Incognito Braces

Braces vs Veneers

Monday, July 1st, 2019

fun-at-the-dentist-1239451-1279x959 - FREEIMAGES.COM cropped image 3

We often hear people say that they are considering veneers or braces to straighten their teeth. Veneers and crowns are often the only solution if a tooth is broken or unattractive in appearance. Veneers should not be used to improve the position of the teeth when they are healthy and strong.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Like a false nail, a veneer is a thin porcelain cover that is bonded to the front of a tooth.
  • Having veneers means the tooth has to be filed down (or drilled). This often needs to be by a substantial amount if a tooth is quite far forward in the arch. This filing is irreversible, once the enamel is gone it is not possible to put it back again.
  • Whenever a tooth is filed down it means that the life of the tooth is reduced. Eventually the tooth may need more extensive treatment like a crown or even extraction and replacement with a bridge or dental implant.
  • Veneers are not for life, after around 10-15 years they may need replacing. This means further fees and further destruction to your teeth.
  • Veneered teeth can be more sensitive to hot and cold due to having large amounts of the enamel that protects them being removed.
  • Veneers can appear “fake” looking in comparison to real teeth.
  • It is not possible to whiten your teeth without having the veneers replaced. This is because whitening agent does not affect the colour of the veneer. You would need to whiten the teeth and get them to the desired shade and then have a new veneer made to match.

Braces move your natural teeth without causing any harm. You will only need to have the treatment once (providing retainers are worn).

People claim that veneers are “instant orthodontics”. Often people are not told the implications of this type of treatment and find out when it is too late.

Braces do take time; the teeth have to be allowed time to move between adjustments. If the treatment is too fast, this can damage the roots of the teeth and mean that the teeth move back to their original positions much faster.

If you are considering veneers to straighten your smile, speak to your Dentist today about other less invasive and harmful options like orthodontic treatment.

Here at SmileLux Specialist Orthodontist in Milton Keynes, we have a range of traditional and discreet braces to straighten your teeth naturally. Contact a member of The SmileLux team today on 01908 398068 for more information.


The SmileLux survival guide – What to expect with braces

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Metal vs ceramic picture

So you’ve made the decision to get braces…… congratulations! You’ve made the first step to change your smile and life forever.

Below are some questions we get asked on a regular basis by patients considering treatment that you may find useful:

What are braces?

  • Braces come in all kinds of designs nowadays but they all do the same thing…. straighten crooked or overcrowded teeth.
  • They use special mechanics which apply gradual pressure to the teeth to move and rotate them. Teeth can be moved up, down, left, right, forward and backward with braces.
  • There are metal braces, tooth coloured braces, clear removable braces and even braces that fit behind the teeth.

What will braces do for me?

  • The main benefit to most people is to improve the appearance of their smile.
  • Research has shown that having a lovely smile can improve self confidence and overall well being.
  • By having straight teeth, it is much easier to keep them clean. Good oral hygiene can also help your health and prevent serious illnesses such as Diabetes and Heart Disease later in life.
  • You are more likely to keep your teeth for life if you have a smile to be proud of and it is easy to keep them clean.

How often will I need appointments?

  • Your first appointment will be a long one where your Orthodontist will take full records of your teeth and put together a plan. Once you are ready to begin treatment, your brace can then be fitted.
  • You will need to attend regularly so that your Orthodontist can monitor your progress, make adjustments to your brace and ensure that treatment is going as planned.
  • Appointments are generally every 6-8 weeks and this is usually determined at the end of each visit depending on how much time your teeth settle between adjustments.

What will braces feel like?

  • In truth, very strange at first! The mouth is very sensitive and will take time to adjust to this new alien object that has been placed.
  • Expect to feel a bit sore initially. Some patients experience ulcers around their tongue and soft tissues. It will take a couple of weeks for your gums to toughen up and adjust to the appliance being there. You will be given special wax to use which acts as a barrier to stop the rubbing and allow your ulcer to heal.
  • You may also find that your teeth feel achy for a few days after each adjustment. It is a similar feeling to a mild headache and can be easily controlled by your usual painkillers.

When will the treatment be complete?

  • Your Orthodontist will be able to give you an estimated length of time for your treatment, however it is impossible to be 100% accurate as it depends how your teeth respond to the brace.
  • Most standard treatment takes between 12 and 18 months. This can be shorter for very mild cases and much longer for more complex cases. It is important that you are flexible and patient when having orthodontic treatment and accept that you may need more time in braces to achieve the best possible result.

What can I eat?

  • Baby food!! No seriously, very soft foods that are easy to chew will be all you want to eat initially while you are getting used to your brace. Popular choices are soup, pasta, mashed potato and rice.
  • Once you adjust to the brace you can start to introduce back some of the foods you enjoy. Just always remember to cut your food into small pieces and avoid anything crunchy or sticky. Carrots should ideally be grated and avoid things like pizza crust and crispy baguettes.
  • You are more prone to tooth decay if you consume too much sugar or acid in your diet with braces as it is more difficult to keep your teeth clean. If you do like fizzy drinks or sweets, keep them to a minimum and have them with a meal so you have a neutral pH balance. No toffees, hard sweets or chewing gum should be consumed with fixed braces.

How do I keep my braces clean?

  • Foods that are consumed during the day stick to the teeth and are not removed until you brush. It is very important when wearing braces that you brush a minimum of 3 times per day and/or after every meal.
  • You will need to clean between the teeth at least once a day and no, don’t panic, your only option is not floss! In fact you will struggle to use floss with fixed braces as the wire will get in the way. We recommend using little interdental brushes such as TePe’s© and a Sonicare Airfloss Pro ©.
  • It is also essential that you continue to see your Dentist and Hygienist for routine appointments throughout orthodontic treatment.

Will I be embarrassed of my brace?

  • You may feel self conscious initially but only until you realise you are not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of adults having orthodontic treatment in the UK alone. Braces are accepted in today’s society for all ages and we have treated patients from as young as 8 up to 75.
  • Depending on which option you choose, braces can be very discreet these days and a brace behind the teeth means people you meet may not even know you are wearing a brace at all!
  • If you do feel embarrassed, always think of the result you will get at the end! Then you will be itching to show off your new Hollywood smile! :-)

If you are considering orthodontic treatment in Milton Keynes, call The SmileLux team today on 01908 398068 where a friendly member of the team is ready to take your call and help you on your journey to a new you!


Incognito Lite braces: Discreet braces for adults

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Before And After with watermark (Ingocnito Lite) 2

“I first approached Dr Hirani and the SmileLux team under a year ago as I felt my teeth were becoming overcrowded. One of my bottom teeth was protruding forward and I was worried the top teeth were about to do the same.
After an initial consultation, we decided to opt for the Incognito-Lite brace as this would fit in with my lifestyle and habits (lots of public speaking, meetings and snacking throughout the day). Invisalign wasn’t the best option for me given this and I felt Dr Hirani gave me the means to form a well-informed decision.
I felt at ease straight away with the whole process. The team are always very friendly and professional – remembering your treatment and asking you how you’re finding it. The practice itself is immaculate and very calming. You’re called 24 hours before an appointment as a reminder which is really handy.
I breezed through Incognito and found my life wasn’t disrupted in any way – nobody knew I was wearing braces! It only took 9 months and I am extremely impressed with the final result. I can’t stop smiling and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the SmileLux team to anyone in the slightest – thanks guys!”

Keeping your teeth clean with fixed braces

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Excellent oral hygiene is an essential part to gaining a beautiful smile. If oral hygiene is poor during orthodontic treatment and plaque is left to build around your brackets then this could lead to permanent white and brown marks on the teeth. This is called decalcification. Alternatively you may be more prone to decay and gum disease.


During orthodontic treatment with fixed braces you will need to ensure that you clean your teeth at least three times a day. This includes morning, night and after every meal.

Electric or Manual

You can use an electric or manual toothbrush, however a brush with a small head is usually useful. You can even purchase manual and electric toothbrush heads which are specifically designed for braces.  Use short, forward and backwards movements when brushing and make sure you brush above and below your brace to clean your gum lines, not forgetting the inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Ensure that you spend at least 2/3 minutes brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.

Travel toothbrush

You never know when you may need to brush your teeth so make sure that you always keep a travel toothbrush in your bag at all times.

Interbrace® Brush


Once you have brushed your teeth, you will then need to clean in-between your brackets. You can do this with an Interbrace® brush. Place this in-between your brackets, underneath the archwire and brush gently. This is important because your manual or electric toothbrush will not reach these areas.

TePe® Brushes


We highly recommend daily use of TePe® brushes to help keep your gums healthy. TePe’s® are a great substitute for floss if you find flossing too time consuming. The next alternative to TePe’s® is the Philips Sonicare Airflosser™ – perfect to clean in-between the teeth quickly and efficiently. 


Using mouthwash e.g. Swirl™ on a daily basis will give you an extra boost of fluoride during the day which will help in keeping your teeth strong. We recommend Swirl™ mouthwash which is especially designed for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.


To ensure you are cleaning your teeth well, we recommend the use of disclosing tablets. These tablets highlight where plaque has developed on the teeth and around the gum line, which allows you to concentrate on brushing specific areas which you may be missing.

How to use a disclosing tablet:

  • Place a disclosing tablet in your mouth.
  • Chew thoroughly and spread over teeth and gums with your tongue until your mouth is completely covered.
  • Spit out any saliva.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water.
  • Areas of plaque will be stained by the dye and will show you where you are not brushing properly.
  • Brush your teeth until the dye has been removed.
  • You can do this as often as you like to check whether you are brushing well enough.


It is very important that you continue to visit your dentist once every six months for routine dental checkups, even during your orthodontic treatment. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate with your dentist to make sure you are receiving the best care possible.

It is also imperative that you continue regular hygiene visits with your dentist or hygienist. Periodontal disease (gum disease) can develop or worsen during orthodontic treatment due to many factors, but most often due to lack of adequate oral hygiene. Seeing a hygienist or gum specialist every 3-6 months will ensure that the health of your gums is kept under control.

Are you getting a card this Valentines Day?

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Finding a date on Valentines Day can be hard if you are conscious of your smile.

The majority of people looking for love find confidence and a nice smile to be two of the most important traits of a potential soul mate.

If you think your smile is holding you back this Valentines Day then why not book an orthodontic assessment with us at SmileLux Specialist Orthodontic Practice to see how we can help transform your smile and give you that irresistible first impression!

We have changed the lives of so many patients…

Before and after several patients 2

Is it time that we changed yours?

Contact us to find out more!

Tips and advice: What can I eat with braces?

Monday, November 16th, 2015

It’s not nice being told what you can and can’t eat but unfortunately with braces there are some rules to follow. Eating foods which are too hard or chewy can in fact damage/break your brace and may cause a delay in your treatment. A patient who is compliant with eating instructions will sail through treatment quicker than someone who isn’t! Although it may be a sad thought to not be allowed certain foods, you may want to read on to learn about alternatives to your favourite snacks.



If you’re a lover of a crunchy cereal in the morning then you may want to look away now because anything crunchy and sharp is a definite no when it comes to braces. Frosties, Cornflakes, granola, Cheerio’s and Honey clusters are all examples of “cereal killers” which will fracture and bend your brace, rendering it useless. That being said you may be able to eat these cereals if they have had time to soften in milk… but who wants a soggy cereal?! Alternatives you may like to try include Weetabix, Shredded wheat or Porridge.


Say goodbye to french sticks and tiger bread and hello to soft baps and tortilla wraps. Hard breads unfortunately are one of our biggest problems! Have just a small bite and you are risking a trip to the orthodontist. Bagels and sliced bread are fine but unfortunately can no longer be enjoyed toasted unless it is toasted very lightly.


If you are a fruit lover then you may like to study this paragraph, fruits are generally fine with braces as long as you take some precautions. Bananas, tangerines, melons, grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries can be consumed no problem with braces however any type of fruit that you would usually take a bite into will need to be prepared for consumption. Biting directly into crunchy fruits such as apples could cause a major breakage, this is why any crunchy or chewy fruits will need to be sliced into smaller pieces or blended into a smoothie first. This is usually a difficult thing to come to terms with if you are someone who eats a lot of fruit…but we all learn to adapt over time. Be careful of some soft fruits which may lead you into a false sense of security, when biting into a soft peach or nectarine for example you will need to watch out for the pip!



Soup is the perfect dish to have with braces (take it from someone who knows) it doesn’t get caught in your teeth, there is no risk of damaging the brace and best of all if your teeth are a little bit tender after your last tightening appointment, soup is easily digestible with little/no chewing effort. Perfect if you have a slight lack of appetite which is normal to experience with braces.


Salads are also fine with a brace, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and baby potatoes are all relatively soft foods. If you’re planning on putting peppers into your salad then just make sure they are cut into small pieces. You may however have to skip the croutons this time.


You probably will not have too many problems with sandwiches as long as they are made with a soft bread (please refer to the paragraph about bread under the breakfast section). Sandwich fillers are usually quite soft too, things like ham, tuna, chicken and cheese are all easily consumable, don’t be tempted to load your sandwich with crisps as some people like to do. When eating a sandwich with braces it can be quite a messy job, always make sure you have a toothbrush with you! A little tip for you could be to break the sandwich up into pieces with your fingers rather than biting directly into it.



Everyone needs Omega 3 in their diet; you can now use your braces as an excuse for eating healthier (that’s what I try to do anyway). Fresh fish like salmon and cod can be more expensive than other meats in the supermarket but there is always the alternative of fishcakes and fish pies.


Chicken is one of the nations favourite and is very easy to eat with a brace and is never too crunchy or too chewy, unless of course dad’s been on the BBQ again!

Lamb, Beef and Pork

If your diet is high in red meat then fear not. This type of meat is absolutely fine to eat as long as it is not too chewy, if you’re cooking from home then you may want to dust off your slow cooker but be careful when eating out as the meat may be chewier than you would hope.


Curries are one of my favourite meals and are so comforting when wearing braces, they are easy to eat as they are so soft to chew and digest. Just be careful of the spice found in curries called turmeric as it may turn your clear bands on your ceramic brace bright yellow!

Rice and Noodles

Noodles and rice are also easy to eat and will not cause you any problems. If you are having a Chinese, just be careful of the notorious prawn cracker…however tempting it may be.


Mmmm pasta you’ve got carbonara, bolognese, tuna pasta, macaroni and cheese, lasagne and pasta bake. When baking pasta, ensure the cheese is soft and runny, rather than crunchy  (like how my Nan makes it). Gosh now I really am hungry.


Beware of raw vegetables; carrots are a definite no with braces unless of course they are cooked through to perfection. You can maintain a healthy diet with all the vegetables you love as long as they are boiled or steamed. Danger: Roasting vegetables may result in brace fatalities. Tips: Always carry a toothbrush when eating spinach, sweetcorn cannot be consumed on the cob and raw carrots may be safer grated.



Both are absolutely fine with braces and will melt in the mouth. They can actually be quite soothing if your teeth are aching due to the pressure of braces. During my first few days of braces I lived on ice cream and soup.

Apple crumble

Again fine as long as smothered in warm custard.


Can’t go wrong.



Unfortunately you are taking a risk if you try to eat most crisps, Kettle chips and Walkers are too hard/crunchy for braces to manage and you will risk knocking off your brackets eating these types of crisps. Try to stick to crisps which tend to bubble and melt in the mouth like Quavers, Skips and Wotsits.

Fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks are very damaging to the teeth over time, especially when a brace is involved. Acid weakens the teeth, then sugars from the fizzy drink can cause decay. When a brace is in the way it is very difficult to keep the teeth clean, making them more at risk of getting decay. If you can limit your fizzy drink intake to mealtimes only then you are on the right path to a healthier mouth.


One of the dangers of eating popcorn is the risk of finding a corn which has not quite popped. These can hurt when biting into at the best of times let alone when wearing a brace, they can also be very damaging.


Nuts are incredibly crunchy and you are not permitted to bite into nuts when wearing braces under any circumstances. If nuts are a large part of your diet then you will need to consider grinding them down first, you can then put them into a smoothie or over a salad.


Olives are a tasty little snack, but mind those pips!

Chewing/Bubble Gum

You may not think it but gum has the capability of pulling off a bracket due to the amount of suction it can create. It can also be very embarrassing if it gets caught in your brace… as I learnt the hard way when I had my first course of orthodontic treatment at the age of 15.


Now chocolate also contains a lot of sugar which is dangerous when wearing a brace, however frequency is the major concern. If you are having chocolate on occasion then this is absolutely fine, however it is better to have chocolate after a meal rather than snacking on it throughout the day. Hard chocolate will damage your brace so you can no longer store it in the fridge, you may want to consider melting it down if it is quite a thick bit of chocolate.


Now most dentists will say avoid biscuits, that they are too hard and crunchy. But I’m not a dentist and biscuits are very important to me. So I have created a nice compromise to this rule, which is probably the most important part of this whole blog. If you fancy a biscuit, why not have a cup of tea as well. This way you can dip it in and no harm  done.


So there you have it, an honest guide to eating with braces. By someone who knows what it is like to wear a brace. It’s so easy for dentists or dental nurses to say avoid this and don’t eat that, but it’s not always that easy when you are wearing a brace 24/7.  I hope you have found this little guide useful, if you are wanting to find out more tips and advice about wearing braces then read our blog , visit our website or ask me in person!


Dr Hirani gives all day lecture at Milton Keynes Hospital Summer 2015

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Dr Hirani and Hazel Coey at MK Hospital July 2015

Dr Sunil Hirani was invited to give an all day lecture at Milton Keynes Hospital. He is pictured here with Hazel Coey, DCP Development Tutor. Dentists had travelled from Southampton, Leeds, Liverpool, Poole, Oxford, Winchester as well as some from the local vicinity of Milton Keynes.”

Dr Hirani speaks at the British Lingual Orthodontic Society study club June 2015

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Dr Hirani and Professor Henrique Valdetaro at BLOS Study Club June 2015

Dr Sunil Hirani and Professor Henrique Valdetaro both speak at the British Lingual Orthodontic Study Club in June 2015. Dr Hirani is pictured with Professor Valdetaro from Brazil. Both were guest speakers to a group of Orthodontists who had assembled for the evening presentations based at Seminars 38 near Harley Street, London. Both speakers received excellent feedback and enjoyed their evening. It is always a pleasure to share ideas and teach colleagues.

Orthodontic Treatment: Keeping your teeth clean

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Excellent oral hygiene is essential during orthodontic treatment as are regular visits to your dentist and hygienist. Inadequate hygiene could result in cavities, discoloured teeth, gum disease, bad breath or decalcification which can leave permanent marks on your teeth. These same problems can occur without orthodontic treatment, but the risk is greater to an individual wearing braces.  Here are some top tips to help keep your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment!

1. Brush your teeth regularly

Clean your teeth and gums at least three times a day for a minimum of 2 minutes, after meals and before going to bed. A lot of people press too hard when they brush which can cause tooth wear or gum recession so an electric brush is generally a more effective option. If however you prefer a manual toothbrush, ensure that you choose a small head that is soft. Some are even designed for orthodontic use. It is important that all surfaces of the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and nothing gets overlooked. An orthodontic travel toothbrush is handy for you to keep if you are on the move.

If you are using a manual toothbrush, hold the brush at an angle and press gently against the teeth. Move the brush in small circles, cleaning the tooth surfaces. Brush above the archwire and below it. Brush the inner surfaces and chewing surfaces of all your teeth.

Even if you have a removable brace such as Invisalign, it is still necessary to brush your teeth after each meal to prevent plaque build up.

Clean around the brackets using an interspace brush such as InterBrace® to remove any food debris that cannot be removed by your regular toothbrush. This is also very useful for cleaning underneath the wire.


2. Interdental cleaning (between the teeth)

When you brush your teeth, your toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth which is where food debris likes to hide. Flossing is the traditional method people use however this can be awkward and very time consuming. It will also be impossible to floss with a fixed brace. The best product for interdental cleaning are Tepe brushes that come in a selection of sizes depending on how large your gaps are. If you are unsure what size to use then ask your orthodontist or hygienist which size will work best for you.

Another option is to use a Sonicare Airfloss which uses a combination of air and water or mouthwash that blasts out food debris from between your teeth. This can be a much faster and more effective system and works exceptionally well if you do have fixed braces.


3. Use mouthwash daily

For an extra dose of fluoride, it is recommended to use an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash every day as part of your oral hygiene routine. If you are ever in a situation where you cannot physically brush your teeth, mouthwash will be the next best thing but this would not remove any bacterial plaque.


4. Disclosing Tablets

You may remember from your school days using a disclosing tablet when you visited the dentist. These are still a very good way to check that you are brushing your teeth effectively and to highlight any areas that may require more attention. These should be used a couple of times a week. Place a disclosing tablet into your mouth and chew until the tablet has dissolved. Spit out your saliva into the sink and then look in the mirror. Any areas that are brightly coloured require more effective cleaning.


If you are a patient at  SmileLux and would like to purchase any of the oral hygiene products mentioned in this blog then please feel free to ask the team at reception at your next visit. For your own ease and convenience, we stock all the products you need to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Please call us on 01908 398068 if you have any questions and one of our friendly team will be able to help you.