FAQs

Care & Temporary Repair

  • How do I care for my appliances?

    To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

  • How do I clean my teeth during treatment?

    It is very important to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a Periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

  • What do I do if a wire or band becomes loose?

    Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

  • What kind of precautions should I take when playing sports?

    If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Cleft Palate

  • How is my baby going to look when the Cleft Palate surgeries are complete?

    Fantastic! With the benefit of our wonderful team of specialists working with you and your baby through BC Children’s Hospital, you can expect a great result. See our Graduates section for some amazing photos of our cleft palate patients.

  • How is the Cleft Palate treatment going to be carried out, by whom, and where?

    The measuring of your baby and the manufacture and fitting of the appliance will be performed by Dr. Pocock. An impression or mould will need to be taken, this is usually done when the baby is 7-14 days old and this procedure is most frequently performed by your Orthodontist in the Operating Room (OR) with an Anaesthetist “standing by”. Your baby will not be anaesthetised, the Anaesthetist is just there to monitor your baby and help with breathing if there is a concern. This however is very unlikely, we just want to be as careful as possible. Our nurse practitioner or the Anaesthetist will advise you as to when your baby’s last feed before the procedure is to occur.

    Once the baby is returned to you after about 15 – 30 minutes you may feed him. At this stage you will be given an appointment at your orthodontist’s office for the fitting of the appliance usually within a couple of days. The rest of the adjustment appointments will occur at the orthodontist’s office. A plaster cast is made from the impression and then a technician will fabricate the appliance. At the Orthodontist’s office the appliance will be fitted and you will be given instructions on how to place and remove it; including how to use the various tapes and elastics. The lip tape must be placed very tightly, ideally the lip will blanch (look white). Sometimes denture adhesive is used help the appliance stay secure.

  • What do the parents have to do for our Cleft Palate baby?
    • Clean the appliance and palate at least once per day
    • Change the lip tape several times a day making sure to keep pressure on the lip and underlying tissue
    • Change the base tape and steristrips as needed. The base tape can be left on for up to a week before changing it. This protects the cheeks from the more frequent changing of the lip tape and steristrips

    Photos will be taken and a copy will be given to you for your records. Sometimes the completed appliance will be delivered at this time, while in other cases the rest of the appliance will be fitted a week following. Adjustment appointments will then usually occur at weekly intervals, sometimes longer especially for out of town patients.

    Babies with bilateral clefts will have some additional modifications to the appliance and taping made at about 6 weeks. Just prior to surgery the wire component will be removed but the acrylic plate will stay in until the palate surgery at between 10 -14 months.

  • What is the timeline for Cleft Palate treatment?
    • Impression at the OR 7-14 days of age
    • Fit appliance several days later
    • Adjust appliance weekly
    • Remove wire component just prior to surgery
    • Lip repair surgery at approximately 3 months of age
    • Acrylic plate to stay in after lip surgery
    • Palate surgery at 10-14 months no need for acrylic plates any longer
  • What problems might we have while waiting for the first Cleft Palate surgery?
    • Loosening of the plate. Try tightening the elastics by moving the steristrips higher on the plastic skin, or add some denture adhesive to the plate.
    • Skin rashes. Try to move the tape or plastic skin to different areas, or if the problems persist, phone the Cleft Clinic at 604-875-3146 and ask to leave a message for Sandra Robertson. She has some great ideas and remedies.
    • Sore, red or bleeding areas on the palate or nose. Call the orthodontist to arrange an adjustment.
    • Baby pulling plate out! This may happen especially later in treatment, it is important to keep the plate in if at all possible. Use more denture adhesive, put mitts or socks on the hands. If the plate is left out the tongue can push up into the cleft possibly widening the cleft in the palate and therefore making the palate surgery more difficult and prone to complications.
    • Plate not fitting because of teeth coming in. Call the orthodontists office to have the plate adjusted.
  • Will the Cleft Palate appliance or taping hurt my baby?

    Babies get used to these appliances quite quickly, it will surprise you how adaptable they are, also you will see improvements in appearance almost immediately. Although you will feel “all thumbs” to begin with it will soon become routine and very rewarding as you see the fruits of your labours in the permanent improvement you have helped make in your babies appearance!

General Orthodontics

  • Can I use whitening toothpaste with braces?

    Whitening toothpaste is not recommended until after your braces come off. If you use a whitening toothpaste on a daily basis, the teeth underneath the brackets (braces) may not be as white as the rest of your teeth when the braces come off.

  • Do braces hurt?

    The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for 1 to 4 days. Your lips and cheeks may need 1 to 2 weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

  • How does Orthodontic treatment work?

    Braces apply steady, gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

  • How long does Orthodontic treatment take?

    Treatment times vary on a case by case basis, but the average time is from 1 to 2 years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene, keeping regular appointments and good elastic wear are all important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

  • How much do braces cost?

    Orthodontic fees will vary depending on the complexity of the bite problem. Bites with more severe problems usually require additional treatment time and therefore more fees than a less complicated bite. Because of so many differences each case is evaluated independently. Fees can usually be estimated at the initial visit. During the consultation appointment our staff will go over fees in more detail and devise a payment plan which best meets your needs.

  • How often will I have appointments scheduled?

    It may take several appointments at the beginning to get treatment started. Once treatment is underway appointments are usually 4 to 6 weeks apart.

  • What are some signs that braces may be needed?

    Below are some of the more common signs that orthodontics may be needed:

    • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
    • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
    • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
    • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
    • Crowded or overlapped teeth The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
    • Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after 6 or 7 years old
    • Difficulty in chewing
    • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
    • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
    • Spaces between the teeth
  • What does Phase I and Phase II Treatment mean?

    Phase I, or early intervention treatment is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of 6 and 10. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of 11 and 13.

  • What is a palatal expander?

    An expander is a type of orthodontic appliance that connects to two to four of the top back teeth and will be placed over the roof of the patient’s mouth. An expander is used when the patient’s top jaw is narrow in width compared to its bottom jaw. The expander will widen the top jaw to have it match properly with the bottom jaw.

  • What is headgear?

    Headgear is a type of orthodontic appliance that connects to the teeth and is held in place with a strap behind the neck or the crown of the head. Headgear is often used when the top jaw or top teeth are too far forward relative to the bottom jaw or bottom teeth. If a patient needs to wear headgear we usually request that it be worn in the evening and during sleep time.

  • When should my child first see an Orthodontist?

    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age 7, or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, family dentist or the child’s physician. Although only a few of the patients need treatment at this time, the orthodontist can often improve improper growth and prevent future problems. For some of these problems early intervention is essential for a good result. Should your child not be ready for treatment the orthodontist will monitor growth and development on a regular basis.

  • Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

    Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

  • What is Orthodontics?

    Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

  • What is an Orthodontist?

    An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in braces for both children and adults. Orthodontists have completed dental school, just as your family dentist, but have also had additional training (called a residency) for an additional 2 to 3 years. During their residency the orthodontist learns not only about placing braces on teeth but also studies the growth and development of the jaws. From their background, orthodontists can determine developing bite problems at very early ages.

  • What are some possible benefits of Orthodontics
    • A more attractive smile
    • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
    • Better function of the teeth
    • Possible increase in self-confidence
    • Increased ability to clean the teeth
    • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
    • Better long term health of teeth and gums
    • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
    • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
    • Aid in optimizing other dental treatment

Invisalign

Klearway

  • How can the Orthodontist help with my sleep apnea?

    On your first visit, the Dr. Pocock will thoroughly examine your teeth and mouth and may use X-rays to confirm your oral health status. Dental impressions are required to fabricate an oral appliance, which are then sent to the laboratory where the appliance is made. Once the appliance is made, it will be inserted by one of our service team members, who will show you how to insert and remove it yourself, how to clean it and care for it when you are not using it. Once you have been using the appliance regularly and notable relief of symptoms, such as improvement in daytime sleepiness and elimination or lessening of snoring has occurred, Dr. Pocock will refer you back to your sleep physician to determine how effectively the appliance is relieving your snoring and OSA. You will continue to visit us at regular intervals (usually over at least a 12-month time period), and we will work with you to maintain and modify your oral appliance so that it remains effective.

Zoom! Whitening

  • Are there any side effects from Zoom Whitening?

    The most common side effect is tooth and gum sensitivity. Dr. Pocock is your best resource to ensure that you are a good candidate for whitening and that we use the right concentration of whitening formula.

  • How long does Zoom Whitening take?

    With Philips Zoom, your teeth will be visibly whiter in one day. With Zoom in-office, you will achieve up to eight shades whiter in 45 minutes.

  • How long will my Zoom whitening results last?

    Whitening treatments help to reduce existing stains, but through consumption of coffee, soft drinks or just through natural aging, your teeth may eventually become discolored again. Maintenance whitening can help combat recurring discoloration.

  • Is Zoom Whitening safe?

    Yes. Clinical studies have shown that whitening your teeth with carbamide or hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dental professional is safe for teeth and gums. Dr. Pocock does not recommend general tooth whitening to anyone under 18yrs of age.

  • What causes teeth to discolor?

    There are many causes to tooth discoloration. Some of the most common include the consumption of highly colored foods and drinks (berries, coffee, tea, red wine). Some medications, aging, smoking and trauma can also cause teeth discoloration.

  • What is the difference between OTC whitening products and Philips Zoom?

    Over-the-counter whitening products are not customized to your needs. With Philips Zoom, the whitening process is tailored to your needs by Dr. Pocock, with just the right light intensity and duration.