Metal Braces

How early should children see an Orthodontist?

Monday, July 8th, 2019

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Children should be monitored as young as age 7 for future orthodontic treatment. Often actual treatment will not start until a child has all their adult teeth however early intervention can sometimes be recommended while the jaw is still growing. This can eliminate the need for more obtrusive treatment in adulthood such as jaw surgery.

Here are some early warning signs that your child should see an Orthodontist:

  1. Thumb/ finger sucking or prolonged use of a dummy
  2. Wonky teeth
  3. Sticking out teeth (known as an overjet)
  4. Deep bite (when the top teeth almost completely cover the bottom teeth when biting)
  5. Early or late loss of baby teeth
  6. Speech difficulties
  7. Problems with eating due to the bite
  8. Grinding or clenching of teeth
  9. Missing teeth
  10. Signs of tooth wear

If you are worried about your child’s teeth and feel they would benefit from seeing an Orthodontist in Milton Keynes, contact us today on 01908 398068 to find out more about how we can help.

Braces vs Veneers

Monday, July 1st, 2019

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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.

 

Benefits of Braces

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Benefits of Braces.

These are just some of the many benefits listed above of having braces. If any of these apply to you and if you would like to find out more about how we can help to improve your smile, contact our SmileLux Team today on 01908 398068 or send us an email at info@smilelux.co.uk.

How is an Orthodontist different from a Dentist?

Monday, October 8th, 2018

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A dentist and Orthodontist can both offer brace treatments however did you know that an Orthodontist has a whole array of extra qualifications to be able to specialise in moving teeth with braces?

This doesn’t mean that a general dentist cannot offer braces, and many do to a good standard. In most cases a general dentist will not have the same level of experience and training as a Specialist Orthodontist.

An Orthodontist has not only trained at dental school for 5 years to become a dentist, they have then gone on to train as a Specialist Orthodontist for a further 3-5 years at Masters or Doctorate level. Becoming a Specialist Orthodontist is not easy and the training posts are very highly sought after and difficult to get in to. Experience needs to be gained by working in maxillofacial surgery, restorative dentistry and paediatric dentistry.

After this intense training, to be able to use the title “Specialist Orthodontist” and be listed on the General Dental Council’s Specialist register they must undergo the membership in orthodontics examination of the Royal College of Surgeons.

A general dentist may have done a few days training course to enable them to offer one type of brace. Many Orthodontists will have the ability to offer metal or ceramic fixed braces, lingual braces behind the teeth and also removable clear braces and will also be able to deal with the simplest case to the most extreme.

Some general dentists can offer simple orthodontic treatments within general practice, however with more complex cases it is recommended that the patient is referred to a Specialist Orthodontist who is trained specifically with braces.

Here at SmileLux we accept referrals from dentists and also treat patients for orthodontic treatment who contact us directly.

Dr Hirani is a highly sought after Specialist Orthodontist in the UK with extensive training and experience.  He is one of 4 Orthodontists in the UK who has passed his European Society of Lingual Orthodontics examination and is also trained to Hospital Consultant level. This means that you will receive the best possible advice regarding your treatment and options.

If you are looking at having braces in Milton Keynes, contact a member of our friendly team on 01908 398068 who will be delighted to help you and change your smile for life.

The Truth about Fast Braces

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Start and finish line

There are many different products available on the market that claim to straighten the teeth in a few weeks or months and for a very small percentage of patients this could be the case. These patients may have had orthodontic treatment before and their teeth have moved very slightly or they may have very mild crowding.

With anything in life, if things are rushed mistakes can occur and the results may not be as good. It is the same with orthodontic treatment. We often see patients who have heavily invested in having their teeth straightened using these fast braces and then finding the results were not as good as they had hoped for so they have to have treatment all over again.

It is normal for most orthodontic cases to take 12-18 months depending on the complexity. If treatment involves the loss of teeth to make space this can mean treatment can take closer to 2 years or even longer. What people are often not told is that it is not just a case of straightening the part of the tooth you can see, the roots also need to be aligned properly which is what can often take the time. This is also to help with stability and longevity of the result.

It is important that 6-8 weeks are left between adjustment visits to allow the teeth to move safely and effectively before they are adjusted again.

If a patient does want their orthodontic treatment completed faster or to end their treatment before it is fully completed, they should be aware that they will may not be achieving the very best clinical result. This may be fine and acceptable for some people but it is often not the case and people are not told this before they commit to treatment.

This leads us to our next point of “Do your research”

The question we have to ask is, “Would you buy a car or electrical device without doing your research first?” If the question is no then why would you consider investing in a product to straighten your teeth without exploring all the options available to you?

In healthcare, the most important thing is to make sure you are being looked after in the best possible way. The smile is the main point of focus when speaking to people so getting the right result is essential.

A lot of people think that only the most complex cases are treated by a Specialist Orthodontist. This is not the case at all. Most of our patients are reassured that they are in the safest of hands by a Specialist Orthodontist who has undertaken several years of intense training rather than someone who has taken a day course in the art of Orthodontics.

At SmileLux we specialise in braces and this means that we can offer a range of different options to suit every lifestyle, expectation and budget. We strive to achieve the very best result for all our patients and are always open and honest when things cannot be achieved.

If you would like braces and want to know you are in the very best hands, contact the SmileLux team today on 01908 398068 where a member of our friendly team will be delighted to help you. We offer orthodontic treatment in Milton Keynes for patients of all ages and have a range of different types of braces from the traditional metal braces to ones that are behind the teeth and fully invisible.

An affordable way to pay for orthodontic treatment

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

Piggy bank

 

Are you worried that you cannot afford Orthodontic treatment?

Here at SmileLux we offer 0% interest free finance which can be spread over 10, 12 or 18 months. As it is 0% interest free, there are no penalties if you wish to pay the loan back early or make additional payments to reduce the term of the loan.

The finance can be applied for with any of our orthodontic options including metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign and lingual braces.

Want to find out more? Contact a member of the SmileLux team on 01908 398068. We are a Specialist Orthodontic Centre offering braces in Milton Keynes and have a range of options available.

The SmileLux survival guide – What to expect with braces

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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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!

 

Lovely result with a lower fixed brace

Monday, August 28th, 2017

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Excellent, easy treatment that was completed on time with no problems, staff and dentists were all very friendly and welcoming I’m very glad I chose SmileLux for my teeth, would highly recommend!

If you are looking to have orthodontic treatment in Milton Keynes, contact a member of the SmileLux team today on 01908 398068. We change peoples lives by transforming smiles on a daily basis and achieve amazing results like this.

 

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.

BRUSHING

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. 

Mouthwash

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.

DISCLOSING TABLETS

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.

CHECK UPS AND HYGIENE

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.

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.

Breakfast

Cereal

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.

Bread

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.

Fruit

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!


Lunch

Soup

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.

Salad

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.

Sandwiches

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.

Dinner

Fish

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

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

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.

Pasta

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.


Vegetables

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.


Pudding

Ice-cream/Lollies

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.

Cheesecake

Can’t go wrong.


Snacks

Crisps

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.

Popcorn

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

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

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.


Chocolate

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.

Biscuits

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 http://www.smilelux.co.uk/ or ask me in person!