Orthodontic FAQs

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, or have been told you may need to, you’ll no doubt have lots of questions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get asked here at Trinity House Orthodontics.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Braces, aligners and other appliances/devices are used to make these corrections by moving teeth and bones.

What causes crooked teeth?

Just as we inherit eye colour from our parents, we also inherit mouth and jaw features. Local factors such as finger sucking, pacifier sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to a bad bite. One out of every five school age children have a severe bite problem so it is not surprising that you might need braces.

Why should I have my teeth straightened?

Poorly arranged teeth can break easily and trap food particles that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Researchers have found that malocclusions (bad bite) interfere with the chewing ability to break down foods which affects digestion and overall health. Poorly arranged teeth also detract from your smile which is one of the more important features contributing to facial beauty. You only have one chance to make that first impression!

How do braces straighten crooked teeth?

Braces use steady, gentle pressure over time to move teeth into their proper positions. Attached to each tooth is a bracket, which is a piece of specially shaped metal or ceramic. We then bend the archwire to reflect your 'ideal’ bite and thread it through the brackets. As the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure and gently moves your teeth into alignment.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic treatment?

It's never too late to have a beautiful smile! In fact, 20% of orthodontic patients are adults in the pursuit of a healthier, younger, appearance, which includes straightening their smile as part of their total body improvement plan.

When should my child have an initial consultation?

It is recommended that your child gets an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. Early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. With proper timing, children may not have to endure years of embarrassment.

How long do you have to wear braces for?

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. The average treatment time is 27 months, although complex/severe bad bites take longer. The better you follow your orthodontist's instructions and take care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Remember, no one else can wear your braces for you!

Do braces hurt?

There have been some fantastic advances in the way we do things now in orthodontics to make treatment more comfortable for our patients. These include smaller, smoother brackets, and gentler wires which provide a continuous light force over a long period of time, rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort for two to three days after each adjustment but regular pain relievers can take care of this.

Do you have to wear retainers?

Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move or relapse. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed while your teeth stabilize.

Is orthodontic care expensive?

Orthodontic fees vary widely depending on the severity of the problem, complexity of treatment and length of treatment time. We will provide a no-obligation quote for treatment at your free consultation. We also have payment plans in place to help make your orthodontic treatment affordable. 

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