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FAQ

General

What should I do if I can't make my appointment?

If you cannot make your appointment, please let the practice know as soon as you can. If you cancel an appointment less than 24 hours before the time or fail to turn up, you may be charged.

Treatment

How long does the treatment take?

One and a half to two years. All of the studies have shown the same thing: the cooperation of the patient is the primary factor in determining the length of the treatment. It is not true that 'difficult' cases take longer. Even though this is the general perception.

How long do fixed retainers have to stay in?

The answer is very simple: 'as long as we want to keep our teeth straight'. And yes, sometimes it is harder to keep teeth straight than to straighten them in the first place. 

A fixed retainer is a thin wire bonded to the back of your teeth. These wires can come loose. But the more careful you are, the less 'misery' there will be. This means being careful about biting on hard items, particularly hard candy and very crusty bread. 

An annual check-up is recommended. That is why we call our patients in for an appointment once a year.

In contrast to what many people believe, a fixed retainer cannot lead to tooth decay or gum infections. Plenty of research has looked into these issues and can thus provide a sense of reassurance.

When is the best time to begin treatment?

The best time to consult an orthodontist is at the age of 8, for two reasons:

  1. Over the last few years, EOT (= Early Orthodontic Treatment) has been introduced. This is actually a preparation for later orthodontic treatment. The reimbursment of this threatment is not affecting reimbursements for future regular orthodontic treatments. There are strict conditions if you are to qualify for an EOT refunding. One of those is that the EOT may not last beyond the ninth anniversary. 
  2. The orthodontist can provide a great deal of information about the strategy to be followed at that age. Furthermore, certain treatments, such as expanding the upper jaw, can provide much better results if they are carried out at a young age. 

The orthodontic treatment with fixed braces can only begin once the permanent teeth have come down. This time varies from patient to patient.

What about wisdom teeth?

Far too many wisdom teeth are removed unnecessarily. It has never been scientifically proven that the emergence of the wisdom teeth can lead to the rest of the teeth moving, after treatment. Only a permanent retainer wire or a removable retainer worn at night (or in some cases both) will keep the teeth straight. This does not mean that wisdom teeth never have to be removed. Local factors such as abnormal position, damage to neighbouring teeth or infections are all good reasons for removing them.

Considerations

Soft drinks and brackets

Soft drinks, including fruit juice, are acidic and sweet and affect the enamel on the teeth. Without brackets, you can sense the roughness on your teeth and neutralise it with your tongue. Once you have fixed brace this is no longer possible. The acid continues to corrode in between the brackets and the gums. White patches appear if the teeth are not cleaned properly.

You are advised to proceed as follows:

  • Try to avoid drinking soft drinks: keep it to weekends or parties
  • Better to drink a soft drink in one go than to take little sips over a longer period
  • Never drink soft drinks just before bedtime
  • You are better off drinking soft drinks through a straw

What must you be aware of if you have a device to expand the upper jaw?

Your expander is custom made and will not come loose just like that! It will only loosen as a result of sweets, chocolats and sticky candy. It is really, really important that you do not eat sweets. Nothing is more annoying than an expansion device that has come loose on one side; it becomes hard to eat and the band can cut into your cheek. It is not serious but not very pleasant! Also, the duty team will only be able to remove the expander; you will have to make a new appointment to have the expander replaced! Moreover the acquired expansion will be lost and the procedure will have to be restarted from scratch.