Orthodontics Northbridge, Close to Lane Cove, Chatswood & Mosman
If you require an orthodontics treatment near Lane Cove, Mosman, or Chatswood, get in touch with our friendly team at (02) 9958 0400 to make an appointment.
At Sailors Bay Dentistry we pride ourselves on providing the most modern treatments available in orthodontics. We achieve this by taking into account cosmetic appearance and patient preference to provide a treatment plan individually tailored to suit the needs of each patient. Although the word “orthodontics” conjures up images of teenagers with shiny metal smiles this need not be the case. Our Specialist Orthodontist, Dr Ross Adams, provides answers to a few of the questions you may have.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is that branch of dentistry, which specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws. Technically known as “malocclusion”, most people know of it as having a “bad bite”.
Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances (such as braces, plates, headgears and functional appliances) to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.
When is the right time to start orthodontic treatment?
Children: Although children should begin regular visits to their dentist from at least the age of four, orthodontic problems usually start to become apparent by the age of seven, when most of the adult front teeth have erupted. However, your dentist may detect a problem earlier.
Early examination allows the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and plan appropriate treatment. This early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and/or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Early treatment may also achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaws have stopped growing. In most cases, orthodontic treatment is commenced as soon as the last baby tooth has been shed, usually in the early teens. In some cases, it is an advantage to start just before the last baby teeth are lost.
Adults: In the past, orthodontic treatment was generally restricted to children. However, the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age so orthodontic treatment can be successful for adults as well. However, as an adult's facial bones are no longer growing, some severe malocclusions cannot be corrected with braces alone. Orthodontic treatment when combined with jaw surgery can achieve dramatic improvements. If you think you have an orthodontic problem, the best time to see an orthodontist is now! Many adults as well as children can benefit from orthodontic treatment, achieving improved function and appearance. It’s never too late to have that perfect smile!
What are the different types of orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontists use a variety of different appliances to control tooth movement, including: conventional braces made of either metal or ceramic (tooth coloured) material glued to the outside of the teeth; Lingual braces glued to the inside of the teeth; as well as sequential plastic aligners, like Invisalign, which fit over the teeth much like a mouthguard and are changed every couple of weeks or so.
Conventional Braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment and are suitable for patients of all ages. These braces sit on the outside of your teeth and are traditionally made of metal however they now also have a ceramic version which is less visible. Braces comprise of brackets, archwires, bonding materials and elastic ligatures.Conventional braces tend to be the most effective when correcting severe bite problems.
Lingual Braces are very similar to conventional braces except that they are placed on the inside of teeth. This means that they are hidden and are great for people who are apprehensive about getting braces for aesthetic reasons.
Invisalign offers a removable solution for orthodontic treatment. It involves a series of clear aligners that are custom made for your mouth and shift your teeth into their new position over a period of time.
Invisalign is more suitable for minor mal-alignments and fix ups so may not be a suitable option for everyone.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Orthodontic treatment normally takes between 18-24 months but will vary depending on how severe the issue is. Your orthodontist will discuss the timeframe with you in your initial consultation.
Tips on looking after your braces
Braces are a long term investment so it is important to maintain great oral health while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. This will ensure that once your treatment ends, your teeth will still be healthy as well as straight.
The two main changes that you will need to make to look after your braces is your oral hygiene routine and the foods that you are eating.
With conventional and lingual braces you will have brackets and wires on your teeth which provides extra space for bacteria to get trapped and cause decay; therefore it is important to pay special attention when you are brushing and flossing your teeth. While it may be more difficult to floss while wearing braces it is imperative that you don’t skip this step. Your orthodontist will be able to advise you of the different flossing options and what may work for you.
Here are some simple tips for keeping your teeth, gums and braces in great condition:
- Brush your teeth after every meal (including snacks) to remove any trapped food and bacteria
- Make sure you remove your elastics before you brush your teeth and don’t forget to replace them when you are finished.
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes in a set pattern to ensure that you don’t miss any teeth.
- Brush your teeth in small circular motions along the gum line using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle brush. Once complete, continue to brush the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth in the same small circular motions.
- Gently brush the braces, making sure to press firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the tooth and the wire.
- When brushing chewing surfaces use a firm back and forth motion to make sure that no food or bacteria is stuck.
- Occasionally use plaque disclosing tablets to see if you are leaving plaque in any areas.
While it is always important to watch what you eat to ensure optimum dental health, it is particularly important when you are wearing braces. There are many foods that can weaken, loosen or break and bend wires. Foods to avoid include:
- Hard and sticky lollies like toffees and caramels
- Sticky muesli bars and fruit bars
- Bubble gum
- Hard biscuits and crackers
- Crunching on ice cubes (something to avoid even when you are not wearing braces)
- Hard fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots can also cause damage to your braces so just remember to cut these up into small pieces so that you can still enjoy them and receive their health benefits.
- Bad habits like biting your nails, chewing on a pencil and unnatural tongue thrusting can also damage your braces.
By looking after your braces you are helping to make sure that your treatment is as effective as possible and helps to reduce delays. However if you do damage your braces there is no need to panic. Avoid touching or trying to fix the issue and call your orthodontist to book an appointment.
Call Sailors Bay Dentistry and receive premium service from one of the most reliable orthodontist Northbridge has to offer. Practice is close to Cammeray and Mosman, and easily accessible for all residents in the North Shore. Call the local practice on 02 9958 0400 or send us a message through our contact form.
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