Frequently asked questions

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions.

Can I brush my teeth in the practice?

We have a special brush corner for our patients, where everyone with an appointment can brush their teeth beforehand. We provide the toothpaste, but you should bring your own tootbrush. In case there is no more toothpaste, you can ask the desk clerk for more.

How long will I have to wear braces?

The average orthodontic treatment takes about 2½ years, because teeth and molars can only be moved about 1 mm every month. There is little point to asking how much longer the treatment will last at every appointment. That won’t make your teeth move any faster!

What should I do if my braces break?

Check the page ‘First aid for braces’ or call the practice for instructions.

Do fixed braces hurt?

How much fixed braces hurt, depends on the person. When you’ve just gotten braces, they will probably hurt a little for the first two days. If it bothers you a lot, you could take a palliative like paracetamol or ibuprofen (don’t forget to read the instructions for use before you do). If your teeth bother you a lot while chewing, you could try eating soft foods for a while, like bread without a crust, porridge, and soup. After a day or two, the braces won’t hurt so much anymore. Most patients need about a week to get used to the braces and talking and swallowing will become easier and easier. If you keep at it, the braces won’t bother you much at all after a while. However, every time the braces are adjusted, your teeth may be sensitive for a few days, but never again as much as they were when the braces were first placed.

Does it hurt when fixed braces are taken out?

No, you will hardly feel a thing. When the braces are taken out, we use special plyers to bend the brackets a little, which makes the glue come off immediately. Usually, the braces are out before you know it. Cleaning the teeth and molars will take more time.

How often will I have to have check-ups?

That depends on what type of braces you have. It varies from once a month to once every two months.

Do I still have to see the dentist while I’m wearing braces?

Yes, you should keep going to the dentist for (semi)annual check-ups.

Up to which age is treatment with braces possible?

Basically, people of any age can be treated with braces. Even adults’ teeth can be straightened with braces, but the quality of the teeth, gums, and jawbone have to be good enough to start an orthodontic treatment. Furthermore, it is impossible to correct the alignment of the jaws in adults solely with braces, if the alignment is extremely bad. That needs to be done surgically by the dental surgeon.

I have to write a paper about braces. Where can I get information and pictures, and such?

You can find pictures on the VvO-website (check (only available in Dutch). In the braces gallery, you’ll find pictures of various braces and information about how they work. You can also look under the heading ‘Other sites’ for more pictures and more information about braces. If you have braces, you can also ask Mrs Schuttelaar or Petra, one of the assistents, for flyers and such.

Don’t forget to mail us your paper! If it’s posted on the website, you’ll be in the running for the Golden Braces!

How do you become an orthodontist?

To become an orthodontist, you first have to study dentistry for six years and then specialize in orthodoncy, a program that takes another four years. In the Netherlands, you can do that at the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen. In all, you will have to study at a university for at least ten years until you’re an orthodontist.