Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment: Frequently asked questions

WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE YOUR CHILD TO SEE AN ORTHODONTIST?
Orthodontic problems (malocclusion) in children are not always so obvious. It is worth taking advantage of a consultation with an orthodontist from the age of 3, especially if you observe any of the following symptoms:

  • breathing through the mouth
  • bad habits, such as biting nails or pens or thumb sucking
  • suckinga dummy/pacifier over the age of 2
  • abnormalfacial symmetry
  • prematureloss of primary/milk teeth (e.g. removedas a result oftooth decay)
  • delayed loss of primary/milk teeth
  • teeth coming through in the wrong places
  • extended or retracted jaw
  • abnormalalignmentof teeth (crowding orgaps)
  • biting of the upper teeth onto the lower teeth that is too deepor tooshallow
  • the lower front teethare in front ofthe upperteeth (reverseoverjet)
  • pushing thetonguebetween theteethwhen swallowing

Malocclusions don’t go away on their own and can worsen as the child grows, especially if the child has bad habits. Malocclusions can also cause embarassment and psychological complexes and also speech defects in children.
As everyone knows, prevention is better than cure. If any irregularities are found then the orthodontist will prescribe exercises and tools to discourage harmful habits, which will help to avoid future malocclusions.

WHY IS IT WORTH UNDERTAKING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
Not undergoing essential orthodontic treatment may cause a range of complications such as:

  • worsening of tooth decay
  • speech disorders
  • disorders of the joints within the jaw
  • periodontitis
  • abrasions of the teeth
  • tooth oversensitivity
  • premature loss of teeth caused by over strain on certain parts of the jaw during incorrect chewing

IS AGE A CONTRAINDICATION FOR TREATMENT?
A patient’s age isn’t an obstacle for orthodontic treatment. The main requirements are that patients have an optimal amount of bone surrounding the teeth, no inflammation of the gums and no lime scale or plaque.

HOW TO PREPARE TEETH FOR BRACES?
Before fitting braces, teeth must be checked for tooth decay, repaired if needed and cleaned of all the plaque and lime scale.

HOW DOES THE TREATMENT PROCESS WORK?

  1. Orthodontic consultation: During a visit the clinician will evaluate the bite conditions, in which impressions of the lower and upper jaw are taken and plaster models of the patient’s teeth are made. These are necessary for the orthodontist to work out the proportions, distances and relations between the teeth and jaws. In order to get the complete picture a series of X-rays will be required, such as pantomographic x-ray and cephalometric x-ray, including images taken from outside and inside the mouth.
  2. Presentation of the treatment plan: The clinician will explain the stages of the treatment including details of the brace and cost.
  3. Active orthodontic treatment: Control visits every 4-6 weeks. (Not attending control visits might significantly extend the treatment time!)
  4. Retention -stabilizationeffects of treatment; after the removal of braces and teeth cleaning, a very thin wire is permanently bonded to the back of the teeth and an acrylic plate is given to the patient to wear at night time.

IS BRACE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
In the case of fixed brace treatment a feeling of discomfort, and even pain might appear a few days (2-3 days) after application, especially when eating hard foods. All unpleasant symptoms should disappear within a week, and getting used to the braces usually takes a couple of days. Similar feelings, but less intense, may appear after activating the braces. Some protruding parts of the braces can irritate the inner lining ofthe cheeks and lips, but thankfully there is a special wax that can be applied to the brace to relieve this problem.

CAN FIXED BRACES DAMAGE TEETH?
Fixed braces do not damage teeth! The only factor that can cause decalcification of tooth enamel and the development of dental caries is the failure to carry out good oral hygiene when braces are in place.

DOES BRACE TREATMENT REQUIRE SPECIFIC ORAL HYGIENE CARE?
Teeth that have permanently fixed braces require special care, more time and attenton including the use of additional accessories (interdental toothbrush, special dental floss and dental irrigator). It is advised to have teeth professionally cleaned and fluorided at a dental surgery every couple of months.

IS THERE A NEED FOR DIETRY RESTRICTIONS DURING TREATMENT?
Immediately after the application of permanent braces and in the early stages of treatment, teeth are more sensitive when biting, that’s why it’s advisable to consume foods softer in texture. Throughout the treatment patients should avoid foods that are very hard, sticky and chewy (especially nuts, chewing gum or toffee type sweets). This type of food can damage the brace, and as a result can extend treatment time, overcomplicate matters and make the cleaning process more difficult. Choosing “clear” (aesthetic) brackets will require cutting down on strong coffee, tea, avoiding some juices (e.g. blackcurrant), dishes (e.g. curry) and smoking. All these things favor the creation of plaque which can be quite difficult to remove.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE DENTAL WORK DONE ON TEETH WITH BRACES?
During brace treatment patients should have regular dental check-ups performed, and undergo professional teeth cleaning and fluoridation procedures every six months. In the case where cavities are in hard to reach places, the orthodontist can temporarily remove part of the braces, treat the cavity and reapply the braces afterwards.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR PARTS OF THE BRACES TO BEOCOME UNATTACHED?
Yes, because the braces are in place during eating, the forces created during chewing can unattach parts such as the orthodontic bracket. In most cases it happens whilst chewing on hard foods, such as apples or nuts, which should be avoided anyway. If such a situation occurs then it is necessary to go to the orthodontist to fix the problem.

Contact

StomaCare
ul. Łucka 20 c.p. 21
00-845 Warszawa

Tel. (22) 216 86 37
Tel. (22) 620 78 80
mobile: +48 500 119 453
mail: gabinet@stomacare.pl

Open Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday: 9.00am - 2.00pm