How Long Do You Have to Wear Braces?

One of the first questions people ask when their dentist tells them they need braces is: “How long will I have to wear them?”. They understand the importance of straightening their smile and fixing their teeth, but no one wants to wear uncomfortable brackets and wires on their teeth for a long time. Unfortunately, the average length of time for braces to be worn is about 1-2 years.

Now, it’s not going to be the same for everyone. How long you have to wear braces will depend on a few factors, but primarily it depends on how severe your case is. If you have a lot of teeth that are far from where they should be, you are probably looking at two years or a little more. If you just have a tooth or two that needs correcting and the corrections aren’t extreme, then you could only have to wear the braces for about six months.

You’ll have to talk to an orthodontist before you can know for sure how long you will need to wear the braces. Just keep in mind that the estimate can change mid-process. If something happens to your braces and they become damaged, then you may have to wear them for a bit longer as repairs are made. If your teeth are not cooperating with the process, then the orthodontist may have to make some adjustments and give you a new estimate for when you will be able to take the braces off. There may even be times when your teeth move faster than anticipated, and the braces can come off sooner than you thought.

If you want to be sure that there are no problems and that nothing stops your braces from doing their job, then you need to make sure you are taking care of your teeth and braces. That means you have to follow your dentist’s and orthodontist’s instructions carefully. They will tell you not to eat very hard or crunchy foods and to avoid sticky and overly sweet foods. You also need to floss and brush your teeth regularly to make sure your teeth don’t stain while wearing braces and to keep your braces clean from substances that can cause them to deteriorate.

Even when your braces come off, the process of giving you the smile you want won’t be complete. You will likely have to wear a retainer for a while afterwards, as that will help the teeth stay where they are supposed to until the bone and tissue around the teeth solidify. Even once the teeth are in position, the braces still have to stay on for a short while because of the way the surrounding tissue and bone can behave. They become softer while the teeth are moving into position, so the braces keep the teeth from shifting around while your body sets them in place permanently.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments: Inlays and Onlays

While crowns are used to fix seriously damaged teeth and veneers are coatings with limited power to solve your chipped or damaged teeth, inlays and onlays lie somewhere between these two, but often take the best of the two worlds. These are as resistant and durable as a crown, which is no wonder – it is basically the same procedure as crowns, just the extent of the administering the material is different. Compared to veneers, aesthetic implications are actually the same, but the functionality is similar as well.


Inlay is added to the area between the tooth cusps. Cusps are elevated tips on top of your teeth, between which the fillings are added. Most people will have an amalgam or white filling administered, but in some patients the tooth tip damage is so great that there’s not enough dental material to support a regular amalgam or composite filling. In these cases it is needed to apply greater amounts of reconstructive material to that location.

Modern inlays are made of composites or ceramic materials which are much thicker, more solid and resistant than amalgam or white regular fillings. There is no shrinking of inlay material while drying and hardening, which makes these particularly durable and efficient in solving the teeth deterioration issues.


While inlays are applied to the central section of the tooth tip enclosed by the cusps, onlays are used in cases when one or more cusps (depending on the tooth) are chipped off, but not to an extent which would require a full length crown. You can assume that the condition which requires onlays is more severe than the one which is fixed with inlays. However, there are no major differences in treatment.

An onlay is basically restoration of all missing cusps on the teeth. An onlay is, thus an incomplete crown – the major difference is that it doesn’t cover the tooth fully to the gum line.

The Procedure

The procedure for both inlay and onlay treatment is less or more the same. It usually requires two appointments. At the first one, the dentist will prepare your tooth and develop a model of how your tooth would look. A moulded impression will be made to record the current state of your tooth, or multiple teeth if required.

After the first treatment, your new inaly or onlay is fabricated in the laboratory. Once it’s done you go for the second appointment when the dentist will place your inlays or onlays.

Materials used for these treatments are porcelain, composites and gold. So far, the gold is the best option whenever looks are not a concern, so it can be used on the back molars. For those teeth which appear on your smile, the best option is modern composite materials which are durable, functional and white.

Popular Cosmetic Dental Treatments (And What They Can Be Used To Treat)

The main goal of cosmetic dentistry is not just to restore and heal the patient’s, but also to give the teeth and the smile a perfect, shiny, and impeccable look. In many cases, tooth damage has both health and aesthetic implications, thus making some cosmetic dentistry procedures restorative as well.

Here are some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments which can actually help with adverse oral conditions.

Teeth Whitening

This is a very fast and inexpensive procedure which doesn’t require much equipment, so it can be carried out in the patient’s home and lasts only several minutes. Note that not all whitening methods are good for your oral health. Some chemicals used in the process can be very aggressive and damage the tooth enamel. However, appropriate whitening techniques will help you remove or prevent dental caries.

Composite Tooth Bonding

These are a solution for chipped teeth. When a tooth is chipped the internal soft tissues forming the pulp may be exposed to the air, which is very harmful and speeds up tissue deterioration that leads to tooth loss. Having composite bonding placed on the damaged area will fix and prevent further issues.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an orthodontic product which support the proper alignment of a patient’s teeth. In this sense “clear” means transparent and harder to spot, in contrast to traditional braces with visible metallic parts. Modern clear aligners are custom 3D printed and are next to invisible, so most people won’t be able to notice you’re wearing them. The subtlety of the treatment has made it very popular among teenagers and young adults.

Porcelain Veneers and Crowns

These treatments are attached to the surface of  damaged teeth. Whether it’s a veneer or a crown depends on the level of damage, or how bad the condition is. A crown is added straight to the pulp or dentin, while a veneer is basically just an additional coating which corrects health or aesthetic issues. Crowns are more serious, complex and made of thicker porcelain.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a set of multiple bound crowns which are used to treat one or more missing teeth. Healthy teeth on the either side of the empty space are the base for bridgework. These healthy teeth are prepared by removing a part of enamel, so these become abutments to the bridgework. This is a cheaper, yet less effective alternative to dental implant surgeries.

Options for Missing Teeth: The Basics

Losing a tooth or more might be a big blow for you, regarding both your looks and the health concerns which can arise from tooth loss. Luckily, modern dentistry is able to solve problems with lost teeth fully or partially using the following procedures and techniques. Many dentists offer a combination of techniques to fully transform a smile in a short period of time, so there’s not always a single ideal treatment for every patient.


These are the oldest, fastest and usually the cheapest way of replacing missing teeth, but it’s also among the least effective. Dentures, or false teeth, can be fixed or removable. Modern dentures have good aesthetic look and are made of durable materials, but often lack the ability to support good oral health and don’t enable the patient to feel fully comfortable while wearing them. This is particularly true for removable dentures which aren’t bound to the jaws in a proper manner and are actually very limiting, having price and look as their only advantages.

Dental Bridges

Bridges are a good solution in the event that one or more teeth are missing. They require healthy natural teeth on the either side which can be used as abutments. Moderately priced, long-lasting and aesthetically good, the allow patients to retain full functionality of their teeth. Some disadvantages may include possible discomfort issues and they can cause headaches in some patients initially.

Dental Implants

They are the most effective, but also are usually the most expensive solution. This is the only option which fully recovers lost teeth in terms of the look, feel, health effects, quality of life and durability. It’s an outpatient surgical procedure which requires a certain recovery period that is needed to achieve osseointegration, the process in which the jawbone tightly and firmly bonds to the implant’s fixture.

Dental implants are made of titanium, meaning they are practically indestructible and certainly more resistant to environmental damage than natural teeth. If the surgery and recovery are successful, the patient won’t have a feeling that there’s an artificial tooth in their mouth.

All-on-4 Dental Implants

These are meant for edentulous people, those who are missing multiple teeth, if not all. This is one of the most advanced procedures in dentistry, but is very quick and convenient and is also an outpatient procedure, just like having a single tooth implant built in. The name of the treatment explains that an entire set of teeth missing in a jaw are replaced with artificial ones, supported by just four implants. This procedure saves resources and time for the dentists and the patient saves a lot of money and time as well.

Popular Cosmetic Dental Treatments

For anyone, having the perfect smile can do a lot to raise their self-confidence and self-esteem. This is where cosmetic dentistry comes in. This type of dentistry involves any dental procedure that improves the look of your smile.

Common types of cosmetic dentistry

When it comes to the perfect smile, there are a number of popular treatments available for your smile makeover.

Teeth Whitening – is the most popular cosmetic treatment. Eating, drinking, smoking or poor oral hygiene can result in the staining of teeth. To remove the stains involves treatments that requires the use of bleach or use of lasers to whiten teeth and enhance the appearance of your smile.

Teeth Straightening – is another treatment that can be used to improve the appearance or function of a person’s teeth. This treatment involves applying gentle pressure to your teeth by wearing a brace. The outcome is that it moves the teeth back into the right place. There are different types of braces available. Some of these can be taken out – Invisalign for example.

Bonding – is a process to repair teeth that are broken, chipped or discoloured. It involves applying enamel-like dental compound onto the surface of the tooth which is then shaped, hardened and polished. The result is that it blends in with the rest of the tooth’s surface.

Bridges – are false teeth designed to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. Two crowns that are on either side of the denture are used to hold it in place. Such treatment comes with risk and requires a commitment from the wearer to good oral hygiene.

Veneers – are custom-made porcelain laminates that are fused directly onto your teeth. They can help fix teeth that are chipped or discoloured. They can also contribute to straightening out teeth that are a little crooked.

Implants – are different to bridges. They replace teeth that are missing. Treatment involves surgically placing the implant in the jawbone and is permanent. Implants act as the anchor for an artificial tooth such as crowns, bridges and dentures.

What are the benefits?

Cosmetic dentistry treatments have advantages. Apart from improving self-confidence and self-esteem, other benefits include improving:

  • Appearance of teeth and gums.
  • A person’s bite.
  • Colour of teeth.
  • Shape and position of teeth.

Depending on the individual there may be other benefits that are specific to them.

What Can Be Treated with Botox?

Over the years, botox has developed into a product with a diverse range of uses. Through the good and the bad it has begun to revolutionize how we use it in our everyday lives. The list of uses is forever growing as new technologies improve each day, but the most common uses are currently for medical, research and cosmetic treatments. Although it has historically been used mostly by women, over recent years it has begun to find a home with men as well.

Botox, also know as the purified form of botulinum toxin has been known to ease the pain of chronic migraine suffers through regular injections, whether that be weekly, monthly or yearly. These types of injections are available as on option on the NHS in parts of the UK, and is offered as part of a safe and effective treatment for adult sufferers.

As well as injections in the forehead, it is also used for those who suffer from excessive sweating. It works by blocking out the signals the brain sends to the sweat glands, which balances both the problem and the condition for months at a time. These types of injections are currently used in the feet, face, armpits and forehead.

The most common use of botox is through cosmetic procedures – preventing wrinkles. It is achieved by injecting the toxin into the facial muscles (most commonly the wrinkles between the eyebrows) to paralyse them. However, results aren’t seen instantly, but they can normally be seen within 3-5 days. Many private clinics, such as NW1 Dental Care in Camden, offer botox treatments to patients.

Over recent years it has been found to minimise the look of crow’s feet and superficial wrinkles, but as something that is still new to the market, it is not yet known what the long term side effects are.

Through the use of medical and cosmetic needs the different uses all have one thing in common. The biggest benefit to the injections are that they are used to relax the muscles, whether it be facial or not, and overtime, the long term use of these injections is to prevent the muscles from repairing themselves to their original state.

herpes – causes and treatments

It’s Just a Cold Sore

There it is, a small, round blister on the edge of the mouth. It seems like it might be a pimple, but you can’t be sure. So on goes the acne cream, the lip balm and a plethora of home remedies that serve more to placate the sufferer than actually cure the ailment, which is the dreaded cold sore. While it is a small thing really, to the sufferer, it stands out like a boulder, impeding your daily progress with worry and inattentiveness as your mind is fixated on the small, round blister. The embarrassment does more damage than the cold sore itself, so a little education can go a long way toward alleviating both the cold sore and the stigma. A visit to your local dentist is probably a very good starting point.

Picture of various types of herpes



Cold Sore Causes

Cold sores, or fever blisters, are generally caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus, although simplex 2 can also cause cold sores. Anyone can get a cold sore; it simply requires contact with the virus and a mucous membrane, or through a compromised area of the skin, such as cut or chapped lips. A cold sore is an area on the mouth that has become ulcerated as a result of the infection. They are normally round with a deep red center. It is important to have a proper diagnosis, either from your dentist or your GP, so proper treatment can begin.

Cold sores can last for up to twelve days and are highly contagious when active. Simplex 1 will infect cells that are exposed through cuts or chapped lips. Once the infection has passed, the virus resides in the skin’s nerves’ spinal dorsal root in its latent stage. When it becomes active it will travel back to the site of the original infection where it is capable of causing new lesions. When the virus is latent, it is much less capable of causing infection. An active lesion or cold sore will be contagious for 7-12 days where it becomes extremely infectious. A lesion without treatment can last as long as three weeks.

The virus can be triggered by hormones, stress, and trauma to the area. Sometimes the virus becomes active without any apparent precipitating factor.

Removing the Stigma

The best way to abolish the stigma connected to having the herpes virus is through education. Firstly, genital herpes is not caused by the same herpes virus that causes cold sores. While they are both herpes viruses, cold sores are mostly caused by herpes simplex 1, while genital herpes is caused by simplex 2. Although it is possible for simplex 2 to infect other areas of the body, its mode of transmission is through direct mucosal membrane contact. As people begin to understand that cold sores can’t cause, nor are they a result of genital herpes, the less stigma will be attached to the virus.

Secondly, most people are infected with herpes simplex 1 already. One estimate sites that up to 80% of the UK population is infected, however, simply because the virus is in the body does not mean it will cause a cold sore. Some people never have an outbreak, others will have only one, but a segment of the population will succumb to multiple outbreaks. While cold sores cannot be cured, they can be treated, and in some cases prevented.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Clinical lab analysis and testing can be done on cold sores. These tests may include PCR to identify the virus. Your dentist or doctor can swab an active lesion to test for the presence of herpes simplex 1.

Because the cold sore is viral in origin, treatment should include anti-viral medications. Some patients take medications like Aciclovir, which is considered an antiviral medication and interferes with the replication process of the virus. Some patients who suffer severe outbreaks take this medication on a daily basis to prevent cold sore episodes, others take it only when they feel an outbreak coming on or when they actually have an active lesion. There are also anti-viral creams that can be used to reduce the duration of an outbreak.

To reduce embarrassment, online treatments can be found for conditions such as genital herpes on an online pharmacy , a secure online treatment portal, so that hopefully minimizes any social stigma. In effect, no-one need ever know you are treating the virus, ensuring your total privacy. If you are taking Aciclovir then the dose will normally be 200mg five times a day for five days. If you are prescribed Valaciclovir, it is a usually a one gram dose taken three times a day for seven days and for those taking Famciclovir, the dose is on 500mg tablet once a day for three days.

Why choose a career as a dental nurse

There are many good reasons to choose a career as a dental nurse. Not only is this profession an interesting way to earn a living, but it is also a rewarding way to help individuals and families learn how to stay healthy and happy. Thanks to Dr Amit Pabari – an Invisalign practitioner in Stourbridge, for his input to this post.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties of dental nurses can vary. It oftentimes depends on the particular needs of the dentist, dental office or hospital. Keeping that in mind, two important responsibilities dental nurses often provide are offering patients teeth cleaning services and providng them with preventive care strategies. In addition, since some people find a trip to the dentist’s office a bit stressful, patient management skills are critical. If that is the case, dental nurses can help make sure patients feel calm, comfortable and secure. Other duties might include taking x-rays, applying sealants, and administering anesthesia. If a patient needs stitches or sutures removed, a dental nurse will possess the skills to do that as well. Dental nurses support dentists in all phases of dentistry practices, which could mean anything from cleaning and readying instruments to mixing filling materials. Sometimes dental nurses even help run the office by making appointments, filling out paperwork and accepting payments.

Training and Education

Academic training is usually not required to work as a trainee dental nurse. However, if you want to become a certified dental nurse and advance in this career, you will need to take formal, accredited classes and graduate from an approved dental nursing program. These programs are operated by various dental hospitals, colleges other training groups. You must also be registered with the General Dental Council, an organization which regulates dentists and dental care professionals.

Career Prospects and Opportunities

Dental nurses can find employment opportunities in places such as general practices, hospitals, community programs and the armed forces. After gaining additional experience, training and education, many dental nurses go on to find satisfying careers as orthodontic therapists, dental therapists or dental health practitioners. Many dental nurses find that joining professional organizations, such as the British Association of Dental Nurses, can help them explore and advance their careers since they can provide advanced educational services, conferences, career centers, and networking opportunities.