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What is Orthodontics and when should it be done?

Orthodontics is a specific discipline in dentistry that focuses on straightening crooked and overlapping teeth, as well as fixing misaligned bites to ensure improved functionality and appearance.

Patients who seek orthodontic treatment usually vary from ages 6 to 60 years old with the majority of the patients falling in their teens.

In some cases, early intervention can simplify future orthodontic work.

 

Why would I consider orthodontic treatment?

  • If you have concerns about your smile.
  • If you have crooked teeth or are concerned about overcrowding.
  • If you have an unusual bite.

 

When should I start orthodontic treatment?

Depending on each individual situation, early orthodontic intervention may be justified in order to simplify future orthodontic work for the patient. However, in many other cases, orthodontic treatment usually starts when patients have most of their permanent teeth erupted and present.

If you believe your child will/may need braces, it would be advised to have a chat with your dental provider about your options.

Patients have success with orthodontic treatment well into their adulthood - with clear aligners proving more popular with more mature patients into their 30s and beyond.

 

What should I expect at an orthodontic examination?

We will take a close look inside your mouth to assess your teeth, gums, jaw joints and lips. We will also take multiple close-up photographs of the face and teeth including your smile.

The assessment also includes radiographs of the teeth, jaw and head.

An OPG is a full mouth, panoramic x-ray which gives us an overall picture of your jaw and dentition. A Lat Ceph is a radiograph of the side of your face which is used to help assess your skeletal jaw growth and its corresponding relationship.

All the information gathered will help us determine the appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.

 

What types of orthodontic treatment methods are available?

Orthodontic treatment today comprises of more than just the silver braces most people think of when they think about teeth straightening.

There are a number of orthodontic appliances to help with bite modification and alignment in cases such as accelerating lower jaw growth, or to open a deep bite or widen the palate, and to create space for other teeth.

In addition to traditional metal braces, there are also a variety of options for teeth alignment.  These include clear (ceramic) braces and clear aligners (such as Invisalign or Angelalign) which require no wires.

 

How can I maintain my oral hygiene once I have orthodontic treatment?

Having orthodontic treatment requires an investment of both time and money, so it is very important to maintain a high level of oral hygiene. Plaque and bacteria can easily accumulate around the orthodontic appliance. If oral hygiene is poor this may lead to complications such as gum disease or dental decay.

It is extremely vital to clean your teeth thoroughly to prevent decay, gum disease or even areas of discolouration. Keeping away from sugary snacks and drinks is also a must.

It’s recommended to do the following:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride tooth paste after every meal and before going to bed
  • To use interdental brushes where necessary
  • Floss at least once a day (clear aligner patients)
  • Regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist

 

If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call on (03 9848 9422) and schedule your appointment with our experienced dentists or simply book here

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