Frequently Asked Questions


Will I still be able to talk when I have braces?

Yes, standard braces should not affect how you talk or the sound of your voice.
In certain cases, we may need to use an appliance that could get in the way of your tongue. You may then experience slight trouble talking clearly for a day or two. However, your tongue will then readjust and you will be able to talk like normal.

Do braces hurt?

The majority of patients experience slight discomfort when their braces are first fitted and then a day or two after each adjustment.

Are all braces designed to be as pain-free as possible?

At Darwin Orthodontic Centre we use the very latest orthodontic techniques and treatments to reduce your discomfort, whilst achieving the very best results. Dr Swann and his staff work with each patient to achieve comfort during the course of treatment.

Will braces cause ulcers in my mouth?

When you first get braces, you could experience some ulcers in your mouth. If you rinse in warm salty water, they will heal within a week or two. We provide orthodontic wax to our patients when they get braces put on as this helps protect the inside of your cheeks from rubbing against the braces, which in turn helps prevent ulcers forming. Your gums and cheeks will become accustomed to the braces and after a while you shouldn’t need to use wax anymore.

Does it hurt to eat with braces?

After treatment for the first few days your teeth will feel a little tender and you may wish to eat softer foods. After this you should be able to eat normally again.

Is there anything I can’t eat?

You can eat most of the good things that you eat now. However hard or crunchy foods should be avoided as they can cause a wire to be bent or dislodge a bracket, Also any foods that are sticky or gooey should be avoided as well, because they may stick to the brackets and pull them off your teeth. In addition, the sugar can get around and behind the braces and cause cavities. Foods which should be avoided include;

  • Toffee
  • Caramels
  • Crunchy muesli bars
  • Lollies (especially minties and fantales)
  • Licorice
  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts
  • Ice
  • Corn chips
  • French bread sticks, bread crusts or hard rolls
  • Whole apples or carrots (cut them into pieces first)
  • Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating)

Plain soft chocolates are fine as long as you brush afterwards.

What happens if a bracket falls off?

We will simply re-attach it. Usually this is not a problem; however, if this does occur please make an appointment with us as soon as possible.

What are the costs involved for treatment?

Costs vary depending on what type of problem or problems the patient faces and on the treatment plan selected. After your initial consultation with Dr Swann we will provide you with a treatment plan that includes our estimate for treatment costs.

Orthodontic Home Care

How much time should I spend brushing?

It is important to brush in the morning, before bed and after meals. You can carry a travel toothbrush with you, so you can brush after meals or anytime you have had something to eat. If you are unable to brush after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth with water. We recommend brushing thoroughly for at least five minutes twice daily. It is vital that you clean your braces every time you brush your teeth. Braces can trap plaque which increases your risk of cavities and gum disease.

How can I brush with a regular toothbrush when I’m wearing braces?

Firstly you must turn the toothbrush at an angle. Brush over the front, back and chewing areas of each tooth; the lower teeth and upper teeth; your tongue, gums and the roof of your mouth. Finish by cleaning around your braces ; brushing first from the top and then from the bottom. Be sure to brush gently, being careful not to break or bend any of the brackets or wires.

After brushing, be sure to look at your teeth thoroughly in the mirror ensuring you have removed all food and plaque.

How do I floss with fixed braces?

Flossing is important as it removes the plaque between your teeth and under your gumline. (If you do not floss, you are leaving up to 40% of your tooth surfaces untouched and uncleaned.) It is possible to floss while you are wearing braces. Choose a waxed floss and curve the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape. With dental floss wrapped around the tooth, gently move it up and down the side of each tooth, including under the gumline. Unroll a new section of dental floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces.

How do I clean my retainer or other removable appliances?

After you remove the appliance from your mouth, brush and clean between your teeth in the normal way. Be sure that you gently brush your gums and the roof of your mouth and any area that may be covered by your appliance. Using your toothbrush and toothpaste, next clean your appliance, and rinse it thoroughly with water afterwards. Please only use cold or lukewarm water to clean your retainer or removable appliance as hot water will damage it.