Please introduce yourself

Hi, my name is Lucy-Jane Harris. Most people call me Lucy and old friends call me LJ.

What most interests you about orthodontics?

I love how people change and almost metamorphose during their treatment. They develop a new confidence. With children it is like watching a flower come into bloom. For the men I should say they are like a renovated sports car! Whatever their age, all patients can’t wait to show off their new smile.

What did you learn about orthodontics from treating a family member or close friend?

Aligners are far harder to wear than people imagine. Remembering to put them straight in after meals doesn’t always happen!

What makes a great patient?

Someone who really wants the end result, is really motivated and can put up with a little bit of discomfort!

If you were to undergo orthodontic treatment, what type of brace would you choose and why?

Fixed clarity brace as it matches the colour of the teeth so well and people really have to be looking out for it to spot you are wearing a brace. Plus I wouldn’t dash out of the front on the school / work run without forgetting them. They do the job precisely and can be adjusted at every appointment without any delay.

What one thing can patients do to better support their orthodontist?

Brush their teeth properly!

Do practice staff make good patients?

Yes – outstanding

Have you ever had braces and if so, has the experience influenced the way you provide orthodontics to your patients?

Yes I have worn braces twice. Once as a teenager and again when I was 23. I was in my job as a junior house officer in maxillo-facial surgery at King’s College London when my braces were removed.

What do patients most enjoy about visiting your practice?

I am told they like the friendly welcome, the familiar faces and the calm and relaxing environment.

If you weren’t an orthodontist, what would you be?

A dermatologist or trichologist.

What would be your recommended first meal for patients who have just had their braces fitted?

Soup with the bread dipped in.

Are badly stained elastics an orthodontic emergency?

No definitely not , but perhaps if I was meeting the queen or had a hot new date i would feel as though it was!

Broken wires or detached brackets are most often caused by..?

Chewing pens absentmindedly or eating hard sweets.

What is your favourite module / ligature colour / colour combination?

Turquoise – they seem to resist food staining well and look the funkiest.

What advice would you give someone thinking about getting braces?

Just do it! The feeling of wanting straight teeth doesn’t go away until you’ve got them.


Lucy-Jane is a specialist orthodontist at Reigate Orthodontics