Common questions

Knowing what to expect from orthodontics is an important part of your treatment journey. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked.


Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

No, orthodontic treatment doesn’t hurt when your appliance is being fitted. However, for the first couple of weeks afterwards it is normal to feel a bit of pressure. Taking a pain killer, like you would for a headache, will help to ease this discomfort.


How long are fixed braces on for?

On average, fixed braces usually stay on for 18-24 months.


How often do I need to come in for an adjustment?

We will need to see you every 6-8 weeks depending on what stage you are at in your treatment.


Am I too old for braces?

No, the great thing about orthodontic treatment is that it’s suitable for people of all ages. At The Orthodontic Centre (Reading) Ltd we are seeing an increasing number of adult patients coming in for treatment, and the results we can get for them are just as good as those we get for children and teens.


Which braces get the best result?

Developments in orthodontic technology mean there is a variety of appliances available. However, not all of them may be suitable for your case. That is why we assess each patient’s case and make an individual recommendation on the type of brace we believe is the best one for your needs.


Will I need to have teeth out?

Having teeth extracted is a very normal part of orthodontic treatment, although at The Orthodontic Centre (Reading) Ltd we will try to avoid removing teeth if we can help it.


Do I need to wear elastic bands while wearing braces?

If you have been fitted with fixed braces, then yes, you will need to wear elastic bands. These are a key component of braces and help to move your teeth into the desired position. Self-ligating braces are the only type of braces that don’t require patients to wear elastic bands.


Do I get to choose a colour for my brace?

Yes, you do get a choice of colours. We supply all colours and these are changed at most visits, so you can have more than one colour throughout your treatment if you wish!


How should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

Once your braces are fitted we will show you the best way to look after them and what special toothbrushes to use. If your cleaning technique isn’t great, we will advise you on how to improve it as we won’t fit braces for a patient if we don’t believe they can keep their teeth clean.


Do you offer Invisalign?

Yes, we are one of the leading providers of Invisalign treatment in Reading. It is suitable for both teenage and adult patients and we can let you know if it’s a viable option for you at your free consultation.


When do I need to book another appointment?

After every appointment you should book a new appointment. One of our helpful receptionists will assist you with this.


Will the receptionist know what to book for my next visit?

Yes. The reception team receives a message from the orthodontist so they know what is required.


Should I visit my hygienist/dentist on a regular basis during treatment?

Definitely! It is very important you carry on with your regular check-ups. We work closely with our patients’ dentists so they’ll be kept informed of your orthodontic treatment.


Do I qualify for NHS treatment?

To qualify for NHS treatment you must be under 17-years-old and meet the requirements of the ‘Index of Treatment Needs’. On your first or second visit, we will assess you against this index and let you know if you qualify or not.


Do I need to wear retainers after my braces are removed?

Yes, every patient is fitted with a retainer to make sure their teeth do not move out of position. There are two types of retainers – fixed and removable. We’ll recommend the best type for you and also advise how long you’ll need to wear it for.


Can I take my retainers out to eat?

This varies between patients but we’ll explain what you can and can’t do when your retainers are fitted.


How do I clean my retainers?

With a toothbrush and water. We also sell retainer bright tablets. Drop the tablet into water to cover the appliance, place the appliance into the solution and wait for 15-20 minutes then rinse the appliance thoroughly with cold water.


Do I need a gum shield for contact sports?

It is highly recommended to purchase a gum shield if you play any contact sports. You can purchase a gum shield at the reception desk; they are slightly different to the ones you can buy in shops because they allow for tooth movement. You can also purchase a custom made one if you are very committed to a contact sport.

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