FAQS - Orthodontics

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the saving grace for those who wish to straighten their teeth more discreetly than standard braces. Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. A series of custom made clear aligners are produced for each individual client. Each aligner is worn for roughly two weeks before be replaced by the next aligner until the desired position is achieved.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

The main benefit is straightening your teeth without anyone knowing. As Invisalign is removable, you can eat and drink what you like, you can brush and floss normally and there are no wires to cause irritation.

What about braces?

Dental braces are appliances used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth and position them properly in regard to a person’s bite. They can be used to correct under bites, malocclusions, overbites, open bites, deep bites, cross bites, crooked teeth and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural.

How long will treatment take?

It depends on what issue we are trying to correct and the complexity of the problem. Braces have been known to be worn for as little as 6 months to as long as 2 ½ years. As a guide you can expect to see us every few weeks for adjustments. We can give you a clearer time guide during your individualised consultation.

What age can my child get braces?

There is no set age for braces, however we mostly see children around 12 or 13 to be fitted. If your primary school child has crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, we can help them through Myofunctional therapy (which is just a fancy way of saying removable orthodontic appliances). Myofunctional therapy is not necessarily an alternative and your child may still need braces down the track. However it will reduce the likely duration the braces will need to be worn.

What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Lucky for us in this day and age, the development of orthodontic appliances means many problems can be corrected much earlier than previously able. These removable appliances work two fold – firstly they correctly align the teeth and jaws. Secondly they work to correct the underlying issue that is causing the misalignment – for example tongue thrusting or mouth breathing. If your child is showing any of the below signs, please contact us today for an assessment.

  • Crooked, misaligned teeth
  • A jaw that does not seem correctly aligned, it juts forward or recedes
  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Thrusting the tongue forward to the roof of the mouth at rest or during speech
  • Reverse swallowing – i.e. swallowing with the tongue pushed forward and to the roof of the mouth
Following assessment, we may recommend your child be provided with a specifically designed orthodontic appliance to suit their particular needs. Typically these appliances are only worn for a few hours during the day and all night. In addition to the orthodontic appliance, we will teach you and your child a series of exercises to retrain the muscles and tongue to allow them to correct their swallowing and/or breathing. Unfortunately even with early intervention, it still may be necessary for your child to wear fixed braces at a later stage. Compliance is a major factor in the success of a Myofunctional appliance and we simply cannot predict how your child’s teeth and jaw may respond. For more information go to www.myoresearch.com.

How about convetional fixed braces?

Whilst many young children may not need orthodontic care, we recommend regular visits until their teenage years to monitor their teeth and jaw. If we see there is an issue presenting with your teens teeth, we will recommend fixed orthodontic braces to correct this. Once these braces are on, your child will require regular check- ups to perform any adjustments and their progress to beautiful straight teeth checked. The average time for this process is between 12 – 18 months. Once your dentist is happy with the state of their teeth, the braces will be removed and watch the constant grinning ensue!