During orthodontic treatment, we treat crowded or widely spaced teeth, correct malocclusion (bad bite), and aim to improve your overall facial aesthetics.
Left untreated, malocclusions or over-crowding can result in higher risks of tooth decay, gum disease, headaches as well as problems inspeaking, biting or chewing. Braces improve the health, function and stability of your teeth and boosts your self-esteem with a new smile.
You can benefit from orthodontic treatment at nearly any age, it’s never too late to start! The basic process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age and treatment can be just as successful for adults. The main difference is that as an adult, treatments may take longer. Your jawbones are also no longer growing and surgical procedures may be necessary if your jawbones need to be aligned.
When we think about braces, we usually think about the metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth with wires that move your teeth to the desired position. For traditional braces that use brackets and wires, your dentist will tighten the wires every 4 to 6 weeks, gradually moving your teeth or jaw into place.
These days however, there are many more types of braces that look better. There isn’t a better time to start your treatment!
Instead of metal brackets, we can now use clear brackets with wires that are far less visible. However, they are more brittle than metal braces and they require more care in cleaning. They are also more difficult to replace if you break the brackets. Ceramic brackets are often used on the upper front teeth where they are most visible, and not on the lower teeth and molar teeth.
Another style of braces are lingual braces. These are attached behind your teeth and are customised to match the shape of your teeth.
Invisalign and other similar brands of aligners are newer alternatives to braces. They use a series of almost invisible, removable and comfortable aligners to correct misalignment. Using the latest 3D computer imaging technology, aligners will be individually custom-made for your teeth. You wear a set of aligners for a number of weeks and then replace it with the next one in the series. Your teeth will move gradually with each set of aligners until they have moved to the final position prescribed for you.
We will arrange consultations to monitor your progress about once every 6 weeks. The new style of aligners are not only invisible but they are also removable, so eating, drinking and oral hygiene can be carried out normally. Without the metal brackets and wires associated with traditional braces, aligners are far more comfortable and you will be less prone to mouth abrasions and irritation.
It is recommended to bring your child to thir first orthodontic visit by the age of 7 or 8. Orthodontic problems are usually apparent when your child has a mix of adult and baby teeth. The position of your child’s teeth will provide us with a good idea about your child’s oral development and allow us to detect, examine and correct potential tooth and jaw problems at an early stage and without surgery.
Crowded; misplaced or blocked teeth; teeth that do not come together appropriately; mouth breathing and thumb sucking are just some signs you should look out for that may indicate your child’s need for dental intervention. A bad bite develops over time and can be caused by a variety of things which can lead to an open bite, changing the growth patterns of the jaws and causing misalignment of the teeth. Dental problems can even cause speech impediments.
Interceptive treatment aims to correct and guide the growth of your child’s jaw to permanent teeth to grow into more favourable positions, allow treatment to create more space for crowded teeth, preserve space for un-erupted teeth; avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later on; and improve facial aesthetics and symmetry. Treatment at an early age often reduces the severity of problems, and ultimately makes treatment times shorter.
Many different types of treatments are available for your children and we will need to assess their conditions before we can recommend the optimal treatments.
For more information about interceptive treatment, you can visit: https://www.aso.org.au/benefits-early-treatment
Your treatment time depends on how severe your condition is, the growth of your teeth and your response to the treatment. Most of our patients wear full braces for 1 to 3 years, followed by retainers to set and align the tissues surrounding their newly straightened teeth.
The wires on traditional braces are tightened at each visit and your teeth and jaw may feel sore and after each visit. It is common for your lips, cheeks and tongue to be irritated for a few weeks whilst they get used to the changes. If you experience discomfort from traditional metal brackets rubbing against your skin, we can provide you with some dental wax to place over the brackets. For aligners, you may experience soreness as your mouth adjusts to each new aligner. However, most patients tell us that the long-term results they experience more than justifies the short-term discomfort.
It is normal for your teeth to feel slightly loose, as your braces will act to first loosen your teeth and then move them into the right position. Having damaged braces, which have loosen or broken can increase the length of your treatment, as they are less effective. If this occurs, please contact us as soon as possible so we can repair your braces and get your treatment back on track.
Oral hygiene is more important than ever with braces. The brackets have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque can get trapped. You should brush your teeth carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and floss between the braces and under the wires. Insufficient cleaning can also cause enamel staining around the brackets.
When wearing traditional braces, avoid sugary and starchy foods like sweets and soft, as they contain acids that can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky chewy foods like caramel and chewing gum can cause wire damage and loosen the brackets on your braces. Hard foods like raw carrots, corn on the cob, nuts, crushed ice and hard candy can break your braces. Instead, opt for softer foods like rice, pasta, pancakes, softly cooked meats and seafood, mashed potatoes, bananas and applesauce to complement your orthodontic treatment.
After your braces are removed, you should wear your retainers all the time (unless your dentist advises your otherwise) and only remove them when eating, brushing or during activities like swimming. You should clean your retainers thoroughly everyday with a toothbrush with water to reduce plaque buildup. If you lose or break your retainers, contact us immediately to arrange a replacement.
At Dentist Mandy, we are committed to offering you solutions tailored to your individual needs.
Whilst we offer orthodontic treatment, we can, and will, refer you to see an Orthodontist (a specialist in orthodontic treatment) if we feel it is necessary.