Common questions about orthodontic treatment
Why should I have orthodontic treatment?
The reasons vary from person to person, but most orthodontic treatment is conducted for health and appearance reasons. By straightening teeth, you can also correct speech difficulties, assist with tooth cleaning, avoid injury if teeth are protruding, and improve your occlusion/bite.
What age should I send my child to an orthodontist?
The Australian Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic assessment when their baby teeth begin to fall out. For preventative measures, at the Straight Smile Centre™, we encourage people to bring their children when they reach the age of 6 or 7. By doing this we find we can prevent a simple problem from developing into a major problem, inevitably resulting in braces or other corrective measures when they become teenagers.
Is it better to have treatment as a teenager?
Some problems are best managed in earlier years to avoid having long and sometimes expensive treatment later on in life. If you think your child or teenager needs orthodontic treatment, you should have them seen to, the earlier the better. Prevention is the best medicine.
Am I too old for treatment?
No-one is too old for orthodontic treatment. At the Straight Smile Centre™, our patients are all ages. If you want straighter teeth come and talk to us about your options. No referral is necessary and technology has come a long way. If you are worried about wearing braces, don’t be. With products like Invisalign aligners, Incognito hidden lingual braces and clear/ceramic braces, nobody will notice you are undergoing treatment.
What is the process when getting braces?
When you come to us wanting to straighten your teeth, your first appointment is free. If you decide to proceed with treatment, records of your teeth are collated and X-rays and impressions are taken. Using this information, our orthodontists will tailor a treatment plan to suit your specific case. Find out more about what you can expect in our treatment process section.
What happens if I don't have orthodontic treatment?
If you suffer from an orthodontic problem, leaving it won't make it go away. In fact, it can get worse over time. An untreated orthodontic problem can potentially lead to hygiene problems as cleaning could get difficult which may lead to decay or gingivitis. It can also lead to digestive and other health issues.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of treatment time depends on a number of variables, from the difficulty/severity of the initial problem to how well you care for your teeth and appliance during treatment. Everyone has different teeth, which is why we create individual treatment plans. The duration of your treatment will be outlined in this document.
Are braces comfortable?
For the most part, yes. However, when you first get your braces you may find they are uncomfortable or tight in your mouth. This feeling generally lasts around 48 hours and will feel like you have food stuck between your teeth. Eating soft food and chewing sugarless gum are a great help and you can take an Aspirin or Panadol if necessary. Your teeth will quickly settle down and return to normal. Sometimes when adjustments are made this soreness is repeated but certainly not at every visit – in fact the less adjustments that are made, the less sore you will be.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic method which uses clear plastic aligners, as opposed to braces, to move teeth into position. Invisalign can be used for both major and minor cases and here at the Straight Smile Centre™, Dr Grant Duncan is the number one provider of Invisalign in Australia. You can find out more about this treatment on our Invisalign page.
What are retainers?
Retainers are small, mouthguard type appliances which are worn after your treatment has finished to ensure your teeth stay in their new position. These retainers are removable but are initially worn full-time for at least the first three months. After that, you only need to wear them at night. Find out more about the importance of retainers on our after treatment page.
Can I still play sport with braces?
Yes, you can still enjoy playing sport. Braces really don't impact on your lifestyle. We will provide you with a mouthguard if you are involved in contact sports to avoid breakages or damage to the braces and your lips and cheeks. You will also be able to play wind musical instruments after a short adjustment period.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral to come to us for treatment. However, it is usual for your dentist to give you a letter of referral to bring with you to your appointment that outlines their concerns.
Do you have payment plans available?
Yes, we offer an extensive range of payment plans. We strive to suit your requirements, however, once the plan has been agreed upon, it is expected that payments be made in accordance with the plan to ensure continuation of treatment.
Got another question?
If you have a question about orthodontics that we haven't answered here, please feel free to contact us or ask your orthodontist at your next visit.