I hear so many clients talk about braces, especially on the run up to a life milestone event like their wedding day, and they all have the same reservations that I had not that long ago. So here I have put together a bit of a Q&A on the 5 most frequently asked questions about clear braces…
1. How long will the treatment take?
This depends on how much work there is, how much movement is needed to straighten them up. During my consultation I was advised that timeframes could be anything from 3 to 18 months, but for me specifically it was estimated 6-9 months. In the end it was nearer 11 months from start to finish as there were a couple of times when the braces needed adjusting as my teeth had moved slightly different to anticipated. This is completely normal, especially when dealing with teeth which are overlapped and crowded; notoriously the most difficult movement for dentists to manipulate. I would say from around 8 months I felt like my teeth were visually straight and I was very happy with them, so the rest was just tiny tweaks to achieve the perfection desired by my dentist Ewan. Though I still wear my retainers every night for sleeping, yes that is a must – you cheat and you undo everything you have achieved as your teeth are seemingly desperate to get back to their disorder! This isn’t a problem though, after a year of wearing braces full time it’s a nice break to go bare during the day.
2. How much will it cost?
A question of money that us brits awkwardly avoid but probably the most important decision making factor. Prices can vary as again it depends on the extent of the work needing to be done, but they start from £500 and can go upto a couple of grand. The average price for both top and bottom braces is £1500-2000. There are also 0% finance options available too to help spread the payments and make it much more affordable. Remember, whilst seeing a quote with a couple of zeros on the end can be daunting, this isn’t just a treatment that will last a few weeks before chipping off or growing out, it’s a change that will last a lifetime and you will still have that lovely straight smile decades after paying for it.
3. What’s included in the treatment?
Following my consultation everything was included in my treatment, from the tooth x-rays, the scans, the tooth moulds, regular check ups and the braces from start to finish. As I mentioned that I had a couple of adjustments in my braces throughout the treatment and was given a new batch of braces, this was all included so there were no unforeseen extra costs. For treatments over £1000 you also get a hygienist appointment included as well as FREE teeth whitening, with a tray moulded to fit your exact finished teeth and 6 month supply of whitening gel, it really finishes off your perfect new smile.
4. Will it be obvious I’m wearing braces, will they stay in position?
The braces are made from a clear plastic that coat the teeth like a very thin, transparent gum shield, so they are much less noticeable than conventional braces. Yes they most definitely stay in place! Especially at the start of the treatment when they are very tight, which is needed to be to make the teeth move. The more the teeth get used to moving the easier it does become to get the braces on and off, but even now I just wear mine at night to maintain the shape they are never loose enough to fall off. Truthfully, the worst part is taking them in and out to eat when you are out in restaurants and cafes; there’s no dignified way without dribbling spit down yourself so just excuse yourself to the bathroom for everyone’s sake. And DO NOT wrap your brace in a tissue for safe keeping…from personal experience this will result in a poor Greek waiter having to dig through the bins and sieve through a days worth of food scraps – my most sincere apologies Andreas!
5. How difficult are they to maintain?
The braces themselves are pretty easy to clean. I use a spare tooth brush and scrub them down inside and out every morning and pop them in some water with a sterilising tablet every now and then. I’ll spare the details but trust me wearing a brace overnight really highlights the importance of dental hygiene and you will suddenly find yourself an OCD tooth cleaner after seeing how gross they can get! No sweets before bedtime tut tut!
If reading this you find yourself interested in finding out more about clear braces and what they could mean for you, I highly recommend contacting Ewan Bramley Dental Care for a consultation. Over the years I’ve changed many things in the interests of beauty; died my hair, painted my nails, sprayed my tan, boot camped my wobbly bits, and they have all made me feel prettier and happier, but nothing in comparison to how I feel having had my teeth done. It goes deeper than just polishing the surface and the smile as a result lasts a lifetime.