Brace FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions on anything and everything to do with braces and orthodontics. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

An 'average' course of orthodontic treatment with fixed braces usually takes between one and two years. Simple problems can often be corrected more quickly – sometimes in just a few months. Once your brace has been removed, you will need to wear fixed and/or removable retainers indefinitely to keep your teeth straight.

How often will I need to see my orthodontist?

If you have a fixed brace we will need to see you every 6-8 weeks. If your brace is removable we may need to see you more frequently. All of your appointments are included in the cost of your treatment.

Will I need to take time off work or school for my appointments?

If you are a private patient, we can offer you early morning, evening and weekend appointments to fit around school and work. If you are having NHS treatment appointment times may be more restricted, but we will always do our best to fit your visits around any important events.

Are braces painful?

Having a brace fitted is a painless procedure, but you may find that your teeth ache for a couple of days afterwards. Normal painkillers and sipping cold water with ice cubes should help to relieve any discomfort. Eating can also be difficult at first and you might want to stick to soft foods for the first 48 hours.

Will braces affect my speech?

You might find that your speech is affected by your brace for the first few days, particularly if you have a removable or lingual brace. If your brace is removable, don’t be tempted to take it out as it won’t give your speech a chance to adapt: most problems with speech resolve with time.

Do I need to see my dentist as well as my orthodontist?

Yes, this is very important. Although we are seeing you regularly, your own dentist needs to monitor the health of your teeth and gums throughout your treatment.

Can I take part in contact sports?

Yes, but you should wear a custom fitted mouthguard if you have fixed braces. These start from £80.00 and can be made at the practice in approximately seven days. It is important to have one constructed to fit over your brace, which allows for movement of your teeth during treatment.

What foods should I avoid while wearing braces?

You should avoid foods which might pull off your wires or brackets. These include uncooked carrots, celery, popcorn, toffee and chewing gum. It’s important to have a good diet and to brush your teeth regularly and carefully. Failure to keep your teeth clean, an unhealthy diet, or too many drinks high in sugar could mean you are left with marks on your teeth when your braces come off.

What should I do if my brace breaks?

If this happens outside surgery hours and you are not in any pain, please call 020 8977 7272 the next working day to arrange an appointment. If you are in pain, please call the above number and you will be given an emergency number to ring straight away. In the meantime relieve any discomfort by applying wax or a special silicone putty to any sharp areas, including long wires and broken brackets. These are available at the practice.

What should I do if my brace rubs?

If your fixed brace is rubbing you can use orthodontic wax to help relieve any discomfort. To help the wax stick, try drying the area first with some tissue. If your removable brace is rubbing, wear it as much as you can but contact us as soon as possible to arrange an appointment.

What happens when my braces are removed?

Once your fixed braces have been removed, we’ll provide you with removable retainers. These should be worn as advised by your orthodontist for twelve months. You will need to continue wearing them one or two nights per week to maintain your results. If you are a private patient, you can choose to have fixed retainers fitted to maintain your new smile for life.

Free Consultations

Free Consultations

Take the first step and book a free consultation with a specialist orthodontist.

Hidden Braces

Hidden Braces

Lingual braces are cleverly fitted onto the inside of your teeth

Clear Braces

Clear Braces

Clear braces blend in discreetly with your own teeth


Clear Aligners, like Invisalign®

Aligners are clear, removable and virtually invisible