Braces FAQS from Dream Smiles Orthodontics
Here are some of the questions about orthodontics and retainers we have been asked in the past.
Because every smile is unique, we offer a range of braces and other orthodontic treatment options for our patients. These options include; clear braces, tooth coloured braces, metal braces, lingual braces, removable appliances, Invisalign® and retainers.
Want more information about Orthodontic treatment and care? Call us today to arrange an appointment with our team of specialists.
No, you do not need a referral to visit an orthodontist or any dental specialist in Australia. Want more information about Orthodontic treatment and care? Call us today to arrange an appointment with our team of specialists.
The rate of extraction of teeth for orthodontic purpose is about 30-40%. You will be assessed very carefully before a decision is made.
Extractions are commonly done for patients with severe crowding of teeth or severe buck teeth. Please inform us if you do not wish to have tooth removal for religious or other reasons.
Orthodontic treatment is possible at any age. However, it is often a more complex process due to other existing problems such as gum disease. Hence, adult orthodontics often takes longer then treatment for teenagers.
This varies from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the individual case. There are a number of considerations such as the severity of the problems, whether some teeth were extracted or not, age and level of co-operation. Apart from adults, it is rare that teenagers need to wear braces for more than 2 years.
Once we have placed your braces, you will be required to attend monthly appointments. During these appoints you will have your orthodontic wires changed and elastics replaced. We may also check on your progress and make any adjustments to your treatment that may be required.
For about the first three days there will be a little discomfort. There will be a feeling of tightness and pressure as the braces begin to move and position your teeth. There can also be a little tenderness with eating at first and we suggest you eat soft foods for a couple of days until you become accustomed to your braces.
There may be some rubbing on your cheeks caused by the brackets placed on your back teeth. This can be fixed by placing a little of the wax we give you on these brackets, this should make things more comfortable. Use the wax as often as you need to.
Your teeth and braces should be thoroughly cleaned three times a day after each meal. We also advise teeth are thoroughly cleaned after eating anything sweet using your normal toothbrush and toothpaste.
You should use your regular brushing technique when brushing your teeth and braces. You will be given a pack of small brushes (interdental brushes) so you will be able to get behind the wires to clean your teeth. This should be done at least three times a week. These small brushes can be purchased from your local pharmacy.
We would strongly advise you avoid all sweet, sticky foods and fizzy drinks containing sugar. They have a tendency to cause decay and cavities in patients wearing braces. We also strongly advise you avoid hard foods, as this can break the brackets and braces, which can result in extensive repair work.
You can expect to lose at least two or three brackets during your orthodontic treatment. This is a normal occurrence and can be easily fixed, please call us to arrange an appointment.
It is worth clarifying that if you happen to live some distance from either of our practices such as the Gold Coast, it is not critically important that you have the loose bracket(s) re-cemented immediately; as long as it is not hurting you. You could simply attend your originally scheduled appointment and the bracket can be replaced without long-term problems.
If you have any problems or concerns throughout your orthodontic treatment, please call the practice and discuss them with us.
It is critical you wear a retainer to keep your newly straightened teeth in place for a period of time. Failure to do so will lead to relapse, almost without exception. You will be required to wear your retainer full time, apart from eating and when you brush your teeth.
Generally, we advise a minimum of 18 months. We will advise you at the time of your retainer being placed as to how long you can expect to wear it. All cases are different and some patients are required to wear their retainer for a longer period of time than others.
You will be required to attend the practice for a review appointment at the 2nd, 6th and 12th month after the braces are removed. These twelve months is your “warranty” period. Please note that the warranty does not cover regular cleaning, even though we don’t charge for cleaning while your braces are in place (Bulk billing if you happen to have a private health fund).
Your retainer should be thoroughly cleaned first thing in the morning using a toothbrush, soap and water. Do not use anything abrasive on the retainer e.g. toothpaste or any type of cleaning agent other than one specifically designed for the cleaning of orthodontic appliances. Cleaning products for orthodontic appliances can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
There may be some initial tightness when you first start wearing your retainer. This is normal and should subside within a couple of days. If you have any concerns, please call the practice to discuss any problems you may have.