If you or you child have crooked teeth or a problem with your bite, this can affect your self-esteem as well as your dental health. Orthodontic braces, aligners and other treatments can help to straighten teeth and improve your smile.

At Sailors Bay Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing the latest treatments available in orthodontics. We achieve this by taking into account cosmetic appearance and patient preference to provide a treatment plan individually tailored to your needs.

Although the word 'orthodontics' conjures up images of teenagers with shiny metal smiles, this need not be the case. Our specialist orthodontist in Northbridge, Dr Ross Adams, can discuss the other options we offer for kids, teenagers and adults and answer any questions you have about straightening your smile.

To find out more, book an orthodontic consultation at our Northbridge dental clinic. We have provided Orthodontic services for patients from surrounding suburbs including Mosman, Crows Nest, Castlecrag, Naremburn, Chatswood, Artarmon, and Lane Cove. Call our friendly team on (02) 9958 0400 or contact us today.

Our highly skilled orthodontists cover the Northbridge surrounding suburbs Castlecrag, Lane Cove, Mosman, Chatswood, Artarmon, Crows Nest and Naremburn

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What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems with the alignment of teeth and jaws. Technically known as 'malocclusion,' most people know it as having a 'bad bite.'

Having crooked or misaligned teeth can make it harder to eat and to brush and floss your teeth, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It can also affect speech.

Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances such as braces, aligners, orthodontic retainers, plates and headgear to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.

Orthodontics isn't just for teenagers. While treatments have a higher chance of success when the teeth and jaws are still developing, orthodontic treatment can also help younger children and adults to improve their smiles and reduce their oral health risks.


Early signs of orthodontic problems usually start to become apparent by the age of seven, by which time many of a child's permanent front teeth have erupted. Early examination gives our orthodontist the chance to detect and evaluate any problems that may be present and to discuss appropriate treatments.

Early orthodontic treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Early treatment may also achieve results that aren't possible once the face and jaws have stopped growing. We can also offer advice about how to stop behaviours that could be damaging your child's teeth, such as thumb sucking.


In most cases, orthodontic treatment begins as soon as the last baby tooth has been shed, usually in the early teens. In some cases, it can be an advantage to start just before the last baby teeth are lost.

If we think your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment, we'll discuss the options with them and with you so you know what to expect and can make an informed decision.


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 is often successful for adults as well. As the facial bones are no longer growing, however, some severe malocclusions may not be corrected with braces alone, and orthodontics may need to be combined with jaw surgery.

However old you are, if you think you or your child might have an orthodontic problem, the best time to see an orthodontist is now. Book a consultation at Sailors Bay Dentistry to find out more about orthodontics on the North Shore. It's never too late to get that perfect smile!

Our Northbridge orthodontics specialists offer a range of different appliances to control tooth movement, depending on your needs and preferences. As well as traditional metal braces, we also offer tooth-coloured ceramic braces, lingual braces and removable Invisalign® aligners that fit over the teeth like a mouthguard.

Metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common form of orthodontic treatment. Metal brackets are fixed to the outside of the teeth, supported by arch wires, bonding materials and elastic ligatures.

Metal braces are suitable for people of all ages and are the best option for correcting more severe bite problems.

Ceramic braces

If you don't like the look of metal braces, we offer tooth-coloured ceramic braces as an alternative.

Ceramic braces are suitable for most teenagers and adults, but they may not be able to correct more severely crooked teeth.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are similar to conventional braces, except the brackets are fixed to the inside of teeth. This means they're hidden from view, which can be appealing if you're worried about getting braces for aesthetic reasons.

Lingual braces aren't suitable for all orthodontic issues. We'll let you know if you're a candidate during your orthodontic assessment.

Invisalign® clear aligners

Invisalign treatment is a more discreet and removable solution for orthodontic treatment. It involves a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom made for your mouth, which shift your teeth into their new position over a period of time.

Invisalign aligners are most effective for minor orthodontic problems and fix-ups, so they may not be a suitable option for everyone.

Read more about Invisalign treatment in Northbridge.

Invisalign® clear aligners

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment normally takes between 18–24 months, but this can vary depending on how severe the issue is. As well as the time it takes to wear braces or aligners, wearing a retainer after your treatment is also important to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their old position.

Your orthodontist in Northbridge will discuss timeframes with you in your initial consultation.

How to look after your braces

Braces are a long term investment, so it's important to look after your oral health while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. This will make sure that, once your treatment ends, your teeth will still be healthy as well as straight.

The two main changes that you might find you need to make when wearing braces are to your oral hygiene routine and the foods that you eat. This doesn't apply for Invisalign aligners, which can be removed when eating and brushing your teeth.

Oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth can be more difficult when you have traditional or lingual braces, as the brackets and wires are extra spaces where bacteria can get trapped. However, it's important to keep your teeth free from bacteria and plaque, as problems such as tooth decay and gum disease can interrupt orthodontic treatment.

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
  • Remove your elastics before you brush your teeth and don't forget to replace them when you're finished
  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes in a set pattern to make sure you don't miss any teeth
  • Brush in small circular motions starting from the gum line, using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle brush
  • When brushing the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use a firm back and forth motion to make sure no food or bacteria is trapped in the grooves
  • Gently brush your braces too, making sure to press firmly enough that the bristles spread into the gaps between the tooth and the wire


It's always important to watch what you eat to make sure you're looking after your dental health, but it's particularly important when you wear braces. There are many foods that can weaken or loosen the brackets or break and bend the wires. Foods to avoid include:

  • Hard and sticky lollies like toffees and caramels
  • Sticky muesli bars and fruit bars
  • Hard fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots
  • Popcorn
  • Bubble gum
  • Hard biscuits and crackers
  • Bad habits like biting your nails, chewing pencils, crunching ice cubes or tongue thrusting can also damage braces

If your braces do come loose or get damaged, don't panic or try to fix them yourself. Make an emergency appointment with our orthodontist and we'll see you as soon as possible.

How much does orthodontics cost?

The cost of braces, Invisalign aligners and other orthodontic appliances depends on the type of treatment you choose and how much straightening is needed. We'll give you all the information you need about treatment costs, health fund options and payment plans during your initial consultation at our North Shore dental clinic.

Orthodontics FAQ

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the straightness of teeth.

If you or your child have crooked, protruding, gapped or otherwise misaligned teeth, your dentist or orthodontist can discuss treatments such as braces and Invisalign™ aligners to help straighten your smile.

Orthodontists are dentists who have completed an additional 3 to 4 years of training and 2 years of clinical experience to be qualified and registered as orthodontic specialists.

While some dentists also provide orthodontic treatments, an orthodontist has the specialist knowledge and experience to help you achieve the best outcome.

Orthodontists are fully qualified dentists who've completed extra training to become orthodontic specialists, so you don't need to arrange a separate appointment with a dentist. Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for an assessment if they think you could benefit from treatment.

Orthodontics can involve a number of treatments, depending on your individual needs.

Our north shore orthodontics service covers:

  • Metal braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Invisalign clear aligners
  • Retainers
  • Plates

Sometimes, dental treatments such as extractions may also be needed to help correct problems such as crowding.

Invisalign treatment is an alternative to braces that uses clear, removable aligners to move the teeth. As with braces, orthodontic experts are the best qualified to diagnose your specific orthodontic issue and to plan and monitor your Invisalign treatment to help you get the best results.

After your assessment with our orthodontist, braces can sometimes be fitted on the same day. This depends on how complex your orthodontic issue is and whether your braces need to be specially made. If your braces need to be delivered, we'll schedule an appointment for your brace fitting as soon as possible.

Teeth always move no matter how old you are. Braces and aligners will improve your bite if you follow your orthodontist's instructions. However, to maintain the correction, you'll need to wear a retainer for life otherwise they could shift back out of alignment.

Braces can be most effective at correcting bites in early adolescence, when a child has all their permanent teeth but their jaw is still developing. However, many older teenagers and adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment, and children's orthodontics can begin as early as age 7.

Everyone's teeth and jaws develop differently, so our north shore orthodontist will recommend the best time for your child's treatment to start.

For more information about orthodontic braces, aligners and other treatments at Sailors Bay Dentistry, call our friendly team on (02) 9958 0400 or use our contact form. We are located near Lane Cove and Chatswood, a short drive away from Mosman on Sydney's North Shore.

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