Specialist Dental Services

Orthodontist

The importance of braces is no secret. Braces are very familiar to most people, especially during the teenage years.

Dental braces have been around for many years. They are used by orthodontists to correct teeth and jaws and help achieve a straight and attractive smile. Braces can straighten, align and position teeth. Most people get braces in their early teenage years but it’s becoming more common now for adults to get braces too. Modern materials have made having braces much more comfortable and attractive than in the past. This has contributed to the increase in the popularity of getting braces.

Overview

Braces are a device used to straighten your teeth. They are glued on by a specialist known as an orthodontist. There's a range of different braces options available. Your orthodontist will recommend the best option for you, after assessing your teeth. Your treatment options vary from fixed braces, to retainers, to Invisalign® treatments and more, for both adults and children.

Fixed braces

These are the more traditional and common type of braces. Small brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth surfaces and a wire is run through them and held in place with a small coloured elastic band. You can have either plastic or metal brackets.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® treatment involves wearing​ a series of clear thin aligners, which are a bit like a very thin mouthguard, or tray. Each aligner is worn for two weeks and then the next one in the series is used. Because they are removable, they can be taken out for eating, drinking and sport.

Education

Braces have been around for thousands of years. They were first invented in the early 1800s and have changed dramatically since then. They're recommended to fix crooked teeth by straightening them to help you achieve that perfect straight smile, for life.

Apart from making your teeth look great, there's also many important functional reasons for straightening teeth:

  • Crowded and crooked teeth are hard to clean which can, in turn, cause a range of problems in the future
  • Too much space between the teeth, caused by the jaw being too big for the teeth or missing teeth
  • If the upper and lower jaws are misaligned or there's an underbite or overbite

You could also consult an orthodontist if you notice other problems such as difficulty chewing or biting, if your child complains of a clicking jaw, tooth grinding or clenching, speech difficulties and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.

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Need to know

Appointments

  • Regular appointments are needed every 6 to 8 weeks while you have braces
  • The first consultation visit will include exams, x-rays, photographs and potentially moulds
  • The next visit is where your braces are glued onto your teeth surfaces
  • Once your braces are on, the wires will be adjusted every 6 to 8 weeks to make sure your teeth are moving into the correct position
  • Once your braces have done their job they are removed
  • You will likely continue to have regular appointments after the removal of your braces to check your progress
  • Additional appointments may be needed if you have problems with your braces

How long it takes

The total length of time braces are on for depends on the person.. On average braces will be on for 2 years, in some cases this will be shorter or longer.

  • How long you have braces on for depends on your teeth and situation
  • On average braces will be on for 2 years, although in some cases this can be shorter or longer
  • The consultation visit will usually take around 60 minutes
  • Getting your braces will usually take around 60 minutes
  • The regular 6 to 8 week appointments usually take around 15 to 30 minutes
  • Removal of your braces will usually take at least 60 minutes

You may be asked about

  • Your dental history and medical history
  • Your oral health care routine

Before your appointment

  • No special preparation needed

After your appointment

  • You will need to follow the home care routine recommended by your orthodontist
  • After your braces are removed you will need to use the retainer or removable plate made for you by your orthodontist

Quick tip

Follow the care instructions provided by your orthodontist. Try to avoid overly hard to sticky foods so they don't get stuck in your braces.

Have questions?

The cost of braces depends on the type of braces and how long they are on for. Generally the cost relates to the complexity of the treatment and how long they are on for. Many orthodontic practices offer payment terms, discounts for siblings and sometimes discount for early payment. The practice will advise you at your consultation visit.

Our orthodontists are highly trained and skilled at making the whole process of getting braces easy and painless. Getting braces put on isn’t a painful procedure. However, most patients will feel some discomfort or mild pain when the braces are first put on and they get used to having them. When the braces are adjusted every 6 to 8 weeks they may also be a bit uncomfortable for a day or two until you adjust to them. The removal of your braces is also painless.

Orthodontists usually recommend your child has their first visit at around age 7 or when their adult teeth start coming through. Your orthodontist will assess your child's teeth and discuss the best treatment process with you. It may be that treatment should be delayed – the orthodontist will guide you as to the likely time frame and will offer regular check-ups.

Some children with a range of issues may require early treatment, have a break and then restart treatment once more adult teeth are through or their jaw has grown more. An early assessment enables treatment to start at the optimum time for your child.

The usual treatment time with braces for a teenager is around 24 months. However the duration of treatment can vary from 3 months for a simple cosmetic correction through to several years, split into several treatment stages. The duration depends on the growth of the mouth and face and the severity of the problem.

It’s not unusual these days for adults to get braces or orthodontic treatment. It can be as successful in adults as it is for children. Treatment time may vary depending on your age, as adults have denser bone tissue meaning treatment may take a bit longer. If you're thinking about getting orthodontic treatment we suggest booking an appointment with an orthodontist. They will be able to assess your teeth and recommend the best treatment option for you.