Orthodontic Services | Sydney Orthodontist
Crooked teeth are a common dental problem; some experts have estimated that up to seven people out of ten would benefit from orthodontic treatment at some point in their lives.
A person who has an alignment problem with their teeth or jaw has malocclusion or bad bite. The aim of orthodontic treatment is to correct the bite. We use appliances to move teeth by exerting a constant light pressure to them. When the appliances are tightened, the teeth receive more pressure. In response to pressure, a tooth will move slowly through the jawbone. This process will cause some tenderness and sometimes pain, but most people report that the discomfort is minor.
The Importance of Straight teeth
People have orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance, health and function of their teeth. These days, with good oral hygiene and regular dental care, teeth should last a lifetime.
Crooked teeth may affect the function of normal chewing, speech, also cause gum damage and tooth wear. It will be difficult to achieve proper oral hygiene and obviously a better smile and appearance.
When to Seek an Orthodontic Assessment
Orthodontic problems can be apparent by seven to nine years of age, when most of the adult front teeth have come through. However, problems may be detected earlier than this.
Early examination of the teeth and jaws allows us to detect and evaluate problems and plan the best treatment. In some cases, early treatment may prevent orthodontic problems form getting worse. It may also result in shorter and less complicated treatment if more treatment is required at a later age.
In most patients, the optimal time to start orthodontic treatment is after the last baby tooth has been shed, this usually occurs by about 12 years of age.
Treatment for Adults
In the past, orthodontic treatment was generally restricted to children and teenagers. However, the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age, and orthodontic treatment is also successful for adults.
Treatment is usually longer for adults because their jawbones are denser than in children. As an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, some severe malocclusions cannot be correct with braces alone. In such cases, orthodontic treatment combined with jaw surgery can achieve improvements.
Examination and Treatment Planning
A thorough examination is important for proper diagnosis of a malocclusion. Records assist the accurate analysis of each patient, which include:
1. Impressions from which plaster models of teeth are constructed
2. Photographs of the teeth and face
3. X-ray film of teeth and jaws.
If it’s too early to start treatment, the patient is reviewed at regular intervals until the time is right to start treatment.
At the completion of orthodontic treatment, the braces are removed and retainers are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new positions. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth. If they are not worn according to instruction, the teeth may move out of alignment. We will want to inspect the corrected teeth at regular periods for up to five years after the retainers have been phased out; patients are expected to attend once or twice a year.
Orthodontic Problems in Adults
Orthodontic Problems in Children (at Age 7 or above)
Orthodontic Treatment Options
- Avoid sweets
- You may experience some pressure and discomfort on your teeth.
- Be gentle with braces and avoid chewing hard and/or sticky food.
- Brushing and flossing around braces is sometimes challenging and time consuming, but very important.
- Call our office if you have any questions.
- If a bracket comes loose or off, please bring it back to our office immediately
- Use an electronic tooth brush and an Oral-B Oxyjet