Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

1. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialised training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.


2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not necessary for patients who wish to be seen on a private basis for their consultation. However, referrals are required from a General Dentist for patients who are under 18 and would like a consultation on the NHS.

3. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

It is recommended that a patient is referred at the first sign of an orthodontic problem, this can be as young as 9 years old. Orthodontic treatment may not be necessary at this age. See the section on Early Treatment.

4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

5. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

NHS consultations are scheduled by Pinnacle Orthodontics when we have received a referral from your General Dentist, we in turn write to you and invite you to come and see us. Therefore, you must attend your General Dentist and request a referral to your local Pinnacle Orthodontics practice. For private treatment simply call Pinnacle Orthodontics and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our reception  staff will request some basic information from you.

6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient, and parent if relevant, will be seen by the Orthodontist. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The Orthodontist will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

7. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will the treatment be carried out on the NHS (under 18’s only)
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

8. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment. Your Orthodontist will advise you on the best treatment plan for you.

9. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 24 months.

10. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available?

If you qualify for NHS treatment, this is provided free of charge.
It is not possible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have a 0% financing option available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you.

11. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients wearing braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more or less frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

12. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we can only schedule NHS appointments during our NHS opening hours, and some appointments for specific procedures such as those involving laboratory work have to be scheduled at certain times of the day.
We can offer extended appointment schedules to our private patients.

13. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check with reception before dropping off their child. Very young children and children deemed vulnerable must be accompanied at all times.

14. Do orthodontic braces hurt?

The teeth can ache for the first day or two after the brace had been fitted or adjusted. We describe it as having a “headache” in your teeth. Patients may take the painkillers they would normally take for a headache.

15. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.


16. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports. Our practices sell orthodontic mouth guards, which protect the teeth and brace. After your treatment you may request a professional mouth guard to be made. Your orthodontist can advise you of the current cost.

17. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

18. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a verbal list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: chewing gum, hard sweets, raw vegetables and all sticky foods. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

19. How often should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least 3 times each day – using a normal tooth brush and an interdental toothbrush.

20. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call Pinnacle. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you. Do not attend the practice without an appointment – all appointments are tightly scheduled and we may not be able to see you.

21. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

22. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

23. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.