FAQ’s For Crocs
Why have braces?
Straight teeth look better. They’re way easier to clean too, so there’s less chance of building up harmful plaque. That means less chance of gum disease and tooth loss when you get older. Also, braces will stop tooth damage from bite problems, setting you up nicely with the best chance of keeping your teeth for life. That mean’s you’ll be happier and richer (false teeth are very expensive).
What are braces like?
There are different types; some are removable, which you take out at night and to eat a meal or clean. Some are fixed and stay in all the time. Traditional ‘train track’ braces are made of metal, but plastic and ceramic ones are also available and some of these are clear, so you can hardly see them on your teeth. For more information on the different types of braces, go to <<treatments>>.
How do I choose my colours?
OK, braces aren’t the most fun things to have in your mouth. But, if you’re getting a fixed appliance (train tacks) there is a way for your braces to look stylish…with colours! But how do you choose?
1. Look at a colour wheel. It’s a list of the colours available for your braces. Ask your dentist at Crocodile for one of these before you get the braces so you won’t have to choose on the spot.
2. Pick you favourite colour to start. If you can’t decide on one colour, pick two and rotate them between teeth.
3. Plan around the calendar. Are there any holidays coming up? If so, choose colours that are associated with that holiday, such as black and orange for Halloween.
4. Do you play in a sports team or support a team? Choose your team colours.
5. What colours go best with your eyes? You probably know from clothes which colours work, so go with them.
6. What colours work with your skin? Darker skin tones and hair colours might look good with gold, dark blue, turquoise, orange, anise green, pastel blue, fuchsia, pink, or violet. Lighter skin tones and hair colours might look good in petrol blue, vermilion, bronze, caramel, salmon, green khaki, raspberry, bluish red, plum, blue-green, and royal blue.
7. Remember, black makes your teeth look white. And bright colours can get stained easily…
8. Don’t worry. You can change colours again in a month or two if you don’t like what you’ve got!
How long will I have to wear my braces?
It really depends on how much work there is to do and how far your teeth need to be moved. Traditional metal braces — known as fixed braces (or train tracks) — usually take between 12 and 24 months, but could take longer if the problem is severe. Removable braces usually take less time than a fixed brace. However, you might need to wear a removable brace before and after you have finished your treatment with a fixed brace.
How often do I have to brush my teeth with braces?
Braces can trap food and cause more plaque to build up than usual. Plaque is caused by bacteria from food left on your teeth, and once it builds up it’s difficult to remove. So you need to take extra care cleaning your teeth and watch what you eat. Try to brush after every meal and try not to snack in between.
What can I eat and drink?
You won’t want to hear this, but sweets and sugary drinks are out, sorry. On the upside, less sugar will mean you’ll be much healthier by the time your braces come off, AND you’ll have straight, beautiful teeth! In case you wondering what happens if you do eat sweets while wearing braces, you risk getting permanent decay and marks on the front of your teeth, so the day your brace comes off may not be such a happy one. Also really chewy foods are best avoided because they can break your brace, which will only lengthen your treatment in the end. At first it’s best to cut your food into small pieces and keep to a soft diet. Food may build up in the brackets and in between your teeth and will need careful cleaning to remove it. Chewing gum is not recommended as it can stick to your brace. Avoid hard foods such as whole apples, carrots, and French bread. They could break your brace. Also (sorry!) avoid natural fruit juices, as these are often high in sugar and can be acidic. If you do drink them, don’t sip, use a straw instead. Water and plain milk are the safest drinks.
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Nail biting and chewing your pen or pencil can damage or break your brace.
How often should I see the dentist while I am wearing my brace?
You will need to have your brace adjusted regularly to make sure it is working properly. Usually you will have an appointment with us roughly every six to eight weeks. It is very important that you go to these appointments, or the brace will take a lot longer to work.
Will my mouth be sore?
Your mouth is full of nerves and very sensitive to change and so it will take you a few days to get used to wearing your brace. At first your teeth may feel uncomfortable because of the pressure the brace puts on them. It may also feel uncomfortable and tight against your teeth after it has been adjusted. Painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol can help. Some parts of the brace may also cause discomfort to your gums and lips, causing sore spots, and in that case we will give you a clear wax to put on the part of the brace that’s hurting you. If the soreness lasts more than a few days though you should come back and see us.
Will I be able to speak normally?
Sometimes when a brace is fitted it may affect your speech and cause problems in pronouncing certain words. Lisping may also be a problem at first. But most people soon adapt and begin to speak clearly within a few days.
Can I play sports while wearing my brace?
If you have a removable brace it is best to take it out. If you do remove your brace it is important to use a mouthguard and then put your brace back in as soon as possible. It is also best to take your brace out if you are swimming. If you have a fixed brace you should wear a mouthguard designed for use during contact sports over the brace — we can make you one of these.
Can I still play musical instruments?
Braces may affect playing wind instruments, although with practice you should get used to it. Wax and protective sleeves can be provided to make this transition easier. If your brace is removable then you may wish to take it out in the early stages, but you should be able to wear it once you start getting used to it.
Why should I look after my mouth when I have a brace?
It is very important to take the time to keep your teeth and braces clean. This will help you avoid problems such as tooth decay, inflamed gums, and decalcification. Decalcification is when you lose the calcium from the surface of your teeth, and this may leave white spots on your teeth after the brace is removed.
What if I lose or damage my brace?
Tell us as soon as possible, don’t wait until your next appointment. If you are not wearing your removable brace or it is not in the correct position this affects your treatment and makes it more likely that your teeth will go back to their old position. Damage to fixed braces should be sorted as soon as possible.
How often should I clean my mouth and brace?
Clean your teeth and the brace with toothpaste after each meal. Pay special attention to every tooth and the gum line around it.
How do I clean my removable brace?
We will show you special techniques for cleaning your brace. It is best to clean your brace over a sink full of water so that it isn’t damaged if you drop it. Keep a separate toothbrush just for cleaning your brace and use toothpaste to clean it. Gently brush the brace and rinse it thoroughly with fresh water afterwards.