Orthodontics

Orthodontics is when the teeth are straightened or moved in order to improve the appearance of your smile by correcting the alignment of your teeth and the way you bite together. An incorrect bite can lead to long term dental problems and even jaw and head pain. By straightening the teeth, you also help to prevent tooth decay and gum diseases as straighter teeth are easier to clean.

Orthodontic braces are either fixed or removable

  • Fixed braces consist of brackets and bands which are cemented (glued) to your teeth which hold flexible wires in place. In turn, these wires exert pressure on your teeth gently moving them into their correct position over the course of your treatment.
  • Removable orthodontic plates can be taken in and out of the mouth. It has delicate wires and springs attached which move the teeth using gentle pressure. These are used for less complex cases or in conjunction with fixed Braces as part of a combined treatment.

How does the treatment start?

At the first appointment Dr. Goon will discuss with you what you would like to achieve from the orthodontic treatment. You will have an oral assessment done then Dr.Goon will discuss your treatment options. You will be given a referral to have a large x-ray done which shows the whole mouth and skeletal structure. We will send you a proposed treatment plan in the mail with costings, time frame and treatment involved. From here it is entirely up to you if you would like to proceed further. We are happy to answer any questions you may have over the phone or by second consultation with the dentist.

 

How long does the treatment take?

It usually takes between 18-24 months but will vary according to how complex the case is. We will provide you with a time frame at the beginning of the treatment; however breakages of the brace will add time to the treatment. Some minor corrections can be done with just orthodontic plates however most treatment required is full fixed braces.

Fitting Of Braces

Firstly we take pre treatment dental moulds and photos of your mouth. We take these as a guide of how the treatment is coming along and patients love to see the changes taking place.

The next appointment is for roughly 1 hour. The molar bands, brackets and wires will be put in place. You may find that for the first couple of days your teeth may feel tender to bite and your jaw aches. This is completely normal and will subside after a few days. Eating soft foods and taking some pain relief such as Paracetamol will help to reduce the discomfort. 

You will now need to see your Orthodontist every six to eight weeks to have the bands and wires changed, tightened. If you have had your wire changed, you may feel a little discomfort later in the day which is a normal. Same rules apply with soft food and pain relief if needed.

You still require regular six month check-ups with your dentist to ensure your gums and teeth are healthy.

Looking after your Braces

You will be able to eat most of the foods you were eating before, but more care will need to be taken not to disclodge and break a bracket. There are some foods and drinks that can damage your teeth whilst wearing braces. These are-

  • Toffees (should really be avoided all together whilst braces are on)
  • Coca Cola and other fizzy drinks (can leave pernament white marks on teeth)
  • Chewy sweets, like Mars bars, starburst, chewing gum (these will stick to the braces)
  • Hard foods, like crusty bread, apples and carrots (should be sliced up instead of biting whole) 

Also think twice before opening bottles with your teeth, biting pen tops or chewing your finger nails as these can also damage your braces.

It is very important that your oral hygiene is excellent as cleaning your teeth is much more difficult with braces in place. Brushing your teeth after every snack and meal throughout the day will reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. In addition, take longer brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. Ask your Orthodontist which is the best type of tooth brush for cleaning braces. If you do not look after your teeth during your treatment they can become permanently stained.

After your treatment is complete

Your braces will be removed and your teeth cleaned and polished to remove any remaining cement. Your treatment is not over as the teeth need to be held in position while the surrounding gum and bone settles. This period is called retention and the appliance that holds the teeth are called retainers, which are either fixed or removable. Depending on the type of retainers, Impressions may to be taken in order for the retainers to be made at the dental laboratory. You will then return a week later to collect your retainers.

"Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner."