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What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, such as misaligned teeth and improper bites (malocclusions).

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a dentist who has undertaken three years of additional full time University specialist training in the field of orthodontics. This is in addition to the five years spent training as a general dentist. Orthodontists are specialists in diagnosing, preventing and treating problems relating to the alignment of your teeth and jaws.

Why might someone need orthodontic treatment?

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.

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.

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.

How long does orthodontic treatment typically last?

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case. On average, treatment can last anywhere from 15- 24 months. Factors like age, compliance, and the type of appliance used can influence treatment duration.

Do braces or aligners hurt?

Discomfort or mild pain is common when braces or aligners are first placed and after adjustments. However, this discomfort is usually temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

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 6 to 8 weeks, but this can vary based on the treatment plan.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What can I 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.

What foods should I 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 eat with my aligners in my mouth?

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 playing 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?

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 upto 40%.

Are LightForce™ 3D braces more expensive?

No the cost of LightForce™ 3D braces are the same as non customised clear braces at our clinic because we believe that these technologies will improve your overall treatment outcome.

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 dental appliance 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.

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