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Q&A with orthodontist Dr Anton Bass- ANSWERS BACK

(99 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 14-Sep-11 12:51:21

We're joined this week for a Q&A with specialist orthodontist Dr Anton Bass, who'll be answering your questions on all aspects of orthodontics for children, teenagers and adults. Orthodontics is a specialised field of dentistry which not only focuses on straightening teeth, but the development of the teeth, jaws and face, which all contribute to a nice smile. Dr Anton Bass is a graduate in Dentistry from Guy's Hospital, London and received his specialist Orthodontic training at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, where he obtained a Master's degree in Clinical Orthodontics and certification by the American Board of Orthodontics. In 2001, he joined his father at Bass Orthodontics, a well established family practice, having been there for over 30 years and is amongst the first specialist Orthodontic practices in London's West End. Although he treats patients of all ages, he has particular interests in early preventative treatment, adult and 'invisible' treatment. Please send your questions to Dr Anton Bass on everything from prevention being better than cure to it never being too late for straight teeth, before 5pm on Monday 19th September and we'll be linking to his answers on 28th September.

worryornot Wed 14-Sep-11 13:05:02

Hi, can bad orthondontist work be corrected?

My DS had 2 healthy teeth removed from the top and a fixed brace on both the top and bottom teeth for 10 months which straightened a slight protrusion on front top teeth, when he was 12. This has resulted in a receding bottom jaw and the appearance of a double chin. I am distressed by this, can it be corrected. He is 18 now.

We weren't told there was any alternative treatments at the time but have since read that there are better treatments.

Gluttondressedaslamb Wed 14-Sep-11 13:07:02

Dr Bass, I would like to have your views on thumb-sucking please. Obviously it is difficult to prevent very young babies from sucking their fingers or thumbs, but from what age does it begin to impact on the development of their gums/jaws/teeth? Is it better to try to encourage a baby to use a dummy?

MetalSian Wed 14-Sep-11 13:20:33

I had two different types of braces when I was younger, a removable brace when at primary school, and a type of train track (with open/close doors, not elastic bands) at secondary.
I went on to wear my retainers for longer than was suggested to me, every night for over a year, then cut down wearing them 1 or 2 nights a week until they broke.
My teeth now however have moved and seem to be even worse than before I had the braces.
To me it seems completely pointless to have gone through the years of wearing braces, then following the instructions of my orthodondist, for my teeth to look almost worse now than they did before I started treatment.

To rectify this problem would it mean having to have even more braces?
And is there any way to guarantee the teeth not moving back?
Or could I even complain to my original orthodonist ;P?

ChampagneShowers Wed 14-Sep-11 13:30:48

Can I use an electric toothbrush on my baby's teeth? If not, from what age can they be used? If so, can you recommend a particular one please?
Thank you.

(My child is nearly a year old, and has four teeth so far.)

hiddenhome Wed 14-Sep-11 13:31:01

Will my eldest son's teeth ever fall out? He's 13 in November and he still has all his primary molars and his canines. He also has a gap that's been there for about 2 years and only just has the point of a tooth coming through now.

Why are his teeth so lethargic? grin

(I realise this isn't much of an orthodontic question, but thought I'd slip it in anyway)

HettySpaghetti Wed 14-Sep-11 13:42:34

Hi I'm 38 and I have the most crooked teeth ever. They're very hard to clean. I had shocking dentists as a kid which now reduces me to a gibbering wreck when I go to the dentist. I have my first appointment in years tomorrow. I'm going because of my daughter so I have to be brave. Is there anything they can do to help that won't cost silly money. I hate smiling at anyone that I don't know because I'm so embarassed.

silverfrog Wed 14-Sep-11 13:47:56

I have very crooked teeth.

I am thoroughly embarrassed by them. they are not healthy, and I have to have fillings re-done regularly in my top front teeth (all 4 front teeth, plus canines and pre-molars).

last year, the pre-molar in my top right jaw was removed, and I had an implant.

is there any way of now straightening my front top teeth? or will I have to go for the removal/implant option? (which is one I do not necessarily rule out anyway, due to the grief I have from them. but if they were straightened, they would be easier to clean/need less work done regularly anyway). From looking into options (although I have not yet discussed this with my dentist), I have learned that it is not possible to have braces now I have an implant - is htis true?

neenpeen Wed 14-Sep-11 13:51:45

My daughter is 6 and her upper 1's have grown inat a 90 degree angle to one and otherand her LL2 is unerupted due to overcrowding. She has seen an orthodontist who is unwilling to do anything until she is at least 12. Is this correct? I just think it is a long time to wait as her upper 1's are limiting what she can eat. Thanks.

neenpeen Wed 14-Sep-11 13:54:21

My daughter is 6 and her upper 1's have grown inat a 90 degree angle to one and otherand her LL2 is unerupted due to overcrowding. She has seen an orthodontist who is unwilling to do anything until she is at least 12. Is this correct? I just think it is a long time to wait as her upper 1's are limiting what she can eat. Thanks.

Only1inthevillage Wed 14-Sep-11 13:57:45

At what point in a child's dental development is it possible to diagnose overcrowding? My son is 7 - his adult teeth are well on their way and so far look ok. I keep a close eye on them as I had a dreadfully over-crowded mouth as a child and went through upsetting and not very effective orthodontic treatment (ten teeth removed, two types of retainer!). Obviously I am hopeful my son will not inherit my teeth but if he does at what point will I know there is a problem and is it possible to take any pre-emptive action?

OptimumPrime Wed 14-Sep-11 14:05:28

What are your thoughts on fluoride? I have read some concerning stuff (e.g., and would appreciate your opinion.
Is there a less chemically toothpaste than the major brands that you would recommend for use for children, and adults.
Thank you in advance.

missorinoco Wed 14-Sep-11 14:19:18


What are your opinions on "dental milk" (milk with added fluoride for Mumsnetters who don't have it in their area)? The local school offers this, but I am slightly reluctant as some of my in laws have yellowed teeth apparently from advice to have fluroide drops when they were children. (I have checked, it wasn't Teracycline induced if you are wondering.)


mercibucket Wed 14-Sep-11 14:22:09

If children need braces how do you choose a good orthodontist? Is there a register? Where can you find feedback from previous clients etc?

IcedTeaAndBuns Wed 14-Sep-11 14:22:47

My son is 7 and has been referred to an Oral Maxillofacial surgeon at our local hospital because of an open bite - currently the gap is 1.5cm.
Is there anything that can be done at this early age, or do we have to wait until all his adult teeth are through? Are braces the best option for an open bite, or would he need surgery as his dentist suggested?
Thank you.

twankie Wed 14-Sep-11 14:26:29

I'm gums bleed every time I floss.. they have bled since I was pregnant with my dd (I had dd2 at 42). Dentist says just carry on but I'm concerned it's the start of gum disease. I very rarely have much problem with my teeth otherwise..the occasional refilling...but no other signs. Is the bleeding okay?

madhairday Wed 14-Sep-11 14:44:14

Hi. My daughter has sucked her thumb and has a 1cm overbite, very crooked top teeth and receding bottom jaw. She has seen an orthodontist but apparently nothing can be done until she has completely stopped sucking her thumb and all her adult teeth are through (she's nearly 11) Is this true, and if so do you have any strategies up your sleeve for the thumb thing (and yes we've tried everything inc. thumbguard!!) Cheers.

iwantavuvezela Wed 14-Sep-11 15:06:31

My husband has many old fillings in his molars(the grey ones) - and his teeth in the front are starting to blacken/brown behind the tooth- what can you suggest to "freshen" up this? What type of work could he ask his dentist to do?

I am interested in removing two large (old) silver fillings and replacing with white - is there any danger in this (I have heard that the contain mercury and this is dangerous to do??? - although my dentist has said he can do it no problem!

Tenebrist Wed 14-Sep-11 15:55:05

We're all seriously stressed out with my daughter's braces! I think we need more psychological help than anything else.

We were told from a pretty early age that my elder daughter would need orthodontic work to correct her jaw, and that if it wasn't sorted with braces while she's growing she would need an operation at 18 or afterwards. So she started wearing one aged 8 (initially one of those over the head wire constructions at night), moving on to take-outable one and two piece plastic things, some you screw tighter once a week. Now she's 13, and she's been with a one-piece bionator for a while (very noticeable when she speaks).

She's supposed to wear it as much as possible - at least 15-16 hours per day, but it's as much as we can do to get her to wear it while sleeping, ie 8-9 hours. I would describe her attitude as passive resistance. She HATES the thing - a few have been lost in the past and we're incredibly lucky not to have been made to pay the full replacement cost so far (we're not in the UK, so different insurance rules apply). At some point in the future she might well get a permanent brace, which at least means she can't take it out or lose it, but the orthodontist and us are worried that she won't bother to brush between the metal bits as a form of resistance and damage her teeth.

So, finally to my question - at what point do you say, this whole brace thing isn't working, it's damaging my child (she's already suffering stress symptoms from schoolwork, and this is one more stress for her), it's screwing up our relationship? I really don't want to abandon ship at this point - we've put 5 years hard work into it which would presumably be rendered useless because she's still growing. And given that she does have the brace for medical reasons, not merely cosmetic, are we right to insist that she persists, even against her will? Are 13 year olds actually capable of realizing that this treatment is in their long-term interests? (well, I imagine some are, but this one isn't).

meala Wed 14-Sep-11 16:23:35

I have protruding front teeth and hate my smile. I feel lacking in confidence due to it. I have a large overbite and have two natural bite positions. What confuses me is that my orthodontist as a teenager used elastic bands and fixed braces to move my bite back. My teeth are now back worse than ever.

I have plucked up courage and have seen two orthodontists who advise that the only option is fixed braces for one year, jaw surgery and then more braces.

Is there any alternative as I am very wary if surgery and also depressed with state of teeth.


ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Wed 14-Sep-11 16:29:02

My DD saw an orthodontist last year who took xrays and scans. He told us that she had a tiny jaw and far too many teeth, he also advised us it would be very expensive to fix. We were in Belgium at the time.
He sent us to an ordinary dentist and she had four teeth removed. These have not grown in yet but the gaps that were left have closed with her incisors taking the space up.
At what age should/would/could she be referred to an orthodontist. She went to the ordinary NHS one last week who said her teeth were in perfect order but very overcrowded. She advocates waiting for another year and having a look then.
My daughter is 10, her dad had his four canines removed when he was about 14 and his teeth are still all over the place.
I should add, she doesn't appear to be losing any more baby teeth. So far she lost 6 naturally and had 4 removed.

brookeslay Wed 14-Sep-11 16:35:26

Hello thank you for doing this webchat..

i had a post pubescent growth spurt I`ve been told which caused my bottom lower jaw to become overshot or underbite. I have an asymmetry face because of this. I was told the only way was to make the jaw worse ( braces) then operate cut and wire the jaw.

I also read about Inion brackets that dissolve and could mean just my jaw being cut ??? Compact Plating System CPS

I would be very happy if my teeth just met not even properly alingned. I am aware my canine on the right hand side is also to the front which I hate the other is behind my front teeth. My top teeth are straight thank goodness or I would have climbed in a hole long ago.

Any advice please I`m 40.

Al0uiseG Wed 14-Sep-11 17:00:14

My son has been referred to an (nhs) Orthodontist. I don't like the surgery or the general ambience of the place or seeing different people every time we visit. How can I choose a different (private) orthodontist?

EssentialFattyAcid Wed 14-Sep-11 17:20:47

My dd has just had twin block braces fitted. She will be unable to close her mouth or to smile for 6 to 9 months - can this be necessary? Is there a more humane treatment available?

TeamEdward Wed 14-Sep-11 18:57:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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