We offer adult and child orthodontics. Our adult treatments are specially tailored to get the most out of your time. We use a number of orthodontic solutions to fit your needs, including adult invisible braces such as Six Month Smiles and clear aligners (eg. Invisalign, Smileline).
If you have a burning question about orthodontics, we have answers to our most frequently asked questions below. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.
In simple terms, teeth straightening! Custom made braces and a gentle but consistent pressure are used to gradually move the teeth into the correct position and keep them there. After your braces are removed, you will likely need to wear a retainer during the night to maintain your lovely new smile.
Orthodontic treatment not only improves the appearance of your teeth but helps to improve the health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints. By spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth and getting rid of difficult to clean areas caused by crooked teeth, it's much easier to care for your teeth and mouth.
When the teeth don't meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joint problems and sometimes headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.
The best time is generally during childhood, but adults can have orthodontic treatment too - and more and more are opting for treatment. Age is less important than having the right number of teeth. However, in children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment.
We also offer short term, adult orthodontic treatment for those wanting to make smaller straightening improvements to their smile.
Our dentists are trained to carry out short term adult orthodontics. After attending an Orthodontic consultation, we will be able to assess if you are suitable for short term teeth straightening before you decide to proceed.
For child orthodontics or for longer term adult orthodontic treatment, we use a special team of specialist dentists with extra qualifications in orthodontics and who visit our practices on a regional basis.
The most important part of your treatment is the initial assessment and examination. This will involve looking at your teeth, taking x-rays and making plaster models of the teeth.
We will then discuss with you what treatment is possible. Once you are sure you want to go ahead, the treatment can start (or in the case of a child, as soon as they have enough permanent teeth).
This depends on your teeth. You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth. If so, you may need to have some removed to make space. We will let you know before treatment starts if this is the case.
A removable brace is a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned. It has delicate wires and springs attached, which move the teeth using gentle pressure.
A functional brace works by using the power of your jaw muscles and can help with more specific mouth and jaw alignment problems.
A fixed brace is likely the most familiar image to our patients. These braces have brackets and bands which are temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be moved. You can't take these braces out yourself, so it is called a fixed brace. Fixed braces are not always made of metal. Plastic and ceramic can be used, especially for adults.
Invisible braces are tough, clear plastic moulds, known as 'aligners'. Several sets of specially moulded, slightly different aligners are made for each patient. Each set is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next one. They are made from clear plastic, so they are nearly invisible. Nobody needs to know you're straightening your teeth.
The aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours a day for the best results. They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and for cleaning in between your teeth. You need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.
The length of treatment depends on how severe the problem is, and it may take anything from a few months (as in our short term adult teeth straightening) to several years. A majority of our patients are treated in one to two years.
When treatment is finished your teeth need to be held in position for a time. This is called the ‘retention’ period, and you use special retainers to do this.
The retainers hold newly straightened teeth in position while the surrounding gum and bone settles. The retainers can be removable or fixed, depending on the severity of the original problem.
We will advise you when to wear these and for how long.
Normally every four to six weeks, as your braces will need adjusting.
Your teeth may feel uncomfortable immediately after a brace has been adjusted, but this will settle. If the problem doesn't go away or the pain increases, let us know and we may be able to carry out adjustments to help.
The treatment in itself will not cause damage, but poor cleaning and too many sugary foods and drinks can cause damage during your treatment.
Brackets, wires and braces can trap food and cause more plaque than usual to build up. So you need to clean your teeth and braces very thoroughly.
It's important that your dentist checks your teeth regularly during the treatment to ensure you are managing to clean your teeth and brace effectively. Our dentists can help you manage this new experience to help you get the best results for your smile.