Early intervention usually aims to intercept a developing problem and normalise the growth environment to allow for better future growth. It also can reduce the need or simplify any future orthodontic treatment.
Some of the benefits include:
Normalising the growth environment for both the teeth and soft tissue such as the lips and tongue.
Preventing abnormal wear tooth wear on the adult teeth.
Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favourable position, preserve space for the permanent teeth and reduce the likelihood of damage to protruded front teeth. In addition, early treatment may shorten comprehensive orthodontic treatment time, making treatment simpler and in some cases eliminating the need for extraction of permanent teeth.
The orthodontists will only consider extraction if it is necessary for the success of the treatment. For certain orthodontic cases, tooth extraction may be necessary to achieve the best result.
The orthodontist will consider all options before recommending an extraction, and it will only be done if absolutely necessary.
Modern orthodontic techniques and advancements have made it possible to achieve a healthy smile without tooth extraction. Your orthodontist will evaluate your individual case and recommend the best treatment plan for you.
The duration of treatment can vary based on several factors, including the development of the dentition, the severity of the orthodontic problem, the patient's cooperation, and the extent of the teeth movement required.
Typically, orthodontic treatment is between 12– 24 months, although in rare cases, treatment may need to be extended beyond this timeframe. The length of treatment can be influenced by the individual case and how quickly the teeth respond to the orthodontic force.
Patients need to be compliant with the orthodontic treatment plan and follow the orthodontist's instructions to achieve the best possible outcome in the shortest amount of time. Regular check-ups are also important to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to the braces or wires.
This is the time when much of the development of the face occurs. Treatment during this period allows the orthodontist to favourably influence the facial profile in a growing child. Once growth of the facial bones is complete, correction of skeletal discrepancies usually requires surgery.
If in doubt go see an orthodontist for a professional opinion. This will make you feel more comfortable and informed. An early opinion can avoid or alleviate complex problems that may worsen over time.
Age is not a factor and there are a range of different appliances available for treatment. In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment. At our practices we pride ourselves on having a large percentage of adult patients. In fact, 40% of our patients are adults.
Many adults are receiving orthodontic care that was not available to them as children. They realise that improving the health of their mouths and the attractiveness of their smiles and facial appearances can result in a change for the better in their personal, social, and professional lives. Technical advances have also had a positive influence on adult orthodontic treatment.
In recent years, orthodontic treatment has advanced significantly, particularly with 3D planning and digital printing technologies. These advancements have made braces and other orthodontic appliances much more comfortable for patients.
After braces are placed, an adjustment period is typically necessary. During this period, the patient may experience some discomfort, soreness, and difficulty speaking or eating. This is normal and to be expected, as the braces and wires are actively moving teeth into the desired position.
The length of the adjustment period can vary depending on the individual case and the type of braces used. Typically, the initial discomfort and soreness will subside after a few days, and the patient will gradually become accustomed to wearing the braces. The discomfort is not typically considered painful and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any discomfort experienced.
It's important for patients to follow their orthodontist's instructions during the adjustment period, including any dietary restrictions and proper oral hygiene practices.
The answer is, no. Getting your braces on is not painful. Any minor discomfort you may experience initially usually subsides once you get used to having them on. It is normal to feel low-grade tenderness or pressure after an orthodontic adjustment or a wire change, and this will go away after a few days. If you’re using Invisalign or Clear Aligners, you may also feel some discomfort after you change to the next set of aligners, because your teeth will need to adjust to the new position and pressure of the orthodontic appliance. However, there are things you can do to help manage and discomfort in the meantime, including:
Over-the-counter pain relief
Panadol or Nurofen will help with any discomfort following an orthodontic procedure. Make sure you read the instructions on the medicine and follow the dosage instructions carefully. This medicine isn’t meant to be used on a consistent basis, so if you are still feeling pain and discomfort after a few days, contact us immediately.
Sticking to a soft food diet such as soup, rice, and smoothies will help with any discomfort as you are not putting too much pressure on your teeth. Remember to avoid hard sticky foods as it can damage your appliances and cause pain and pressure to sensitive teeth.
This is a special wax that helps protects the inside of your lips, cheeks, and gums from the brackets of the braces. The wax creates a barrier that keeps the sharp ends of the brackets from irritating your mouth.
If you find a particular area causing discomfort, apply wax in 3 simple steps to help alleviate the irritated area on the gums, lips or cheek.
Dry the area
Pinch a small piece of wax
Roll into a ball and press over the braces very gently
Orthodontic wax is nontoxic, so it’s not harmful if accidentally swallowed. Reapply the wax after brushing your teeth and after meals as required.
Gargling with warm salt water 2- 3 times a day helps reduce any gum inflammation and heal any sores or irritation you might have in your mouth and on your gums from the braces.
It’s uncommon for patients to have an orthodontic emergency. However, problems can occur which can sometimes be concerning, and we want our patients to understand the difference between what is normal and what isn’t. It’s also important to understand how to temporarily resolve them, until we can schedule your next visit to the office.
Occasionally, during orthodontic treatment wires can become loose and poke against your cheek or gum. If this occurs, you can try and turn the wire in using tweezers or clip the end of the wire using small nail clippers to alleviate the pain and place some wax around the area for extra comfort.
When you first begin orthodontic treatment, you can expect some initial discomfort to the lips, check or tongue as the mouth learns to adjust to having braces or an appliance in the area. Warm saltwater rinses can help alleviate pain and discomfort from mouth sores, orthodontic procedures and helps to soothe irritated gum tissue. Orthodontic wax and over-the-counter pain relief medication can also be used if required.
Loose Bracket or Appliance
If your appliance becomes loose, call our office for an appointment. If a bracket becomes loose but still attached to a wire, leave it in place and apply wax if there is discomfort. If a bracket comes completely out, keep it and call us for an appointment.
Accidents involving teeth
Contact your general dentist immediately and seek treatment as quickly as possible. When a tooth is knocked, fractured, loose or displaced, the faster you see a dentist, the greater chance the tooth can be save. Once the injury has been dealt with, contact us so we can repair the damage made to your braces.
Please remember:If you are involved in contact sports, a regular mouth guard can be fitted over your braces for added protection.
Mouthguards cushion blows to the mouth and protect the lips, cheeks, tongue and teeth. Additionally, they may also help reduce the chances of sustaining a jaw fracture or injury to the TMJ and can offer protection against concussions. So, make sure you or your child ask for a mouldable mouthguard during treatment and are fitted for a permanent mouthguard post-treatment.
If a bracket breaks or comes loose during orthodontic treatment, save the broken piece if possible and call our office to schedule an appointment.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to manage the situation such as the use orthodontic wax if the loose or broken bracket is causing discomfort or irritation, to prevent it from poking your cheek or gums and avoid eating any hard and sticky foods.
If you have a broken orthodontic chain, it is important to call our office to schedule an appointment to have it fixed. This is particularly important if you are nearing the end of treatment, as spaces may open up which can delay the removal of your braces.
During orthodontic treatment, extra attention must be paid to your diet. Its important to take care of you braces and orthodontic appliances in your mouth as breakages or any damage to the appliances can delay your orthodontic treatment.
There are certain foods that should be avoided while in treatment such as sticky and hard foods such as lollies, toffee, nuts and popcorn.
Do not bite directly into hard foods like apples and carrots. Also, avoid high in sugar and acidic drinks.
These can damage your teeth, brackets and wires, prolonging treatment, and cause discomfort.