1. What is orthodontics?
The deliberate movement of teeth into an optimal functional and aesthetic position.
2. What are the benefits of Orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment brings out the best in your smile and should provide you with the best bite, with long term stability.
A Specialist Orthodontist is trained to understand what makes a smile truly beautiful, and the Orthodontist knows how to maximize your full potential! Teeth are easy to make straight, but only a Specialist Orthodontist knows how to finely position your teeth to give you that big, broad, confident smile.
Straight teeth are usually easier to clean and maintain.
3. When should orthodontic treatment begin?
Between the ages of 4-11 years, interceptive treatment can be done to reduce the severity of a problem when all the adult teeth come through. Occasionally, this can eliminate the need for definitive orthodontic treatment with full braces.
The optimal time for definitive treatment (full braces) is when the baby teeth have all fallen out. This usually occurs around the time of puberty. Typically 11-13 years for girls, and 12-14 years for boys.
On rare and exceptional occasions, definitive treatment is delayed until the completion of growth.
4. What are braces?
Braces are basically handles on teeth. Fine wires are attached to these handles which move the teeth in the correct position. Braces give the Orthodontist full control of each individual tooth, allowing them to be placed in precise positions.
5. What are the risks?
The most common risk is tooth decay around the braces. If the teeth are not kept perfectly clean, then plaque can grow around the braces leading to horrible marks on the teeth when the braces are removed. Please refer to our treatment consent form for a detailed description of the main risk categories relevant to orthodontic treatment.
6. Can anyone have orthodontic treatment?
No. Only people who are capable of keeping their teeth perfectly clean are suitable for Orthodontics. Otherwise, so long as you have motivation, orthodontics can be done on anybody with teeth.
7.Where can I obtain more information?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists (www.aso.org.au) provides relevant information to Australians and is a great place to start.
8. Do braces hurt?
For the first 2-5 days, most people experience mild discomfort when they bite together. Very few people need a panadol for this. Some people also experience some irritation to the lips and cheeks, until the facial muscles have learned to adapt to the braces.
9. Can orthodontic correction happen when a child has baby teeth?
In some cases it is appropriate to correct a developing problem while the baby teeth are still present. This is usually to prevent a worse problem from happening. This is called Interceptive Orthodontics.
10. How long does treatment take?
The international average for braces time is 27 months (2 ¼ years). However, your treatment time depends on many things, including the severity of the problem, and how well you comply with instructions given by the orthodontist.
Minor problems can be corrected in a matter of months. Whereas complex problems involving large overbites, or underlying problems with facial bones, can take anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to treat.
12. How do I schedule an appointment for a consult?
Just phone to make an appointment on 4038 1036.
13. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
No! As long as you have teeth you can have braces. Provided of course that you can show you are capable of caring for your teeth properly.
14. Why choose an Orthodontist specialist?
A normal family dentist has received practically no formal orthodontic training. A Specialist Orthodontist has completed over 6000 hours of formal supervised training over 3 years, at an accredited University training program. At the end of the training, the orthodontist has to satisfy a panel of worldwide experts that they are qualified to be registered as a Specialist by the Dental Board of Australia.
15. Are there alternatives to braces and orthodontic treatment?
Yes. But this is best discussed on a case by case basis.
16. Will I need an Xray for a consult appointment?
To get the most from a consult, the orthodontist prefers to have a panoramic X-ray (OPG) to show what is under the gum line. Without this, a consult is just guess work.
17. Will I need to sign a consent form?
Yes. Orthodontic treatment is no different to any other medical procedure and therefore requires a signed consent form before beginning any treatment.
18. What happens if I have bleeding gums before I start treatment?
Bleeding gums is almost always a sign of poor oral hygiene and lack of proper tooth brushing. Orthodontics should not be carried out on individuals who cannot, or will not, keep their teeth clean. If you have bleeding gums, the orthodontist will provide basic oral hygiene instruction, then review your gums to ensure that you are able to keep your teeth perfectly clean before carrying out any treatment.
19. What happens when I book an appointment and what happens in the consultation appointment?
A consult is usually a detailed look at the teeth, the bite, and the x-rays. This is followed by a detailed discussion on your situation. No treatment is carried out at this appointment. The Orthodontist will explain your problem, and outline how the problem could be solved. You will also get information of how long treatment might last, and an idea of the cost involved.
1. Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Braces can easily break if you do not watch what you eat. At the time of braces, we will discuss in some detail what you can and cannot eat.
2. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Children under 16 years are required to be escorted by an adult, and to provide implied consent for treatment. So long as a responsible adult has given consent to treatment on that occasion, then the child can be dropped off for treatment.
3. Can I go back to school the day I receive my braces?
4. Can I play sports?
Yes. We can provide simple mouth guards appropriate for low impact sports. High impact sports eg. Boxing, martial arts, and rugby require ASO standard mouth guards, which can be made as request, at additional cost.
5. Do you give needles?
No. Routine orthodontics does not require that you are “numbed up” for any procedure.
6. Do you recycle braces?
7. Do I need to see my family dentist while I am having treatment for my braces?
Yes. You should make sure that you have had a full check-up by your dentist within 3 months of starting braces. You should also see your family dentist every 6 months while you have braces on.
8. How often should I brush teeth while in braces?
At least 3 times a day. This should be done in the morning, noon and night every single day for at least 5 minutes each time.
9. How often will I need appointments?
Most adjustments take 8 weeks to show a change in your teeth. Therefore most visits are scheduled 8 weeks apart. However, there can be some variation depending on circumstances.
10. What is an emergency appointment?
Emergency appointments are given if you experience discomfort which you cannot control yourself. This typically includes a sharp wire poking the gums or cheek or a broken bracket.
11. What happens if a bracket falls off?
If this happens , then phone the practice. We can usually tell over the phone if it has come off a critically important tooth, or from a less important tooth. If it sounds like something important, or if the breakage is causing pain or discomfort then we will arrange an emergency appointment.
13. What happens if the wire is rubbing inside my mouth?
Orthodontic wax (or Gishy Goo) is provided at the beginning of treatment for minor irritations. This can be used to easily control rubbing. And often the problem goes away within a few days.
14. Will braces affect my lifestyle?
It depends what you do. Most people have no real changes to their lifestyles because of their braces.
15. Will I need X-rays during my treatment?
Yes. We usually need to take x-rays before braces come off to ensure there are no problems left uncorrected.
1. Do I have follow up appointments?
Typically we will check your teeth 6 months after your braces come off. Then we will check on you once a year until we are happy that your result is stable.
2. What happens if the wires at the back of my teeth hurt or become loose?
Lingual retainers can come loose, especially if you are a tooth grinder and/or nail biter. Lingual retainers are strong and reliable, but there is a limit to the abuse they can take, call us as soon as possible if you are worried.
3. What happens if I don’t wear my retainer or it become lost or damaged?
The first 2 years after braces are critical. Teeth need to be held in their position for a long period, or they will return to their original position (relapse) if you lose or break your retainer. Call us immediately, regardless of the reason.
4. Can I still get gum disease? Do I still brush my teeth?
Gum disease is caused by a lack of adequate oral hygiene. True, some people are more susceptible to gum disease than others. But gum disease never happens in the absence of plaque.
5. Should I still have regular appointments with my dentist?