Common orthodontic questions

At Darwin Orthodontics, we truly believe no question is too small or strange. Below are some of the most common questions our patients ask us. We’re always happy to talk about orthodontic treatment so if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Do I need a referral?

No, you do not need a referral to see a dental professional and you can contact us directly for an appointment.

Whilst many patients are referred to our practice by their family dentist, it is not necessary for you to have a referral to receive orthodontic treatment. However, we do recommend that you see your family dentist for a check-up before you start any active orthodontic care.

Are there different types of braces?

There are several different types of braces to choose from for your orthodontic treatment. At Darwin Orthodontics, we offer traditional metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign.

How do I take care of my braces?

Life with braces is very similar to living without them. We’ve compiled a page of helpful tips for caring for your braces.

Do braces hurt?

It is normal to have slight discomfort after your braces are fitted and your teeth may ache for a day or two after your adjustment appointments. Over-the-counter pain medication will provide relief.

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 speak normally.

How much time should I spend brushing with braces?

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 do I floss with fixed braces?

Flossing is important as it removes the plaque between your teeth and under your gum line. (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 gum line. 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 aligners?

After you remove the appliance from your mouth, brush and clean between your teeth in the normal way. Be sure to 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.


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