Orthodontics is a speciality branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. This usually involves fitting an orthodontic appliance to ensure alignment of the teeth.
All orthodontists are dentists who have embarked on a further 3 years of postgraduate study to specialise in the field of orthodontics. Your general dentist will help you to maintain good oral hygiene and carry out fillings etc. but will usually refer you to an orthodontist when it comes to straightening teeth as they have the skills and experience to treat a wide range of cases from the mild to highly complex.
An attractive smile and improved self-image and self-esteem are benefits of orthodontic treatment. Whether you are an adult or child, orthodontic treatment will help correct crooked, crowded or protruding teeth to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Most patients will experience some discomfort the first week after their braces are fitted and immediately after their braces are adjusted or aligners are fitted. Over the counter pain relief can be used to ease the discomfort.
We treat patients of all ages including children, teenagers and adults, although treatment is more effective during the early teenage years as the jaw is still developing. Most orthodontic treatment starts at around 11 -13 years of age. This is because it is not till this age that all the adult teeth have erupted. When all the teeth are through the arrangement of the teeth can be assessed and treatment commenced if required.
It is important when undergoing orthodontic treatment to be mindful of what foods you eat to avoid damage to the brace and your teeth. There are three main types of food that can cause problems with fixed orthodontic appliances. These are hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar content. Hard and sticky foods can damage and bend the wires, thus stopping tooth movement. Foods high in sugar content encourage germs to build up around the appliance leading to tooth decay. This can result in formation of permanent unsightly marks on the teeth. Fizzy drinks and fruit juices are acidic and may cause marks to develop on the teeth. All these types of food and drink must be avoided.
In order to create the best appearance and long term stable result tooth extractions are sometimes needed. These will be carried out by your general dentist and are nothing to worry about. Our specialists will talk you though your options and explain the process in full.
No, age is not a factor! As long as your teeth and gums are healthy there are many discreet brace options available from fixed ceramic braces (tooth coloured), braces fitted to the back surface of the teeth and Invisalign which is a series of custom-made clear removable aligners. Our private treatment coordinator is happy to discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
Yes, it’s important you continue to see your dentist for your regular checkups while receiving orthodontic treatment. This will help to ensure your teeth remain clean and healthy throughout treatment.
Yes. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colours and patterns.
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.
Retainers are essential to prevent tooth movement once active orthodontic treatment is complete. Teeth don’t like change and will relapse if not stabilised. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that your new smile lasts a lifetime. Over time, your retainers may crack, break, get worn down or become lost. Even if you’ve been out of braces for several years, we highly recommend you contact us to arrange replacements.
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