Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on the question below to see the answer.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of industry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?
  • Create a more attractive smile.
  • Create better function of the teeth.
  • Increase self confidence.
  • Improve ability to clean the teeth.
  • Improve force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth.
  • Improve long-term health of teeth and gums.
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions.
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth.
  • Aid in optimising other dental treatment.
How does Orthodontic treatment work?

Braces apply steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their correct positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth into their new more ideal positions.

What are some of the signs that braces may be needed?
  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked.
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite).
  • The upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower teeth (underbite).
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite).
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth.
  • The centre of the upper and lower teeth do not line up.
  • Finger or thumb sucking habits continue after six or seven years old.
  • Difficulty chewing.
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively.
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together.
  • Spaces between the teeth.
Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

 Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Thirty percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires your teeth may feel tender for a few days. Your lips and cheeks may take a week or two to get used to the braces on your teeth. Orthodontic wax will help during this transition period.

Should i see my general dentist while i have braces on?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleaning and dental checkups.

What is a Bracket?

A bracket is an orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth for the purpose of engaging an archwire.

What is an Archwire?

An archwire is a wire engaged in the braces, capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

What is Bonding?

Bonding is the process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.

What is Powerchain?

Powerchain is a stretchable elastic chain used to close the spaces between the teeth.

What is a Ligature tie?

A ligature elastic tie is a rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colours.

What is a Separator?

A separator is a small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before bands are attached.

What is Banding?

Banding is the process of attaching the band to the tooth.

What are Impressions?

Impressions are the process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mould of your teeth. Your Orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a plastic device used to protect your mouth from injury while playing contact sports. All patients in braces should wear a mouthguard to prevent injuries. Our office will provide you with a mouthguard at your request.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Specialised mouthguards can be provided in house just ask your orthodontist. Ortho mouthguards for use whilst wearing braces are available from all of our clinics, just ask at reception.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age.  Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed.  Earlier treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by the age of 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents or the family dentist.

What is an Appliance?

An appliance is anything attached to your teeth by an orthodontist that helps move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.