What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialist area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of improper bites, which may be a result of dental and facial irregularities.
What is a specialist/consultant orthodontist?
Specialist orthodontists have to undergo additional postgraduate training beyond dental school to learn the proper way to diagnose, prevent and treat improper bites, which may be a result of dental and facial irregularities. Only those who have undertaken this training may call themselves "Specialist orthodontists".
In addition some of our orthodontist have undertaken a further 2 years of extra training after becoming specialist orthodontists to become consultant orthodontists and hold consultant posts in various hospitals. Consultant orthodontists undertake this extra training to manage difficult orthodontic cases and complex facial and dental irregularity problems.
What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?
For most people, the most significant benefit of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful, confident smile. But having treatment can have considerable benefits for your health and well-being including:
- Healthier gums as straighter teeth are easier to clean and eliminate food traps, which can lead to gum disease
- Improved chewing & speech as a result of a balance bite following treatment to correct irregularities with the teeth and jaws
- Reduce tooth wear by correcting the way the teeth bite so that there are no abnormal stresses placed on the teeth as a result of mal-alignment of the teeth
- Boost your self-confidence & self-esteem
- Enjoy and be proud your smile
What sort of issues can be treated with orthodontic treatment?
As well are creating beautiful smiles, common issues that can easily be treated by orthodontic treatment include:
- Crowded or spaced teeth
- Missing or extra teeth
- Retruded or protruded teeth or jaws
- Deep overbite (an increased overlap between the upper and lower front teeth)
- Openbites (front teeth do not touch each other)
- Crossbites (upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth instead of the outside)
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- Excessive wear of teeth
Our orthodontists can help you make a decision as to whether braces are right for you and which type of braces will give you the best result.
When should children be evaluated?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, ideally children should be evaluated at 7 or 8 years of age. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment.
Things to watch out for in your child’s mouth that may signal a bite problem include:
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Teeth that are not contacting
- Sticking out teeth
- Biting of the cheek or palate of the mouth
- Wrong bite (under bites, over bites etc)
- Finger or pacifier habits continued beyond the age of 6
- Jaw noises such as clicking and popping that are causing discomfort
If you are concerned please ask your dentist to refer your child for an assessment.
Can I have braces as an adult?
Contrary to popular belief, braces are not limited to just the young growing individual, everyone young and old can achieve a straighter smile through orthodontic treatment.
At orthoclinique we don’t just look at your teeth we take your whole face into account. The shape of your face, your profile and what you will look like for the rest of your life are important to us.
Many people see a noticeable change not just in their teeth, but in their entire face. For example the Damon brace produces:
- A fuller, wider smile
- Better facial balance and aesthetics
- Smoother cheek contours which make narrow smiles look fuller and more inviting
- Fewer dark triangles within the corners of your mouth
- Straighter, less crowded & crooked teeth
- Improved profiles…for a more youthful look at any age!
Many patients begin to see these dramatic results in as little as 10 weeks.
When it comes to looking better, many adults today are opting for extensive—and invasive—procedures like plastic surgery and facelifts but why not start with the single most dramatic change that can be achieved easily and comfortably and most cost-effectively i.e. a straighter brighter natural smile.
I don't want braces that show. What are my options?
Tooth coloured ceramic braces are a good alternative to metal braces though the wire is still visible. For totally invisible braces, they may be bonded behind the teeth (lingual braces). Another option may be the use of a series of plastic tray aligners instead of traditional braces to correct some problems. Our orthodontists will be happy to discuss all the available options with you and you can find more information here.
My teeth have been crooked for many years – why should I have orthodontic treatment now?
It's never too late! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function. And teeth that work better usually look better, too. A healthy, beautiful smile can improve self-esteem, no matter the age.
Can I afford orthodontic treatment?
We have lots of options to make the treatment affordable and our patients find this to be a convenient way to pay and make the decision to transform their smiles, easier to make. Call us to find out more about interest free payment options or click here.
How do braces work?
Braces have come a long way in the last few decades. But their basic function is still the same: to move your teeth into alignment with gentle, steady pressure.
Your braces are made individually to fit your mouth. The archwire slowly and steadily puts pressure on the brackets to guide your teeth into perfect alignment. You can't see the teeth move, but over time the results will show. Your surrounding tissues and the bone structure underneath will grow to support the tooth in its new position.
How do braces feel, do they hurt?
Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. The teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Our orthodontist will advise patients what, if any, pain relievers to take. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Once patients have become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.
How do I take care of my braces?
Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods, or hard objects, such as pens, pencils or fingernails. Also avoid any sugar and fizzy drinks.
Removable braces are removed for brushing and should be cleaned with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste and/or Retainer Brite. You can purchase a 'care pack' from our receptionist which includes a small toothbrush, a box of Retainer Brite and a Box to keep your brace in when not wearing it.
With fixed braces, keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. You can buy a 'care pack' from our receptionist which contains special toothbrushes, disclosing tablets, fluoride mouthwash, special floss and lots more to help you look after your brace properly.
Clean, healthy teeth move quicker and will limit any damage to the teeth and supporting tissues.
Can you play sports while wearing braces?
Yes, you will be advised to wear a protective mouth guard whilst riding a bike, skating, or playing any contact sports. Our orthodontists can recommend a specific mouth guard.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.
How long will treatment take?
On average brace treatment takes about 15 to 18 months but this depends on the problem and can be drastically reduced for simpler orthodontic problems. You can make a difference by looking after and wearing your braces properly. Broken braces and missed appointments will slow your treatment down.
How often will I need to visit the orthodontist?
Generally your braces will need adjusting approximately every 8 weeks to ensure that treatment progresses well.
What do I do if I have a problem?
If you have any breakages or problems, please contact us for advice or to arrange an emergency appointment. For simple breakages without pain, another appointment will be arranged to repair the breakage. Emergency appointments are for patients in pain and will be booked to fit patients in where appointments slots are available. If time permits the problem will be repaired otherwise another appointment will be arranged.
Will I have a retainer after my treatment?
Yes all patients have a retainer after treatment. When your braces are removed it is imperative that the teeth are retained in their positions to allow the supporting bone and soft tissue to grow back around the teeth again. They will prevent the teeth from moving back to their start position.
Things to remember:
- If you do not wear your retainers as instructed, your teeth may move back towards how they were before treatment
- Modern thinking is that retainers should be worn for as long as you want your teeth to be straight for
- Teeth move all throughout our life, the best way to guarantee keeping your teeth straight is to continue to wear your retainers at night
- If you lose or break a retainer, contact us straight away