the results you would like to achieve from having braces, or any of the other options we provide to straighten teeth.
So what can you expect when you come in to get braces? 
At your first appointment with your orthodontist at river practice, we will look at your teeth and discuss your options, making sure you are happy throughout your treatment and with the results afterwards.
When you come to River Practice, all your treatment will be planned by a specialist orthodontist, rather than a general dentist, this means they have had a lot more training and are on the Specialist register for orthodontists. There are only a few specialist orthodontists in Cornwall so we know our patients are well placed here at River Practice and offered a treatment to suit their needs.
The most common choice for our patients to straighten their teeth are traditional metal braces, which use brackets and a metal wire to move your teeth into place. However, at River Practice we can offer many more options to choose from that you may not be aware are available to you.
For example, although your speech will not be affected once your mouth is used to your traditional braces – usually after the first couple of days of having them fitted – if you are more self conscious or are in a job where you meet lots of people face to face on a daily basis, then we may suggest a more discreet option such as clear aligners or Incognito braces.
Clear aligners are a clear removable tooth aligner that you leave in your mouth and take out at meal times, you will be given a new aligner to change to every two weeks to move your teeth and improve your smile.
Incognito braces are small gold brackets placed on the back of your teeth to hold a wire in place to straighten your teeth. Whilst these less noticeable options are highly successful in creating your dream smile, they may not be suitable for your circumstances.
In some cases, we may suggest a removable brace. A removable brace is a plastic plate that sits in the roof of your mouth or/and onto your lower teeth.
Taking impressions
At your next appointment a member of our dental team will take impressions of your teeth.
We will place small plastic trays covered in a type of foamy liquid, which sets very quickly. Once this has set we remove the trays and an imprint of your teeth is left in the foam. This is then used as a mould and filled with plaster, which turns completely solid to create a plaster copy of your teeth. We do this so that your dentist can plan your treatment effectively. It’s always great to see the start models at the end of your treatment to see how much they have improved.

Fitting your braces
The next appointment you will have with us at River Practice we will be fitting your braces.
If you have opted for traditional braces your dentist will start by cleaning, conditioning and drying the teeth. This insures that the brackets that are placed will be glued effectively so that they do not detach from your teeth, which would lengthen your treatment time. This process will also protect your teeth from any damage.
Once the brackets have been fitted your dentist will usually use an LED light to dry the glue and remove any of the extra dental glue from your teeth and apply the archwire, this is held in place with the help of elastic rings in your choice of colour, we can also use clear if you would like them to be less obvious. This process can take up to one hour but it is essential to successfully bond the brackets to your teeth.
Incognito braces work in a very similar way to traditional braces, however a smoother gold bracket is placed on the back of your teeth and the archwire applied and held in place using elastic rings.
If you have opted for clear aligners then your treatment will differ slightly, you will not need a metal wire to straighten your teeth, instead in this appointment you will receive plastic aligners that straighten your teeth. You will wear these aligners all the time, apart from when you are eating and you will be getting a new one to wear around every two weeks.
If your orthodontist has suggested that you have a removable brace, you will be shown how to fit it and take it out yourself.
In this appointment your dentist will tell you all the important information you will need to look after your braces, such as staying away from food that could break your braces – anything hard, crunchy, chewy or sticky should be refrained from eating – and how to brush your teeth most effectively with your new braces.
If you think you have broken your braces, make sure you phone up and make an emergency appointment so that your dentist can fix it, then your treatment time wont be extended any longer than it needs to be.
Adjusting your braces
If you have traditional braces or incognito braces then you will need to come back every eight weeks or so to have them adjusted. To do this the orthodontists will change your wire and the elastic rings. Over time you will be able to see your smile starting to change.
If you have traditional braces we may also suggest using a different type of elastic ring. These are used to adjust the bite and jaw position and are connected to the brackets of your braces using hooks. Treatment time can take anywhere from six months to three years depending how much work is needed to create your perfect smile.
These adjustment appointments allow your dentist to evaluate how your teeth are moving and make the necessary recommendations to achieve the best results.
Removing your braces
In your second to last appointment your dentist will usually tell you if they think you will be ready to have your braces removed in your next appointment.
When it comes to having your braces removed, the orthodontist will use tools to remove the wire and then remove the brackets by slightly bending the bracket and releasing the bond, the glue that is left over from the bond will be taken off of your teeth by your dentist to reveal your new smile. This appointment will probably take up to around 3o minutes as the dentist needs to insure that there is no residue from the glue left on, as more impressions will be taken and we need to insure that your teeth are fit and healthy to be shown off.
After the last set of impressions are taken – usually later in the day, you will be given a retainer that you will need to wear all the time for two weeks except during meals and when brushing your teeth. After the two weeks you will only need to wear this in the evenings and whilst you are asleep. Once the dentist is happy with your progress, you will only need to wear this at night.
Similarly, with a removable brace and clear aligners, your dentist will tell you when you are ready to stop treatment, impressions will be taken and you will be given a retainer.
Will I feel anything?
Whichever treatment you and your orthodontist choose, all will be pain free. However, some patients may experience minor discomfort when their braces are fitted and each time they are adjusted. Whilst you are getting used to your traditional braces, you may find the brackets rub on your lips and the inside of your cheeks slightly. To ease this, your dentist may offer wax to place over the brackets to smooth them.
We hope that this will help you make your decision on whether you would like to have orthodontics. If you are still unsure, head over to our testimonials page and see what others have had to say about receiving treatment from us.

Contact River Practice, Truro on 01872 242444 today.
Read more about our orthodontic services in Cornwall, meet our team or visit our price guide.