FAQs

Orthodontic Frequently Asked Questions South Yarra

We understand that finding the right orthodontic treatment can be a complicated and daunting task, so we have tried to simplify your exploration with our frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions that are not answered here, feel free to contact one of our team members who will be able to help you!

It is quite common for there to be pain or discomfort after getting braces adjusted. For most people, the pain goes away after a day or two. A certain kind of sensitivity is experienced in the gums and teeth, especially when trying to eat hard or sticky foods, it is best to eat foods that don’t require much chewing such as soup or yoghurt. Cold can help to alleviate some discomfort, which is a brilliant excuse to grab some frozen yoghurt or some iced tea.

Some people are allergic to certain metals such as nickel. Patients are also able to be allergic to the latex gloves that the orthodontist and assistants use. Braces can also irritate your child’s gums that can cause swelling; this is not an allergic reaction but something parents should look out for.

The length of treatment varies and the team at South Yarra Orthodontics will advise you on the best length of time for your case. It all depends on the severity of the problem, how your child cooperates and your child’s growth. Typically most children wear braces from 18-36 months.

The term ‘invisible braces’ isn’t something that should be taken literally but is used to describe a range of orthodontic treatment that is significantly hidden from view or against the backdrop of one’s teeth. Lingual braces are an example of this and so are clear braces and clear removable aligners such as Invisalign. Of the three, lingual or Incognito braces are arguably the most discreet because of the fact that they are attached to the back of your teeth and thus less likely to be seen. Invisalign clear aligners are also just about imperceptible but are still fitted to all sides of your teeth.

When making the calculations about how long your orthodontic treatment will take, it is notoriously difficult to do so accurately given the fact that your smile is as unique as you are and thus every patient will have a treatment befitting of your situation. It sounds simple enough to say, but the more complex your treatment plan, the longer it will take to implement effectively and to give you the results you desire. On average, though, you can expect your orthodontic treatment to be completed within 12-18 months and if your needs are purely cosmetic then your treatment time could be even shorter than that.

A lot of patients are concerned with whether or not having braces fitted will affect their speech and the answer is that it might do. This, however, is very rarely a permanent problem and patients that do experience problems with speech usually only do so in the first few weeks of treatment whether that be with braces or even clear removable aligners. Once your mouth adjusts to the amount of space it has to work with and your tongue learns its way around, you will have fully adapted to your orthodontic treatment and able to speak normally. In fact, we recommend that your best way of returning to your normal speech pattern is to just keep speaking the same way you always have.

An orthodontist is the most qualified dental specialist that is able to diagnose, prevent and treat all concerns related to your teeth and jaws.  First, they must become a general dentist and complete at least two years of clinical experience. They must complete a further three-year full-time Masters or Doctorate degree in Orthodontics to specialise in their field.

This extensive training and experience makes them experts in the complex matters of teeth and bite alignment and health.

The Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) recommends that the first visit to your Orthodontist occurs at around the ages of 7-10, or usually when the child has a combination of adult and child teeth.  Treatment is often not needed at such a young age, though it is important that this is determined professionally.

The initial examination will allow your Orthodontist to assess the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws and can prevent or minimise future problems from occurring and future orthodontic treatment.

No, a referral is not necessary to see an Orthodontist.  However, a referral from your General Dentist or other Medical Specialist is always welcome as they may have specific concerns, which need to be addressed.

Crowded and skew teeth are difficult to maintain and clean. These irregularities may lead to tooth conditions such as tooth decay and potentially gum disease and tooth loss. Other orthodontic issues may lead to unusual wear on the teeth, difficulty chewing properly, unnecessary stress on bone and gums that support the teeth. This may lead to further issues such as misaligned jaws, which may result in persistent headaches or soreness in the face and neck.

If orthodontic issues are left untreated they often persist and worsen. Specialist care and treatment is often cheaper early on than the supplementary care necessary to maintain the improvements made. Moreover, if left untreated the costlier it would be to get a more serious or complicated procedure done.

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the treatment, which will be undertaken.  At your initial consultation, your orthodontist will undertake a thorough assessment of your mouth and jaw to determine the extent of the treatment required. Cost and payment plans can then be discussed, as well as the expected treatment time and results.

Yes, here at South Yarra Orthodontics we offer our patients flexible payment plan solutions to suit most family monthly budgets.

To learn more about our payments, call our friendly team today. 

Orthodontic treatment is a specific dental specialty that involves correcting malocclusion, which is the misalignment of a bite or incorrect spacing between the teeth. Invisalign works to move your teeth into their correct positions with the help of almost invisible BPS-free plastic aligners.

Explore our Invisalign page to learn more.

No one is too old to benefit from orthodontics. Ideally, braces should be fitted between the ages of 7 and 14 years old. This is because the jawbones haven’t stopped growing yet and are much easier to manipulate. Adults can receive braces at a later age, however treatment may take a little longer.

Today, one in five orthodontic patients are adults.

After you have your braces placed, it may take a little while to get used to them. Sometimes the braces may irritate which can cause some discomfort on the inside of the mouth from the edges of the wires, brackets and bands. Orthodontic wax can act as a buffer to relive this discomfort. The wax is a clear, semi hard material usually made of paraffin, bees wax or carnauba and it’s also non-toxic, so there’s no need to worry if you swallow it accidentally.

Using the wax in combination with a salt-water rinse can help to prevent further irritation and manage this discomfort.

Surgical orthodontics is used to treat a number of orthodontic concerns which include:

  • A misaligned bite
  • Jaw malformations
  • Severe malocclusion
  • Other aesthetic concerns

The best way to know for sure if you need surgical intervention is to book in for a consultation with our experienced team today.

The device itself will not make you lose weight but your diet choices could. Once you get your braces fitted, there are certain foods you should stay away from – namely hard foods. You may also find it difficult to chew during the first few days after having your wires tightened in which you should follow a soft food diet. Generally, braces require that you do not eat hard foods and that certain foods, like fruit, be cut into smaller pieces. This does not mean that you will lose weight.

You will only have bad breath if you have a pre-existing condition or if you do not follow a good oral care routine. Braces make it easier for food particles to get stuck in your teeth, thus increasing your chances of bacterial build-up and bad breath. However, brushing after every meal, using a good mouthwash and flossing once a day, should ensure that your mouth is clean and fresh.

There is a chance that your teeth may be discoloured but this will not be as a result of the orthodontic treatment. Braces alone don’t actually cause stains, but it’s the plaque that forms in areas you can’t easily reach while wearing braces that can result in discolouration.

Although Invisalign is different in the sense that you don’t have to spend copious amounts of time in your orthodontist’s chair to have wires and brackets adjusted, you will need to visit your dentist or orthodontist just as regularly to have your aligners checked. In order to guarantee that your treatment is going to plan, we recommend that you visit us every 4 to 6 weeks. At these appointments, you will not only have a check-up but may also receive a new batch of your aligners. If you have any questions regarding your treatment, we will be more than happy to help in any way we can.

Minor discomfort has been experienced by some patients for the first couple of days when they have new aligners inserted. It is possible to expect this at each new phase of treatment but it is temporary, and not experienced by all. It is unusual to feel this way and the feeling has been described to be one of pressure on the teeth and gums (which is to be expected). If you experience this feeling then you know that your aligners are doing what they are supposed to do, which is moderately adjusting your teeth into the final position you wish to achieve.

Even though Invisalign was primarily created for adults, due to its success, a new range of aligners were designed called Invisalign Teen. These have added features that make it an ideal option for teenagers who need orthodontic treatment to correct their teeth. Some of the extra features of Invisalign teen include ‘power ridges’ (to help roots grow into the correct spaces), additional sets of aligners in case they are damaged or misplaced, and added means to keep them on track with their aligners. Like its predecessor Invisalign, it is preferable due to it being more discreet, more comfortable and easier to clean for adolescents.

In a way yes, it is. Both brushes are good at cleaning and recommended by dental professionals. The advantage of the electronic tooth brush is that its bristles move in a way that cleans deep into your gums and in places that your manual tooth brush might not be able to reach. It’s also not harsh on the gums, which helps if you have sensitive gums.

This has become a popular treatment for most people who wish to have their teeth straightened without it being visible but what are some of the side effects to consider when deciding on this treatment? The side effects are mild but are something to consider as you weigh in on making a decision.

You may experience discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the new aligners in your mouth, even though they are flatter and smoother than traditional braces. This doesn’t last long as over time your mouth adjusts to the new aligners.

These two professionals are similar in what they do. A dentist can perform treatments like fillings, crowns, sealants, root canals, bridges and general gum care. Dental or oral surgeons perform surgeries like soft tissue removals, implant alignment, removal of tumours, complex tooth removals that might include the bone and wisdom tooth removal. While the two can sometimes overlap, your dentist might refer you to an oral surgeon if there is a treatment you need that they could facilitate. If you’re unsure on which dental professional you need to see, contact us and we can explain further.

Whitening your teeth whilst having braces on is possible; most people wait until after their braces have been removed to have their teeth whitened. There are certain limitations and contraindications when it comes to teeth whitening and so it is best to consult your orthodontist at South Yarra Orthodontics about what route is best for you to take.

A useful rule of thumb when it comes to dental check-ups is usually every six months. The frequency of dental visits should be based upon a person’s oral hygiene, habits and medical conditions. Asking your dentist about the recommended time between visits for you will ensure that your dental health stays in top-notch condition.