FAQ

BEFORE TREATMENT

Question

What is orthodontics?

Answer

The deliberate movement of teeth into an optimal functional and aesthetic position.

Question

What are the benefits of Orthodontic treatment?

Answer

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.

Question

When should orthodontic treatment begin?

Answer

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.

Question

 What are braces?

Answer

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.

Question

What are the risks?

Answer

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.

Question

Will I need an Xray for a consult appointment?

Answer

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.

Question

Do braces hurt?

Answer

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

Question

Can anyone have orthodontic treatment?

Answer

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.

DURING TREATMENT

Question

Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Answer

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.

Question

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Answer

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.

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Question

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Answer

Yes

Question

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Answer

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.

Question

Do you give needles?

Answer

No. Routine orthodontics does not require that you are “numbed up” for any procedure.

Question

Do I need to see my family dentist while I am having treatment for my braces?

Answer

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.

Question

How often will I need appointments?

Answer

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.

Question

What happens if a bracket falls off?

Answer

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.

Question

What happens if the wire is rubbing inside my mouth?

Answer

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.

FOLLOWING TREATMENT

Question

Do I have follow up appointments?

Answer

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.

Question

What happens if the wires at the back of my teeth hurt or become loose?

Answer

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.

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Question

What happens if I don’t wear my retainer or it become lost or damaged?

Answer

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.

Question

Can I still get gum disease? Do I still brush my teeth?

Answer

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.

Question

Should I still have regular appointments with my dentist?

Answer

YES!