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What is Orthodontics and What is an Orthodontist?

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry, dedicated to the straightening of teeth. Often the facial bones contribute to poorly positioned teeth and treatment is directed at influencing the bone structures. This is called Dento Facial Orthopaedics. Orthodontists are specialist dentists who provide orthodontic and orthopaedic care. They have studied and trained in a university program for at least three years further to their basic dental degree, and they have to limit their practice exclusively to Orthodontics for several years before they are registered as specialists.

What age should I send my child to an orthodontist?

The most favourable age to assess a child is when your child’s baby teeth begin to fall out. For preventative measures we encourage people to bring their children when they reach the age of 6 or 7. By doing this we find that we can prevent a simple problem from developing into a major problem, inevitably resulting in braces or other corrective measures when they become teenagers.

Why straighten crooked teeth?

The reasons vary from person to person, these may include: appearance, speech difficulties, assist with tooth cleaning, avoiding injury to protruding teeth or to improve the occlusion/bite.

What is the process when getting braces?

When you come to us wanting to straighten your teeth, records are gathered and X-rays and impressions are recorded. After taking all of this into consideration, Dr Watson will then tailor a treatment plan to suit your specific case.

Am I too old for treatment?

Put simply, NO. Our patients are all ages. If you want straighter teeth come and talk to us about your options. No referral is necessary and technology has come a long way. If you are worried about wearing braces, don’t be, with products like Invisalign, Incognito and Clear/ceramic braces nobody will notice you are undergoing treatment.

Is it better to have treatment as a teenager?

Some problems are best managed in earlier years to avoid having long and sometimes expensive treatment later on in life. If you think your child or teenager needs orthodontic treatment, you should have them seen to, the earlier the better. Prevention is the best medicine.

What happens if I am not treated?

Things don’t generally get better if your teeth are not treated. In the long term it can potentially lead to hygiene problems as cleaning could get difficult which may lead to decay or gingivitis.

How long does treatment last?

Hygiene and difficulty/severity of the initial problem are dependent on treatment duration. Book a consultation to determine your expected treatment length.

Are braces comfortable?

For the most part, YES. However when you first get your braces you may find that they are uncomfortable or tight in your mouth. This feeling generally lasts around 48 hours and will feel like you have food stuck between your teeth. Eating soft food and chewing sugarless gum are a great help and you can take an Asprin or Panadol if necessary. The teeth will quickly settle down and return to normal. Sometimes when adjustments are made this soreness is repeated but certainly not at every visit – in fact the less adjustments that are made, the less sore you will be.

What are Elastics?

Elastics apply a constant force to move your teeth. Failure to wear your elastics all the time as directed will prolong your treatment time and may affect the final result. Elastics are worn in various positions, depending on the direction of movement required for your teeth. Therefore, we will explain to you at the necessary appointment how elastics are to be worn. The only time your elastics should be removed is when you clean your teeth. The elastics are then put on the end of your finger to remind you to put them straight back on again, immediately after cleaning. You will find that the elastics tend to break at odd times’ so you will need to carry some wherever you go. To ensure you do not run out of elastics between appointments ask us for more at your appointment. Unless instructed otherwise, your elastics must be changed every second day.

What are Retainers?

Initially worn full time and gradually reduced to just one night a week.

Can I still play sport with braces?

Yes, you can still enjoy playing, and we will provide you with a mouthguard if you are involved in contact sports to avoid breakages or damage to the braces and your lips and cheeks. You will also be able to play wind musical instruments after a short adjustment period.

Do I need a referral?

You do not have to have a referral, however it is usual for your dentist to give you a letter of referral to bring with you to your appointment that outlines their concerns.

Do you have payment plans available?

Yes, we offer an extensive range of payment plans. We strive to suit your requirements, however, once the plan has been agreed upon, it is expected that payments be made in accordance with the plan to ensure continuation of treatment.