Royal Docks 020 3930 1834
Wapping and City 020 7481 1013
Email now on
or contact us for a E-Consultation

Patient Help

How to care for your Fixed braces

You should be prepared for the fact that taking care of your teeth will be more difficult once you get braces. Braces have countless tiny spaces to trap food, and this trapped food causes plaque, which can lead to many other dental problems.

Braces are quite delicate, so you need to ensure you do not damage them. Damaged braces means an extra appointment and this can affect the length of your treatment.

The best way to care for your braces is to be careful what you eat and don’t bite too hard. Avoid hard and chewy foods such as toffee and chewing gum. You can still eat crunchy foods such as apples but cut them into small pieces and avoid biting them. Also avoid chewing on fingernails, pens, etc.

It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and preferably after every meal (snacks count, too), to rinse with mouthwash, and to floss at least once a day. This may seem excessive, but neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to serious oral heaFlth problems, force you to spend additional time in braces, or cause unsightly staining on your teeth.

We would recommend regular 6 monthly hygiene visits to your dentist or hygienist. Tepe brushes can still be used to clean interdentally (between the teeth) and you can brush as normal with a manual or electric brush.

If you take part in contact sports such as rugby, hockey or martial arts, you must protect your teeth and braces with an orthodontic mouthguard – please ask us for more details.

At the time of having your braces fitted (bond up) you will be given a patient care pack with initial supplies of tooth and brace cleaning supplies.

For more information click here.

How to care for Invisalign retainers

Caring for an Invisalign retainer is easy and only takes a few minutes. You should get into the habit of cleaning your retainer every time you brush your teeth. You will need toothpaste, a toothbrush or retainer brush, and retainer cleaner.

Rinse the Invisalign retainer under lukewarm water (hot water may distort the retainer) a soft toothbrush or retainer brush. Using small, circular motions, gently brush the entire retainer, both inside and out and rinse again.

At the time of having your aligners fitted you will be given an Invisalign patient care pack with initial supplies of aligner cleaning supplies.

If you notice calcium build up (cloudy white film) soak the retainer in a denture or retainer cleaning solution according to the product’s instructions. Invisalign makes the Invisalign Cleaning System that is designed specifically for Invisalign retainers, but any denture or retainer cleansing solution should get the job done.

If your retainer is not in your mouth, always keep it in its case for hygiene and protection.

Download Our PDF’s

Care Guide
Use and Care Guide


Serious orthodontic emergencies are very uncommon; but there are times when braces get lost or damaged, or become uncomfortable to wear.

The following are possible emergencies that may arise during the course of orthodontic treatment. Please follow the directions for problem resolution. Please contact the practice and we will advise how to proceed.

Piece of the Orthodontic Appliance is Swallowed or Inhaled
  • If swallowed and you are not in pain call the practice to arrange an appointment asap.
  • If in pain or aspirated call 999 or visit the Casualty dept of your local hospital.
  • If you are able to see the piece, you may carefully attempt to remove it.
A Bracket is Knocked Off

Brackets are the parts of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. They are generally positioned in the centre of each tooth. If the bracket is off centre and moves along the wire, the adhesive has likely failed.

If the loose bracket has rotated on the wire and is sticking out, attempt to turn it back into its normal position. You can put orthodontic wax around the area to minimize the movement of the loose brace.

Contact us for an appointment to resolve asap.

The Archwire is Poking out

If the end of an orthodontic archwire is poking in the back of the mouth, attempt to put wax over the area to protect the cheek.

In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome and the patient will not be able to see the orthodontist immediately, as a last resort, the wire may be clipped with an instrument such as fingernail clippers. Do not swallow clipped wire.

Relief wax may still be necessary to provide comfort to the irritated area.

Contact us for an appointment to resolve asap.

Ligature Wire is Poking Lip or Cheek

Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax.
Contact us for an appointment to resolve asap.

Loose Brackets, Wires or Bands

If the braces have come loose in any way, save any pieces of your braces that break off and bring them with you to your repair appointment.
Contact us for an appointment to resolve asap.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth. A small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the braces and lips, cheek or tongue. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. If possible, dry off the area first as the wax will stick better. If the wax is accidentally swallowed it’s not a problem. The wax is harmless.

Mouth Sores

People who have mouth sores during orthodontic treatment may gain relief by applying a small amount of suitable aesthetic mouthwash directly to the sore area using a cotton swab. Reapply as needed.


It’s normal to have discomfort for three to five days after braces or retainers are adjusted. Although temporary, it can make eating uncomfortable. Eat soft foods and rinse the mouth with warm salt water. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, may be effective.

Lost Ligature (Rubber or Wire)

Tiny rubber bands known as elastic ligatures, are often used to hold the archwire into the bracket or brace. If an elastic ligature is lost, contact the orthodontist, who can advise you whether the you should be seen.

Loose Teeth

Loose Teeth: 
Do not be surprised if teeth feel loose during treatment. Teeth need to loosen before they can move into their new positions.
Any other worries, call or email us for advice.


logo-bocThe British Orthodontic Society is the scientific and political organisation representing all spheres of orthodontic practice in the UK. It promotes the study and practice of orthodontics in the UK and Internationally in order to maintain standards in orthodontics, and to improve research and education in orthodontics. The Society advises The General Dental Council, Royal Colleges and other organisation on matters pertaining to the science and practice of orthodontics. This website can be a useful source of information.

bdaThe British Dental Association is the professional association for UK general dentists. There is very little about orthodontics in the website but it is informative for other branches of dentistry.

eosThe object of the European Orthodontic Society is to advance all aspects of Orthodontics and its relations with the collateral arts and sciences for the public benefit. It seeks the furtherance of orthodontics amongst all branches of the dental profession working in private practice, hospitals and universities throughout Europe.

gdcThe General Dental Council is the regulatory authority for all dentists (and orthodontists) in the UK. You will find the names of all clinicians licensed to practise dentistry in the UK in its General Dental and Specialist Registers.

aaoThis American Association of Orthodontists is an excellent source of concise information about orthodontics and orthodontists. The AAO has similar aims to the BOS.

wfoThe purpose of the World Federation of Orthodontists is to advance the art and science of orthodontics, and encourage high standards of orthodontics throughout the world.

Complaints Policy

Royal Wharf Dental and Wapping Dental Centre – Code of Practice for Patient Complaints

In this practice we take complaints seriously and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our care. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This procedure is based on our aim which is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.

1. The persons responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide are;
Royal Wharf Dental, Natasha Monica, Practice and Complaints Manager or
Wapping Dental Centre. Natalie King, Practice and Complaints Manager.

2. If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to him and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter with the Complaints Manager, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.

3. If the patient complains in writing, the letter or email will be passed on immediately to the Complaints Manager.

4. If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.

5. We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within three working days.

6. We will endeavour to investigate the complaint within ten working days of receipt to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

7. We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.

8. Proper records are kept of any complaint received.

9. If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:

  • The Dental Complaints Service, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon CR9 2ER (telephone: 08456 120 540, email: for complaints about private treatment.
  • The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8DQ (telephone: 0845 222 4141, email:, the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct.

Contact us today

  • I’d like to be informed of exclusive offers and other practice information YES
  • *By clicking 'Send' you are consenting to us replying, and storing your details. (see our privacy policy).

Dr Shirley Cox

BDS(Hons), FDS RCS (Eng), MSc(Lond), M Orth RCS(Eng), FDS Orth RCS (Eng)
GDC: 68425

Shirley qualified in Dentistry from The Royal London Hospital in 1992, achieved her M Orth specialist qualification in orthodontics and registered on the specialist list in Orthodontics in 2000. Shirley was appointed as Consultant Orthodontist at Barts Dental Hospital in 2004 and now works as an Orthodontic Consultant at the new Royal London Hospital site.

As a Consultant Orthodontist with over 20 years training Dentists and Orthodontists and her additional training in children’s dentistry Shirley is equipped with the skills to provide the very highest standards of patient care. Having orthodontic treatment with her means that you will be in the best possible hands.

Shirley is able to offer the very latest treatments available, enabling her to treat adult and child patients who have simple, moderate and complex needs and to improve both the appearance and the function of their teeth.

Being an Invisalign Platinum provider, Invisalign Teen accredited and member of the Invisalign London Specialist Orthodontist group put Shirley in a unique position to offer Invisalign treatment for a very wide range of cases.

“Patients in my care receive my personal attention at all times and are treated solely by me. I love to treat patients and help them achieve and keep for life the beautiful, healthier and happier smiles they desire. I look forward to meeting you and helping however I can.”

Outside of orthodontics Shirley lives locally with her husband and two teenage children. For many years Shirley has been a Local School Governor and organises a local book club. Shirley enjoys active holidays whether its walking in Norfolk, skiing in the Alps or exploring further afield with her family.

Shirley Cox

Useful Travel Links

Please select a red marker to get directions.
  • Metro Orthodontics at Wapping Dental Centre is conveniently. Located on The Highway between the City and Canary Wharf.
  • Shadwell DLR is 200m and Wapping Station 500m away.
  • Bus numbers 100 and D3 stop within 50m.
  • Parking is available at Yellow Park multi storey Tobacco Dock. Wapping Lane 70m away.
  • The practice is a short taxi ride from the City and Canary Wharf.
  • Royal Wharf Dental is conveniently located at Royal Wharf in the Royal Docks off North Woolwich Road by the Thames Barrier Park.
  • Just 10 mins from Canary Wharf and 5 mins from both The Excel Centre and City Airport
  • Pontoon Dock DLR is 200m and Canning Town Jubilee line is 10 mins away.
  • Bus number 474 stops within 50m.
  • The practice is on a busy short taxi route and Ubers are readily available.
  • Parking locally in Royal Wharf street bays, free for 30 mins then pay via Just Park.
  • Uber Thames Clipper River bus stops at Royal Wharf
Get in touch