What is Orthodontics?
The specialty of orthodontics is well known in some countries, but here in Kenya our clinic is the first one exclusively dedicated to orthodontics. Here are some FAQs to help you understand what orthodontics is all about. You will also find FAQs about your treatment and after care.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is all about giving you the confidence of a great smile, and a firm healthy bite. It involves gently altering the positions of the teeth using braces or removable aligners to improve their position without damaging them.
Orthodontics was the first specialty created in the field of dentistry. It is a specialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of poorly positioned teeth and jaws, giving you a beautiful smile…naturally.
What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone a three to five year full time post-graduate training in the field of orthodontics. Once training is complete, they are recognised as a specialist in their field.
Kenya has only six registered specialist orthodontists. Many dentists provide orthodontic treatment without having gone through any specialist training; these are commonly referred to as “Ortho-dentists”. While they charge less than a specialist, their skill is limited to providing treatment for only simple cases.
Who should have orthodontic treatment?
There are three common reasons people choose to have orthodontics:
- Those who require treatment for health reasons, such as having a poor bite, or jaw alignment that is disruptive to the individual’s health.
- For patients whose teeth are not aligned properly and look “out of place”. Check this cool vid as an example.
- For those patients who lack confidence in their smile and choose to have cosmetic work done to give them that edge.
At Kenya Orthodontics, we guarantee that we will give genuine, honest advice and not sell you any treatment that you do not need.
At what age can you have orthodontic treatment?
At any age as long as your teeth and gums are healthy.
Children whose adult teeth are not fully formed may require some orthodontic work in order to allow their adult teeth to position themselves better.
The most common years for orthodontic treatment is for teenagers whose adult teeth and jaws are in their optimum years of being formed. However, we treat people of all ages as it is never too late to get the perfect smile.
Should I Get Treatment?
What types of treatment are there?
There are two standard types of treatment: using braces which are permanently stuck to your teeth or there are aligners which are removable and fasten over the teeth. There are also retainer-type removable braces which are used to treat younger children.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment takes between 6 and 24 months – it depends on how complex your teeth positions are. A few can take longer than two years. It is important to know that you, as a patient, can make your treatment longer.
Treatment takes the form of regular visits to the orthodontist to adjust your brace as they slowly move your teeth into position. Visits are usually every 6 to 8 weeks. The longer you go between visits, such as missing one, the longer it takes to move your teeth. Breaking your brace can also add to the treatment time. If you stick to the plan, you can complete your treatment in the best amount of time.
How much does treatment cost?
Treatment costs depend on two things: first, the type of brace you choose to suit your lifestyle. This can be standard, ligated, ceramic, hidden or aligners. Read more. Each type of brace varies in price – depending on the manufacturer. The second factor is how complex your treatment is.
At Kenya Orthodontics, we calculate your costs upfront and there are no hidden charges during your treatment. We also make your plan affordable with our various payment options.
Will you guarantee straight teeth?
Yes and no! We will plan to give you the best treatment available, but teeth can move even after your treatment is complete. Your treatment plan will include wearing a removable retainer for at least a year after your braces or aligners are removed. You also have the option to fit a fixed retainer which is discreet and easy to manage and will help keep your teeth aligned.
Is it a painful procedure?
No. If you choose fixed braces, it is as simple as sticking a small bracket onto each tooth, then clipping on a wire to the brackets. It takes about an hour. We have an overhead TV with games and movies to help the time go faster.
Your mouth will feel funny because of the new shapes on your teeth. There may be some discomfort after treatment has started. The braces are designed to gently move your teeth into a perfect smile. This causes a small amount of pressure for a couple of days which some people find uncomfortable. We recommend taking some standard pain killers to relieve any stress.
Will braces damage my teeth?
Braces will not damage your teeth. During treatment, however, there are some dos and don’ts that may result in your teeth being damaged. Read the FAQs in the next section to ensure you get the best possible results.
Choosing to invest into your child’s or your smile can be quite daunting. We have answered some of your questions to help you make the best decision.
What do I need to know during treatment?
Taking care of your teeth and brace, or aligner, during treatment is an essential part of getting your smile just right. Here are some essential dos and don’ts during your treatment.
Are there foods I should avoid?
- Hard foods, such as nuts. Biting into hard foods can damage your brace, causing them to detach from your tooth. While we allow for up to three breakages without charge, your treatment can take longer with each break. Call the clinic for advice if you are in doubt about any particular food.
- Sugary drinks and snacks, such as fizzy drinks and chocolate. The sugar and acid in these foods corrode the enamel and cause tooth decay around the brackets so that when they are removed the teeth have permanent marks. For best results, stop drinking fizzy drinks during your treatment!
How do I brush my teeth?
There are special brushes that fit around the brackets and wires which can be purchased at the clinic or at online stores. The nurse will be happy to show you how to brush at your next appointment. You can also use an electric tooth brush. Here’s a fun video about it. The Sonic toothbrushes shown in this video are available at the reception. You can purchase replacement heads also.
How do I stop the braces from rubbing against my gums?
We provide orthodontic wax which sticks onto the brackets. If you are have having problems stop by the clinic and get some. Alternatively, a brace guard can be purchased at the clinic if the wax is not protective enough.
Can I wear a gum shield?
Yes, but you will need to get a specially made gum shield that will fit around your brace. If you need one, make an appointment and we can get one made within 4 business days.
What do I do if my brace breaks?
Sometimes, during the course of your treatment, a bracket can come loose, or a wire can stick out, or an aligner can break. When this happens, it is important for you to get it fixed as soon as possible so that you do not delay your treatment. Contact the clinic and ask for an emergency appointment. These take about 1o minutes and we will try to fit you in on the same day if possible. Most of all, don’t panic: these things happen!
What do I need to know after my treatment?
How often should I wear removable retainers?
Removable retainers should be worn as instructed by your orthodontist for at least the first year after treatment. You can remove them for eating or kissing.
You can also choose to purchase a fixed retainer which is a small wire that fits discreetly at the back of your teeth to prevent them from moving. Your orthodontist will be happy to discuss these options and help you find ways to keep your new, beautiful smile.
Do I need to visit the orthodontist again?
We recommend that you still visit your orthodontist for a review every three months after your treatment has ended. There is no extra charge for these 10 minute appointments, and it helps to make sure your teeth are not moving out of place.
What do I do if I break or lose my retainer?
It is essential that you wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist. If it breaks or you lose it you should immediately call to make an appointment to have another one made because your teeth may move even within a few days. There is a charge for an additional retainer, but it is cheaper than having to go through another orthodontic treatment later!
Orthodontic treatment is a big investment of both time and money. Once you have completed treatment you need to take care that you don’t lose what you have. Teeth continually move so here are some essential FAQs about keeping your beautiful smile…