All Your Questions Answered
How long will treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Simple cases may take as little as 6 months, whereas more complicated ones can take as long as 30 months. However, with most cases, the average treatment time is 18 months.
Can I speed up treatment?
Yes. By maintaining excellent oral hygiene, wearing your elastics, avoiding any breakages, and attending your scheduled appointments, you can speed up treatment by 3-6 months!
How often do I need to have my braces adjusted?
Appointment intervals are usually every 8 weeks. Each adjustment appointment is commonly a short 5 minute appointment.
Will it hurt?
Having your braces fitted is a painless process. No pliers, drills or needles are used. Braces are simply ‘stuck’ on using tweezers and glue. 2 hours after your appointment however, you will start to feel some pressure as the wire begins to work. Discomfort usually peaks at 24 hours, after which the pain tends to subside, being completely gone usually by 48-72 hours. Braces are like new shoes, at first you’ll feel everything, but after a week or two you won’t even know you’ve got them on!
What painkillers should I take?
The best pain relief regime is to take a Nurofen 1 hour prior to the braces fitting appointment, and then take a Panadol immediately after the appointment. Keep alternating between Nurofen and Panadol every 2 hours for the next 48 hours. After this, most patients will be fine. Remember to alter the dosage for children under 12.
Will my speech change with braces?
No, generally speech will not be altered with streamline braces we use today!
What do I need to do before getting braces?
It is important that before you visit the orthodontist, you get a full check-up and clean with your dentist. This is to make sure that there are no cavities and the teeth are clean prior to starting orthodontic work.
Should I continue to see my family dentist while in braces?
Most definitely! During braces your mouth is more prone to cavities and gingivitis, so it is important you see your dentist regularly for 6 month check-ups and cleans to keep on top of your dental health.
Will I need teeth removed?
We do not take the decision to remove teeth lightly, and every attempt will be made to treat our patients without the removal of teeth. Fortunately, with modern orthodontics there is a much lower requirement for extractions, and if treated at the correct age, teeth may only need to be removed in a low number of cases.
When should my child see the orthodontist?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that children be seen at 7 years of age. This is the time when certain orthodontic problems (thumb sucking, impacted canines, crossbites, and early loss of baby teeth) start to appear and are best managed! Early treatment can prevent these problems from becoming more serious ones later on.
When is the best time to start braces?
The best time to fit braces is usually when all the adult teeth erupt, which is around 12 ½ years of age.
Are there alternatives to braces?
Yes. At Westside Orthodontics we believe firmly in providing our patients with all the options and the most modern treatments. Nowadays orthodontic treatment is becoming more invisible and more high-tech. We offer Invisalign® (clear plastic aligners) and ceramic (clear) braces that have brilliant aesthetics.
Should I take out health insurance cover?
Health funds cover some of the cost of braces. The rebate depends on the health fund and the level of cover. Please carefully check premiums, conditions, and waiting periods to see if you and your family are better off with or without insurance.
Is orthodontic treatment different for adults?
Yes. In adults the teeth tend to move slower so treatment generally takes longer. Also, there is no more jaw growth, so jaw problems are best treated with surgery. Adult patients may also have other issues with their teeth (worn dentition, root canals, and periodontal or gum disease), so to get the best possible result a referral to other dental specialists may be needed.
Do I need a referral?
No. At Westside Orthodontics Toowoomba, no referral is required to see the orthodontist.
Can I play contact sports with braces?
Yes you can play contact sports but you must wear a mouthguard. We recommend a mouthguard for both training and games.
Can I get braces even though I have crowns and root canals?
Yes. A tooth with a crown or a root canal will move just like a normal tooth. In fact, recent studies show that they respond the same and if anything are less prone to some side effects! The process to bond a bracket to it may be more involved, but once the braces are attached everything will proceed as normal.
Why is it important to straighten my teeth?
- Appearance: In today’s society we are becoming increasingly cosmetically conscious. A beautiful smile is a great asset. Orthodontic treatment can give a person straight teeth and an attractive smile which will serve them well for the rest of their life.
- Confidence: Patients who are unhappy with their teeth may hide them and not smile. Orthodontics can enhance your self-esteem, confidence, and change the way both you and others see yourself. In this way, orthodontics can benefit you both professionally and socially.
- Dental hygiene: It’s more difficult to keep your teeth clean when they are crowded and overlapping. This can make you more prone to plaque build-up and subsequent decay and gum disease. Furthermore, you may find that food constantly gets packed between your teeth. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, therefore reducing the risk of cavities and periodontal disease.
- Tooth wear: An increased overbite (defined as the vertical overlap of the front teeth) can put excessive pressure on your lower incisors and lead to significant wear and damage of the teeth. Correcting your bite can stop this from occurring.
- Gum damage: In severe malocclusions, the lower teeth may bite on the gums of the palate causing them to be stripped away. Long-term this can lead to periodontal problems and tooth sensitivity. Orthodontics can eliminate traumatic bites such as these and improve the health of your oral tissues.
- Speech: Some people have difficulty speaking because of gaps between their teeth. Correcting this will improve speech dramatically.
- Eating: A malocclusion can reduce your ability to chew your food properly. By improving the occlusion, we can bite and chew more effectively. A study by English et al. in 2002 confirmed this by showing that correcting the bite to a proper ‘Class I’ type gave patients a better functional ability.
What is two phase treatment?
Two phase treatment is when the child is treated in two stages. This is because different problems are best treated at different times. The first stage involves fairly minor treatment at about 7 to 10 years of age to correct a developing orthodontic problem like a small upper jaw or crossbite. The second phase usually involves comprehensive treatment with braces at about 12 ½ years of age to line up all the teeth. Two phase treatment makes orthodontics more manageable and a lot of the time more effective!
Do I need a needle?
No. Needles/injections are not necessary for braces.