faqs & hints

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1/ Initial assement
2/ Braces
3/ Invisalign
4/ Dental care and helpful hints during treatment
5/ Emergencies

Do I require a referral from my dentist?

No. We do promote oral health, and we recommend that your teeth and gums are healthy prior to commencing any orthodontic treatment.  To help maintain your oral health, we recommend regular visits to your dentist.
If you have not seen a dentist in some time, we can help recommend a dentist in your local area to visit.

What is the best age for an initial assessment?

Usually orthodontic problems start to be noticed more commonly when the adult teeth start to erupt after age 6. 
At this age a parent or your dentist may notice a problem developing and like to have an assessment, so around age 7 is the best time for an early assessment.

Although treatment may be reended at the time of the early assessment or at a later age, an early assessment allows for early detection of problems that may require simpler early interceptive treatments to be planned.

Also, an early assessment can allow the orthodontist to discuss your individual child’s needs and the optimal timing for any follow-up reviews or treatment.

What is the best age for treatment?

The answer to this question will not be the same for any two people, that is, the best age is determined purely on an individual basis. Different orthodontic problems are best treated at different ages usually dependent on the timing of individual growth and development.    

What steps are involved with orthodontic treatment?

Your first step is to have an assessment to understand your concerns and determine the nature of any orthodontic condition.

We will obtain information from you and may recommend photos be taken to show the position of your teeth as they currently are positioned, Xray evaluation and impressions of your teeth. 

We will guide you through the various steps to placing any braces, as well as providing helpful information and tips for looking after your teeth.

What happens at the first visit?

At your appointment we will discuss:

What your concerns are.

The nature of any orthodontic problem.

What treatment can correct the problem.

When is the best time to start treatment and an estimated treatment length.

How to make repayments affordable.

What are orthodontic records?

To achieve a full diagnosis and treatment plan then study models (moulds), computer analysis of the X-rays, and orthodontic facial and teeth photographs are required.

A further appointment (which is included in your consultation fee) is sometimes necessary to explain the problems
with the aid of these records.

Tell me about orthodontic fees?

Orthodontic fees generally will vary according to the severity of the problem, the time taken to complete treatment, the type of braces that you choose to have, alternative treatments. e.g., Invisalign.

We offer a range of payment options to help make the treatment repayments affordable for your budget. 

Our daily goal remains the same... the highest quality service at the most reasonable price, to provide professional care in a friendly environment, and to enjoy what we do!

Health Fund Rebates?

All funds vary regarding eligibility for orthodontic treatment. Please check with your fund your annual limit and lifetime limit.
We can help assist you by providing a written quote for treamtent.

Am I eligible for a tax rebate with orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can be added to your annual out of pocket tax deductable medical expenses over a certain threshold.
Keep all your receipts and please check with your accountant your eligibility and current threshold levels.

Can I have after school appointments?

We understand that most people have busy schedules, whether for work or school. 

Our appointment schedule is designed to achieve to following goals:

-   See you on time.

-   Have adequate time for the necessary treatment.

-   Give you information about your treatment.

-   Answer any questions.

-   Work with you around school and work time.

Some visits during treatment are shorter and some are necessarily longer. Shorter appointments are scheduled for before and after schools hours, and longer appointments during school hours this aims to accommodate as many families as possible for the popular out of school hours.

BRACES

Do braces hurt?

They do not hurt to place.  Mostly patients experience some discomfort about 6 hours after braces are fitted and can last for 2 to 3 days, t
his is due to the mild pressure the braces apply to your teeth and can be managed with eating soft foods and analgesics as prescribed if necessary.

Will it hurt when the braces are fitted?

No. You may feel some discomfort but you will not need an anaesthetic. Fitting braces involves using a special tooth glue to bond the braces to your teeth, and we will endeavour to make you as comfortable as possible and guide you through.

Will it hurt to have braces tightened?

Some post adjustment tenderness can be expected and will vary with each patient. Again, soft foods and analgesics as prescribed will help.

How long will treatment last?

This will vary depending on your individual needs.  The time is influenced by the severity and your age, and can vary for a few months for simple alignment of one or a few teeth, up to 30 months for older patients and complex needs.  We will give you an estimated treatment time, but on average is about 18 months when all the teeth need aligning.

Can I eat normally?

You can enjoy most foods with some restrictions to be aware of and some foods best avoided, e.g., sticky or hard foods like lollies, hard cereals (soften with milk), hard bread crusts, nuts.  Also frequent intake of sugar in food or drinks may increase your risk of tooth decay.   

Playing sports – can I wear a mouthguard while wearing braces?

Yes – you should always wear a mouthguard for sports, including non-contact sports e.g., Basketball, Soccer, Netball. 
Moulded (impression) mouthguards offer better protection and are easily fitted over the braces. 

Do wisdom teeth push on front teeth and make them go crooked?

The general weight of the scientific literature generally does not recommend the removal of wisdom teeth prior to orthodontic treatment to prevent post-orthodontic tooth movement.

If you would like more information please click on this link:

www.aso.org.au/docs/orthodontics/wisdom_teeth.htm

INVISALIGN

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a series of customised clear plastic aligners that help straighten your teeth.
www.invislaign.com.au

Is Invisalign right for me?

Invialigned can be used for numerous orthodontic treatments and we recommend you contact us to see if you qualify.

Why use Invislaign?

The benenfits are the aligners are:

Clear – when worn they are virtually invisible.

Removable - meaning no restrictions with foods, and can aid cleaning.

How will my teeth look when the treatment is finished?

Invisalign can show you the finished result before treatment starts with a virtual treatment plan.

DENTAL CARE & HELPFUL HINTS DURING TREATMENT

Keys to success

Orthodontic treatment is a cooperative effort. We want to do everything possible to help you to be successful with your treatment.  You will have greatest chance of success by following the directions of Dr Cameron to the best of your ability. 

If you are having difficulty with any aspect of your treatment or understanding instructions, please ask for more explanation.

As orthodontic treatment requires you to wear various appliances on your teeth, there are certain responsibilities that you must undertake to ensure that your mouth is kept in excellent health and your appliances are not damaged.

Maintenance of excellent oral hygiene – through regular tooth brushing, flossing, & use of Fluoride toothpaste & mouthrinses.

Following some modifications with your diet.

Wearing elastics and ‘plates’ as required.

Keep all your appointments.

Continue to visit your dentist 6 monthly for check-ups.

Keep us informed of personal detail, medical/dental history changes

Oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene daily is your best chance for a healthy mouth. Why wait for tooth decay and gum disease to happen, when with some simple

PREVENTING TOOTH DECAY

What causes tooth decay?   

Sugary Diet + Dental Plaque

Acid Attack + Susceptible Tooth = Tooth Decay

Plaque is a sticky thin film of bacteria (germs) that is constantly building up on your teeth.  Plaque bacteria make acids from the sugars you eat. These acids attack tooth enamel causing a cavity to form which bacteria invade.

Tooth Decay Prevention Strategies therefore involve:

1. Limit or reduce frequency of dietary sugar intake.

2. Remove plaque daily via toothbrushing, flossing & aAnti-plaque mouthrinses, e.g., Savacol, Listerine

3. Strengthen tooth resistance via Fluoride toothpaste and mouthrinses.

PREVENTING GUM DISEASE

What causes gum disease? The plaque bacteria also have the ability to produce toxins (poisons) and when left on the teeth the plaque will cause swollen, puffy gums. This condition is called ginigivitis or gum disease, and will occur if you do not brush your teeth properly.

TOOTH BRUSHING

Your aim when brushing your teeth is to remove all plaque and food debris from your teeth and appliances.  To brush successfully you must have:

1. Small Soft Toothbrush. To Allow Access To Difficult Areas Without Damaging Gum Margins. Brushes Will Need Changing Frequently (Every 2-3 Months)
as They Tend To Wear Out More Rapidly When You Have Braces On Your Teeth.

2. Fluoride Toothpaste. The Fluoride In Toothpaste Helps To Keep The Tooth Enamel Strong And More Resistant To Decay.

3. Tie. It Is A Good Idea To Use An Egg Timer To Make Sure You Spend The Required Time Of 3 – 5 Minutes Twice Per Day (Morning And Night) Needed To Remove Plaque Properly.

4. Disclosing Tablets. These Should Be Used Regularly To Check How Effectively You Are Removing Plaque. You Must Check In The Mirror That Your Teeth And Gums Look Clean And That Your Braces Are Shiny.

5. Toothbrushing Technique. Clean The Lower Teeth First, Then The Upper Teeth, Taking Care That No Teeth Are Missed.  Be Sure To Brush All Surfaces Of Your Teeth I.E.: The Outside (Next To Your Cheek), The Inside (Next To Your Tongue) And The Biting Surface (On Top).  A 45º Angle From Above And Below Is Needed To Get Under The Wires And Brackets.  By Massaging The Gums, You Will Reach The Base Of The Teeth.    


Brushing must be done in the mornings AND the evenings before you go to bed. If possible, brush after the midday meal as well. We suggest that you take a toothbrush to work or school, and brush with a wet brush, after eating your lunch (it doesn’t even matter if you don’t have toothpaste on you, as long as you are removing the bits of food caught on your braces).

FLOSSING

If you do not floss, then you are leaving up to 40% of your tooth surfaces untouched, therefore plaque is not removed.

To floss around braces, choose a “threading floss”, e.g., Oral B Superfloss, with a stiffened end that threads under the wire or between the teeth.  Grip the floss between the thumb and index fingers, curve the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape and gently scrape the floss up and down against each tooth.  You can go under the gumline, but not too far as you may cut your gum.

DIET!

Two areas of concern with diet are:


1.Tooth Decay.

2. Damage to braces.

Regular eating of sugary foods (and drinks!), will cause decay.

Sugary foods can also cause white marks on the tooth surfaces. These marks, which is permanent will become obvious when your appliances are removed. They are called decalcification spots, and indicate that the tooth enamel has been weakened by acid attack and can lead to tooth decay.

Damage to Braces.
Certain types of food will damage orthodontic appliances. HARD, CRUNCHY, or STICKY FOODS will bend archwires and break brackets off the teeth.

Fruits and vegetables: care must be taken when eating fruits and raw vegetables such as apples, celery and carrot. These must be sliced, cut into small pieces or grated and eaten on your back teeth instead of biting them off with your front teeth. With stone fruit, make sure you remove the pip before eating the fruit.

Meats: grilled meats and steaks will be managed more easily if eaten in small pieces. Do not chew on bones.

Avoid hard foods:       

popcorn

cornchips

hard biscuits or muesli bars

hard bread rolls

hard breakfast cereals, e.g., Nutragrain – allow to soften with milk. 

Chewing on pencils and rulers MUST be avoided.

EMERGENCIES & BREAKAGES

Generally there are two types of emergencies, namely:

1) Injury to the mouth and teeth:
-   You should be seen by you regular dentist as soon as possible.
-   Please call our office as soon as possible after emergency treatment has been performed to check if your orthodontic appliance needs adjustment.

2) Loose or broken orthodontic appliances (brackets, plates, wires or bands):
-   If a wire or band comes loose, do not be alarmed.  If a wire is protruding and irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully push the wire out of the way.
-   Wax can be placed over any part of the braces causing irritation.
-   If a piece comes loose, save it and bring it with you to the office.

-   Please call the office if you have any part of the appliance loose, broken or irritating.

-   The after hours number for emergencies is 8132 3000

Should any of your appliances become damaged or broken, please contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment to have it replaced quickly.  Bring any broken pieces of appliance with you to the practice.