Frequently asked questions

Get the answers to your questions about orthodontic treatment in our FAQ section. 

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental irregularities and facial growth problems. 

What is a specialist orthodontist?

After qualification as a dentist, an orthodontist has to complete a further three years of advanced training in a recognised university program.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

  • A great smile for life
  • Self–confidence can be boosted
  • Long -term dental health
  • Better function of the teeth and jaws
  • Easier cleaning
  • Can be of help to optimise other dental treatments 

How will I know if I need orthodontics?

When you come for your initial consultation, we will be looking at a number of things to assess whether you need braces. These include:

Do your front teeth “stick out” (overjet)?

  • Do your upper teeth cover your lower teeth (deep bite)?
  • Do you have a gap between your upper and lower front teeth when you bite together (open bite)?
  • Are your lower teeth biting in front of your upper teeth?
  • Is there crowding?
  • Is there spacing?
  • The centre of your teeth do not align with each other
  • Your jaw shifts to aid chewing 

What age should you have orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is suitable for children, teens and adults. We recommend all children have an orthodontic assessment by the age of 7 years as this allows us to evaluate their dental development and prepare for any issues that may arise in the future. According to guidelines of the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and in some cases earlier treatment is advised. Generally though, most children will start braces when they have lost all of their baby teeth. However, it is never too late to consider treatment. A growing number of adults are now seeking treatment with braces. 

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Different orthodontic appliances work in slightly different ways; however, the basic principle is that teeth will move when a gentle light continuous pressure is applied to them. 

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The duration of your treatment is dependent on the severity of your problem and the type of appliance used. In general, treatment time can vary between 1-3 years. 

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

For the most part braces are not painful. However, when you first have them, and at each adjustment, your teeth may be sensitive for the first few days. It may also take a little while for your lips and cheeks to get used to the braces. 

Can I play sport while having orthodontic treatment?

If you have had braces fitted, you will need to wear a mouthguard if you are playing a contact sport. Because your teeth change position regularly, we suggest the use of mouldable mouthguards during treatment. These can be readily obtained and adjusted at home. At the completion of your treatment we highly recommend a custom mouthguard to protect your new smile. For treatments, such as Invisalign, where the orthodontic appliance is removable, you can simply take it out while playing and then put it back once you have finished your game. 

Can I play a musical instrument while having orthodontic treatment?

This is usually not an issue, but ask us at your appointment and we will be able to give you specific advice. If you are receiving Invisalign treatment, you will be able to take the aligner out while playing a wind instrument but you must remember to put it back in once you have finished playing. 

Do I still have to visit my dentist while I have orthodontic treatment?

Yes. We always recommend that you continue to see your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment for regular checks and cleaning.

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