Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most frequently asked question at the practice and often cause the most frustration. Unfortunately, the honest answer is that the orthodontist can only guess. At the start of the treatment we give a “guesstimate”. However, every human reacts differently to orthodontic treatment due to individual variability. Sometimes the orthodontist guesses the time correctly, sometimes we finish a bit quicker, and sometimes we take longer.
Please realise that the quality of the result is more important than the treatment time. Putting pressure on the doctor to treat faster creates tension and unhappiness. Our aim is always to keep the appliances on the teeth for as little time as possible but to treat comprehensive cases in less than 18 months is often not possible. Most of our treatments last for 18-24 months. There are exceptions but the best is to prepare for this amount of time.
It takes about an hour to have the braces fitted. You will therefore only be absent from school for a short period and we will provide you with a letter for your school. We set aside times in the mornings for these appointments because the afternoons are reserved for the short monthly check-ups to minimise time away from school.
To have the braces fitted are not painful at all. It might feel a bit weird as we put in retractors in your mouth to keep the lips from touching the teeth. The evening after you have had your braces fitted you might have some discomfort. This may last 2-3 days. It is okay to take a painkiller during this time if necessary.
We will supply you with a short list of do’s and don’ts but it’s impossible to specify every little thing. A general rule of thumb is to apply common logic. If you can’t squish it between two fingers it might be too hard to eat. Really sticky toffees and Fizzers are definitely to be avoided.
Also, when eating something like an apple or hamburger it is best to cut it in small pieces rather than biting a piece off. It also advised to avoid sugar and fizzy drinks when you have braces.
Biltong is only allowed if a little bit wet and thinly sliced. Big dry pieces will cause breakage. Also, avoid chilly bites.
We are only contracted in for Discovery Medical Aid. We can claim for you depending on your plan and if you have funds available. Patients from all medical aids are welcome but have to settle their account with us first and then submit to the medical aid for payment.
No – in many cases there is a jaw discrpency that needs to be treated during the pubertal growth spurt. It’s important to start treatment in this time whether all the permanent teeth have erupted or not.
No, we can do braces at any age. Generally, adults take a bit longer to treat.
Phone the office to book an appointment as soon as possible. If the loose attachment is bothering you, you may attempt to remove it of put some wax on it until we can fix it for you. Please don’t wait till your next appointment to have it fixed as we may need additional time.
As the teeth straighten it may cause the wire to protrude in the back and it may start poking – place some wax on the end and phone us to have it sorted. If you are on holiday and not close by when it happens, you may try and clip the end of the wire with a type of clipper but be very careful not to injure the soft-tissue!
Your braces can be removed when the doctor feels that we have achieved the best possible result. The appointments are scheduled in the morning because we need sufficient time to make the retention appliance which is fitted later the same day.
In certain cases we will advise for the braces to be removed before the treatment is complete. This happens when oral hygiene has not been good and the teeth are at risk of decay. Another example is where to patient is not compliant and we have to accept the result as is. Patient compliance is essential to get a good outcome for any treatment.
Absolutely. Best time is right after you appointment when doctor has had a chance to assess the patient. Unfortunately it’s not possible for doctor to give telephonic feedback due to the busy schedule in between patients. Once COVID has passed we will be able to allow non-patients in the treatment area again – then one parent will be allowed to accompany the patient. We abide by the rules and COVID regulations as set out by the HSPCA.
No, that is not possible. Your patient file is at one office only which makes switching between the offices unmanageable. Please regard the two offices as two different businesses.