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What does Orthodontics mean?

Straight – teeth

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics (straight teeth)is a specialist branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, such as crooked teeth and bite problems (malocclusions). Only trust a professional orthodontist with your teeth straightening needs.

How do I find an orthodontist?

Ensure that your orthodontist is AHPRA registered. You can look up your orthodontist on the AHPRA website or find your best local orthodontist on Orthodontics Australia.

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a dentist who has undertaken an additional three years of full time University training to become a specialist in the field of tooth movement.  Orthodontists are specialists in diagnosing, preventing and treating problems relating to the alignment of your teeth and jaws. All Orthodontists are dentists but not all dentists are Orthodontists. Only 5% of dentists are Orthodontists. 

What is the difference between a dentist and orthodontist?

To become an orthodontist, a dentist must complete additional 3 years of university, beyond dental school. The main difference between an orthodontist and a dentist is that an orthodontist focuses on straightening your teeth and fixing problems with occlusion and bite, as well as aligning your teeth. An orthodontist will fit you with devices to correct these issues, such as braces or a retainer that aim to move the teeth where they need to be.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment, which typically involves the use of braces or aligners to correct misaligned teeth and jaws, offers a range of benefits that go beyond mere cosmetic improvements. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Improved Oral Health:

    • Easier Cleaning: Straighter teeth are easier to brush and floss, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
    • Reduced Risk of Tooth Wear: Proper alignment reduces uneven wear on teeth caused by malocclusion.
  2. Enhanced Functionality:

    • Better Chewing and Digestion: Correct alignment ensures that teeth meet properly, improving chewing efficiency and aiding digestion.
    • Speech Improvement: Properly aligned teeth can correct speech issues such as lisps caused by misaligned teeth.
  3. Prevention of Dental Issues:

    • Reduced Risk of Injury: Protruding teeth are more susceptible to trauma; correcting their alignment reduces this risk.
    • Prevention of Jaw Issues: Proper alignment can prevent jaw pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and related headaches.
  4. Aesthetic and Psychological Benefits:

    • Enhanced Appearance: A straight, well-aligned smile enhances facial aesthetics and can boost self-esteem and confidence.
    • Positive Social Impact: Improved appearance can lead to better social interactions and opportunities, impacting personal and professional life.
  5. Long-term Benefits:

    • Preservation of Teeth: Correcting alignment can help in preserving natural teeth for a longer period by preventing excessive wear and damage.
    • Financial Savings: Addressing orthodontic issues early can prevent more costly dental treatments in the future.
  6. Better Jaw Alignment:

    • Harmonious Bite: Proper jaw alignment helps in achieving a harmonious bite, reducing stress on teeth and jaw joints.
    • Balanced Facial Structure: Correcting bite issues can contribute to a balanced facial structure, enhancing overall facial harmony.

Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment in both oral health and overall well-being. It offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond just having a beautiful smile.

How does orthodontic treatment transform my smile?

Orthodontic treatment can be necessary to correct various issues, including crooked teeth, overcrowding, gaps between teeth, overbites, underbites, cross bites, and other alignment problems that can affect oral health and aesthetics.

Do I need a referral to see an Orthodontist?

No, you do not need a referral to see an orthodontist. It is however recommended that you have a routine general dental check-up before you start any treatment, to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy before active orthodontic treatment. If you do not have a general dentist, we can refer you to one.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

No, orthodontic treatment does not hurt, although at diffferent stages of your your treatment there may be some initial discomfort which is easily managed with panadol or nurofen.  This is usually around the time you have your braces tightened or you are given your next set of aligners.

When should I change my aligners?

Your orthodontist will let you know how frequently to change your aligners. This is usually weekly. We recommend that you change to new aligners at night,  just before bed.

At what age should orthodontic treatment begin?

Orthodontic treatment can start at any age, but the optimal time often depends on the specific issue. Early intervention, known as interceptive orthodontics, can begin as young as 7 years old, while comprehensive treatment often starts around the ages of 10 to 14. It is recommended that your child see an Orthodontist from the age of 7 and above to assess your child’s growth and development. Early assessment with an orthodontist can help prevent more serious problems and complications down the road and let you know when the optimal time for orthodontic treatment is for your child. Check up before they grow up. 

What are the different types of orthodontic appliances?

Orthodontic appliances can be fixed (e.g., braces, lingual braces, clear aligners) or removable (e.g., retainers, functional appliances). Each type has its own advantages and is suitable for different cases.

How much does Orthodontic treatment cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment can vary from one patient to the next. This is because individual needs can vary and the only way to be sure of the specific costs of your treatment is to have a consultation. Visit our pricing page for more information.

How long does orthodontic treatment typically last?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case. This is very dependent on the type of treatment you require. Some people may only need six months of treatment, but for most people it can usually take from 12- 24 months. Factors like age, compliance, and the type of appliance used can influence treatment duration.

How often do I need to visit the orthodontist during treatment?

Regular visits are necessary for adjustments and monitoring progress. Typically, visits are scheduled every 8 to 12 weeks, but this can vary based on the treatment plan.

I can not visit the dentist regularly. What are my options?

We have access to virtual care with dental monitoring. Speak with our team about your personalised treatment plan and we can limit your number of appointments clinic.

Can adults get orthodontic treatment?

Yes, adults can definitely undergo orthodontic treatment. It is never too late to get the smile of your dreams. Many orthodontic options are suitable for adults, and advancements like clear aligners have made treatment more discreet.

Is it too late to get my teeth straight?

It is never too late to have your teeth straightened. Speak with our friendly team today about discreet treatment options.

Are there food restrictions during orthodontic treatment?

Yes, certain foods that are sticky, hard, or can get stuck in braces should be avoided to prevent damage or prolong treatment. These may include chewy candies, popcorn, nuts, and hard-to-bite items. See more information about foods you can and can not eat with braces.

How do I care for my teeth and appliances during treatment?

Proper oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Regular brushing and flossing are important, and additional tools like floss threaders or water flossers may be recommended to clean around appliances effectively. See more information about caring for your braces.

Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment?

Yes, retainers are typically needed after active orthodontic treatment to maintain the new alignment of teeth. They help prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions. See more information about retainers.

Does orthodontic treatment have health benefits beyond aesthetics?

Yes, orthodontic treatment can improve oral health by making teeth easier to clean, reducing the risk of gum disease and cavities. Properly aligned teeth can also help with chewing, speech, and jaw joint (TMJ) issues.

List foods I can eat with braces?

Soft Fruits: Bananas, berries (cut into small pieces), grapes (sliced), peaches, and other soft fruits.

Cooked Vegetables: Cooked carrots, peas, potatoes, and other soft vegetables.

Dairy: Yogurt, pudding, soft cheese, and dairy-based desserts.

Grains: Soft bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins (without nuts or hard pieces), and pasta.

Proteins: Soft meats (chicken, turkey, meatloaf), fish, eggs, and tofu.

Miscellaneous: Soups, stews, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, and soft-cooked rice.

List foods I should avoid with braces?

Sticky or Chewy Foods: Gum, caramels, taffy, gummy candies, and dried fruits.

Hard Foods: Hard candies, nuts, popcorn, ice cubes, and crunchy chips.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces), corn on the cob, and whole raw vegetables.

Tough Meats: Steaks, jerky, and other tough meats that require excessive chewing.

Biting Foods: Foods you need to bite into with your front teeth, like whole sandwiches or burgers.

Chewy or Hard Breads: Bagels, hard rolls, and crusty bread that can potentially damage brackets.

Foods Requiring Excessive Force: Corn on the cob, whole apples, and other foods that may cause stress on the braces.

Sugary Foods and Drinks: Candies, soda, and other sugary snacks can contribute to tooth decay and are harder to clean around braces.

Remember, good oral hygiene is crucial when you have braces. Be sure to brush after each meal and snack to prevent food particles from getting trapped in your braces. If you’re short on time or unable to brush, rinse your mouth throughly with water to remove food particles stuck between your braces. The use of picketers in your starter pack will help with this! If uncertain about whether a particular food is safe to eat with braces, it’s best to consult with out team for guidance. They can provide personalised recommendations based on your specific orthodontic treatment plan.

Which hurts more, braces or aligners?

Both clear aligners and traditional braces can cause some discomfort or soreness during the initial phases of treatment and after adjustments. However, the type and intensity of discomfort can vary from person to person. Here’s a general comparison of the discomfort associated with aligners and braces:

Clear aligners:

Initial Discomfort: When you start wearing a new set of aligners, you may experience some pressure and soreness as your teeth begin to move. This discomfort is usually mild and tends to fade within a few days as your mouth adjusts.

Change Days: Aligners are typically changed every 1 to 2 weeks. On the day you switch to a new set, you may feel some pressure and discomfort as your teeth adjust to the new aligners. This discomfort is usually short-lived.

Smooth Surfaces: Aligners have smooth surfaces and do not have brackets or wires that can cause irritation or sore spots in your mouth.

Traditional Braces:

Initial Discomfort: When braces are first placed on your teeth, you may experience some soreness or irritation on the cheeks, lips, and tongue as they adjust to the presence of the brackets and wires.

Adjustment Appointments: During adjustment appointments (which occur every few weeks), your orthodontist may make changes to the wires or tighten them. This can cause temporary discomfort and soreness that typically lasts a few days.

Potential Irritation: Brackets and wires can sometimes cause irritation or sore spots on the soft tissues of your mouth until your mouth gets used to them. Wax or silicone covers can be used to alleviate this.

In general, both aligners and braces may cause some initial discomfort as your teeth are shifting. However, many people find that the discomfort becomes less noticeable over time as they get used to their orthodontic treatment. It’s also important to note that any discomfort is usually a sign that your treatment is progressing as intended.

If you experience severe or persistent pain with either aligners or braces, it’s important to contact your orthodontist for guidance. They can provide recommendations and adjustments to help manage the discomfort.

What are aligner chewies?

Aligner chewies, also known simply as “chewies,” are soft, cylindrical foam or rubber-like tools that are often provided to patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment with clear aligners (such as Invisalign). These chewies serve a specific purpose in the aligner treatment process.

The primary function of aligner chewies is to help ensure that the clear aligners fit snugly and securely against your teeth. 

Why do I need chewies with my aligners?

Seating Aligners: When you put in a new set of clear aligners, they may not fit perfectly snug against your teeth at first. Aligner chewies are used to help you bite down on them, applying even pressure. This helps the aligners to seat properly and conform to the contours of your teeth, ensuring effective and consistent tooth movement.

Improve Aligner Fit: By using chewies to fully seat the aligners, you can help eliminate any small gaps between the aligners and your teeth. This is important because proper aligner fit contributes to the accurate movement of your teeth according to the treatment plan.

Comfort and Discomfort: Using chewies can also aid in reducing any discomfort or pressure you might feel when you switch to a new set of aligners. The gentle biting motion can help the aligners settle into place more comfortably.

What is dental monitoring?

Dental Monitoring is a technology-driven solution that allows Dr Amesha to remotely monitor and track the progress of her patients’ orthodontic treatment. It utilizes smartphone apps, specialised software, and artificial intelligence to enable patients to capture and send images of their teeth to their orthodontist for assessment without needing to visit the office as frequently. This technology allows for improved convince, reduced unperson visits and improved communication between you and your orthodontist, so that your treatment flows smoothly. Remember to scan weekly so we can track your progress. 

How long should I wear my aligners for?

Wear your aligners for at least 22 hrs a day every day!

When do I remove my aligners?

Remove your aligners when eating, performing your oral hygiene routine like brushing and flossing and drinking anything other than water.

Can I drink water with my aligners?

You can wear your aligners while drinking water. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep them in to prevent the aligners from becoming stained and to maintain the proper pressure on your teeth.

Can I swim in the ocean with my aligners?

Yes you can. Aligners fit snuggly onto your teeth.

Can I eat with my aligners?

Aligners should be removed before eating any food. This helps prevent damage to the aligners and allows you to enjoy your meals without any restrictions. Remember to brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in after eating.

Why do I need to brush and floss?

 Proper oral hygiene is crucial to prevent cavities and maintain healthy gums during your treatment.

If I am receiving Orthodontic treatment, do I still need to see my general dentist?

Yes. Your Specialist Orthodontist ensures that your Orthodontic treatment is progressing well. Your General Dentist performs routine dental check ups and cleans to ensure the overall health of your teeth and gums. When undergoing active orthodontic treatment 6 monthly dentist visits are recommended.

Can I remove my aligners for Special Occasions?

While aligners should be worn for the majority of the day (at least 22 hours), you can temporarily remove them for special occasions like photos, important meetings, or social events where you’d prefer not to have them in. Speak with your Orthodontist if you have a special occasion coming up,

Can I play musical instruments with aligners?

Aligners may need to be removed while playing certain wind instruments to allow for proper embouchure. Be sure to discuss this with your orthodontist if you play a musical instrument.

Can I wear my aligners if I am playing contact sports?

For safety reasons, it’s advisable to remove your aligners during contact sports and wear a protective mouthguard instead.

Can aligners be worn for swimming?

Yes, aligners can be worn while swimming, but if you’re engaging in activities like deep sea diving where pressure changes might occur, it’s better to remove them.

Can I chew gum with aligners?

Chewing gum is not recommended while wearing aligners. Additionally, avoid chewing on pens, pencils, or other objects that could potentially damage your aligners.

What are aligners?

Clear aligners or Aligners are a type of orthodontic treatment that involves the use of virtually invisible, removable trays to straighten teeth and correct various dental issues. They are an alternative to traditional braces and have gained popularity for their discreet appearance and convenience.

What are  Spark aligners?

Spark Clear teeth aligners are made with innovative TruGEN™ material. This material makes these clear aligners more comfortable, clearer, and less likely to stain. With a targeted design, Spark Clear Aligners may result in more efficient and effective tooth movement when compared to the leading brand.

What are attachments?

Attachments are tooth coloured composite resin bonded to your teeth to help achieve certain required movements and aid in the locking in of your aligners.

How does the aligner process work?

Custom Treatment Plan: An orthodontist creates a customised treatment plan based on your clinical examination, photos, treatment goals, 3D digital scan scan and X-rays. Advanced computer software is used by your skilled orthodontist to design the sequence of aligners that will gradually move your teeth into the desired positions.

Series of Aligners: You will receive a series of clear aligner trays, each designed to represent a specific stage of your tooth movement. Each set of aligners is slightly different from the previous one, exerting gentle pressure on your teeth to guide them into the desired alignment.

Wearing Aligners: You wear each set of aligners for about 1-2 weeks, as directed by your orthodontist. Aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day, removing them only for eating, drinking (except water), brushing, and flossing.

Gradual Tooth Movement: As you progress through the aligner trays, your teeth will gradually shift into their new positions. The treatment plan is designed to address your specific orthodontic needs, such as overcrowding, spacing issues, overbites, underbites, and more.

Regular Check-Ups: Periodic check-up appointments with your orthodontist are scheduled to monitor your progress and receive new sets of aligners. These appointments allow your orthodontist to ensure that your treatment is proceeding as planned. With dental monitoring, these can be done with less unperson office visits if you have a busy schedule.

What are the benefits of clear aligners?

Discreet Appearance: Clear aligners are nearly invisible, making them a popular choice for individuals who prefer a more aesthetic treatment option.

Removability: Aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene routines. This flexibility can make maintaining oral health easier compared to traditional braces.

Comfort: Clear aligners are made from smooth plastic, reducing the likelihood of irritation to the cheeks and gums.

No Dietary Restrictions: Since aligners are removed during meals, there are no dietary restrictions. You can enjoy all your favourite foods without worrying about damaging brackets or wires.

Easy Cleaning: Cleaning your teeth is straightforward since you can brush and floss as you normally would without braces.

What are LightForce braces?

LightForce™ 3D braces are the world’s first fully customised and 3D-printed bracket system. This treatment is more efficient and comfortable than traditional braces, and we can even print your brackets in your exact tooth colour – making them incredibly discreet. Each brace is made specifically for your tooth which can shorten treatment time by up to 40%.

Can I start my treatment on the same day?

Yes. We can start your digital braces process on the same day however, it would take 4-6 weeks before your braces are on.

Do you offer traditional metal braces?

Yes we do, and these can be placed on the same day. Speak with us about your treatment options at your initial consultation appointment.

What are palatal expanders?

An expander plate, also known as a palatal expander or a rapid maxillary expander, is a glued in widening plate used in orthodontics to widen the upper jaw (maxilla). It is commonly used to correct issues such as a narrow palate, crowding of teeth, crossbites, and other orthodontic and bite-related problems. The expander works by applying controlled and gradual pressure on the upper jaw, which stimulates the growth of new bone and helps create more space in the dental arch.

What are separators or spacers?

Before your expander plate is fabricated, your Orthodontist will place small elastic bands between your teeth to create space for the metal bands that anchor your expander plate. If any of these fall out, please contact our friendly team to have them replaced. Remember to avoid sticky foods when separators are in place, and avoid flossing those areas.

Can I widen my smile?

Yes. Speak with us today about your smile goals.

Will braces affect my child’s growth?

No braces will not stunt your child’s growth. Braces and orthodontic appliances can assist with improving the way your child’s teeth and jaws develop. Whilst there are limitations top avoid hard/sticky foods, it does not interfere with a nutritious diet.

For more FAQ questions, visit http://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/faq/

One of my wires are loose, what should I do?

Eating hard or sticky foods can cause your braces to become loose. This is mostly occurs during the early stages of treatment when your wires are more flexible.  If this happens, please contact us so we can assess the situation and, if necessary, schedule an appointment to repair it. It is very important that you inform us of any damage to your braces because damaged appliances can increase your treatment duration. In some cases, the repair can wait until your next appointment. If the wire is out of the back brace, use a pair of tweezers to reinsert the wire back into the tube.

Can I fix my broken braces? 

You cannot fix broken braces on your own. You need to visit an orthodontist office for a new bracket. The repair appointment is quick and simple that usually takes 5-10 minutes. If you are unable to get to your appointment use orthodontic wax to secure your wire to an adjacent tooth.

Can I still brush my teeth wire a broken brace?

Yes, it is important to continue to brush your teeth and thoroughly floss around the area of the broken bracket. It will keep healthy teeth while waiting for your next visit with us. Remember to let us know that you have a broken brace. Contact us.

Where can I purchase GC Tooth Mousse from?

We recommend GC Tooth Mousse for added protection to your teeth. This is in addition to a fluoride toothpaste.  https://www.toothmousse.com.au/where-to-buy

Can I access my super to pay for my child’s orthodontic treatment?

Yes, we have partnered with Access My Super to allow you to give your child a head start in life. Speak with our friendly team about a consultation with us and how to be referred to access your super.

How can I improve my smile?

Arrange your personalised consultation with Dr Amesha Maree and our team and we will provide a 3D video of your enhanced smile, based on your smile goals.

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is disturbed during sleep. Left untreated, sufferers can stop breathing repeatedly, sometimes hundreds of times a night. Usually sufferers report feeling tired, even after a full night of sleep, and it can lead to a multitude of health problems including hypertension, high blood pressure and heart problems.

Can orthodontics help my sleep apnea?

If you suspect that your sleep apnea may be related to orthodontic issues, scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist who has experience in treating sleep apnea would be a prudent step.

Do clear braces discolour?

No. Clear braces are made from ceramic which does not discolour.

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