At Smile Design Orthodontics we use removable overlay retainers (like a very thin, clear mouthguard), and fixed retainers which are a flat ribbon-shaped wire bonded behind the six front teeth. The type of retainer, or combination of retainers, will depend on your individual circumstances such as your pre-treatment malocclusion (orthodontic problem) and even personal preference. Both upper and lower teeth require retention – everything about us will change as we get older, including our teeth unless we retain them.
The most important care for your teeth, particularly when braces are fitted, is regular, thorough brushing. Ideally you should brush after each meal and snack, which realistically is not always possible. So at least brush three times every day – after breakfast, after lunch or when you get home in the afternoon/evening and after dinner. You will be given instruction on brushing when braces are fitted, we monitor oral hygiene at every appointment and we will assist with further instruction if oral hygiene problems arise during your treatment. Vigorous rinsing and gently chewing sugar-free gum can at least reduce food residue from braces when brushing is not accessible but won’t substitute for thorough brushing.
Take care when eating so you avoid breakages which can cause discomfort and slow treatment progress. If a breakage occurs, please phone to let us know the nature of the problem so that we can schedule the appropriate time to repair your braces. This also applies for broken or bent wires. We avoid repairing braces during the busy (short appointments) after-school sessions.
There is very little restriction on diet other than avoiding hard, crunchy foods such as nuts, hard biscuits, raw carrots and avoid crunching ice. Also avoid altogether any sticky hard lollies such as minties, fantails, toffees and some muesli bars are too sticky and hard. We can’t give you a list that would cover everything, it’s more a matter of common sense and being aware to take care of your braces.
Your teeth will not be sore during or immediately after placement of braces and you can eat right after that appointment. However, some teeth will become tender when biting or chewing as the teeth respond to the light pressure of the braces and start to align. This initial discomfort lasts only for the first few days, sometimes a week, when eating softer foods for comfort is advisable. Anti-inflammatory pain relief tablets, taken as directed, can also help. Although your teeth are tender for the first few days following commencement of treatment and sometimes after adjustents, they continue aligning progressively over the duration of treatment.
We are highly focussed on making your entire experience at Smile Design Orthodontics as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, which includes using particular braces and the appliances we design specifically for your treatment to achieve the very best result with minimum discomfort and mouth irritation. Although we intentionally choose to use braces that are small yet functionally efficient to achieve optimum results, mouth ulcers are not common but can be relieved using the orthodontic wax we provide as your mouth adjusts during the first few days of treatment.
Although at first it may seem otherwise, braces do not interfere with speech. Some appliances used in conjunction with braces, particularly expanders, will initially feel awkward when speaking and swallowing but your tongue will adapt after a short period of time.
Placement of braces is usually a painless procedure – the braces are bonded to the surface of your teeth, no drilling or injections. You can eat straight after placement of braces, however later that same day your teeth may become tender as they start to move which can last a few days, but is easily managed by eating softer foods, chewing sugar free gum or by taking over the counter pain relief tablets (please follow directions carefully).
At Smile Design Orthodontics we are philosophically committed to avoiding removal of teeth, although in rare cases there can be exceptions. We can explain in detail how our treatment techniques and timing of orthodontic treatment will avoid removal of teeth.
Adjustment intervals following placement of braces can vary from 4 to 6 weeks for repeated procedures involved in space closure and eruption of impacted teeth, to longer 8 to 10 week intervals for routine procedures such as wire changes. The latest wire and bracket technologies that we use at Smile Design Orthodontics allow fewer adjustments and greater comfort while achieving optimum results over shorter treatment times.
At Smile Design Orthodontics we not only offer alternative treatment to braces, we also offer different types of braces to suit your individual needs and preferences. We have extensive experience treating orthodontic problems using Invisalign as an alternative to braces. Our hi-tech braces include Clear (tooth coloured) braces, Damon self-ligating braces, and Harmony self-ligating lingual braces which are custom made to fit on the inside of your teeth. We also use combination techniques where both Invisalign and braces are used during the same treatment process to take advantage of the best features of both appliances.
There are several factors that determine the cost of orthodontic treatment including whether one or both arches are involved, the estimated treatment duration and the appliances used which can also involve the type of braces.
Your Treatment Co-ordinator will provide you with an itemised written quotation at the initial consultation for any proposed treatment. Payments can be made by initial instalment followed by monthly payments over the course of treatment and will cover all aspects of your treatment including post-treatment retention supervision. If you are in a private health fund you will be able to claim rebate entitlements and because Smile Design Orthodontics is a specialist orthodontic practice, your rebates will be paid to you at your highest possible rate which can vary according to conditions specified by your health fund.
Treatment duration depends on many variables, particularly severity of the orthodontic problem, your particular treatment priorities, compliance and care for appliances. Although only an estimate, we will be able to give you a reasonable indication of treatment duration.