Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? Be sure to drop Dr Toms a line for answers to all your questions!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? Be sure to drop Dr Toms a line for answers to all your questions!

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a registered dental specialist who has undergone an additional three years of accredited post-graduate training. An orthodontist works on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.

When should my child visit an orthodontist?

There is no fast and hard rule when to first send your child to an orthodontist, however, when they start losing their baby teeth is usually a good time, between the ages of 7-9 years.

You may be referred earlier or later by your general dentist for early intervention or diagnosis of dental or skeletal problems.

Who can have braces?

There is no age limit for wearing braces. We have some of our most successful and rewarding treatment outcomes with adult patients. The traditional age for braces are in early teens, which is primarily due to the bone growth occurring at this age.

How long does treatment take?

This depends on the severity of the problem and the treatment objectives. Treatment with functional appliances are usually for 6-9 months, tooth aligners (like Invisalign) can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, while traditional braces are anywhere between 12-24 months.

How much does it cost?

The cost of braces is dependent on different factors including treatment severity, type of brace used and whether it includes one or both arches and which appliance is used. Your orthodontist will provide detailed quotations at your discussion visit.

Further information can be found here.

Do braces hurt?

Short answer: No. Getting braces on is entirely painless, however, you may experience mild discomfort in the 1-2 days following the initial placement of braces or after a major wire change. This discomfort may be managed with regular pain relief as you would for a headache.

Ask your orthodontist if you have concerns about your brace.

Will I need teeth out?

There is no simple answer for this question. Sometimes teeth may need to be removed in order to make space for an optimal occlusion. Modern orthodontics has allowed us to minimalise the need for tooth extractions where possible.

Some of Hollywood’s most famous smiles have had extraction based orthodontics! (Just ask us who)

What happens if I don't get treatment?

Generally speaking teeth do not ‘fix themselves’ on their own, especially with unpredictable growth changes, missing, extra or different sized teeth. Having crowded or crooked teeth may cause increased difficulty in maintaining adequate oral health, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Oh no! My braces broke!

This is a rare occurrence and not often a major issue, however, please call us so we can determine whether your brace needs immediate attention or if it can wait until your next scheduled appointment.

If you arrive to your appointment with a broken bracket we will try to treat you but there may be a wait involved so as not to delay regular scheduled visits.

Do I need a mouthguard for sports?

You will only require a mouthguard if playing contact sports. As your teeth are moving whilst you have braces, custom mouthguards are not a viable option. The best alternative is pre-made, stock mouthguards from your local chemist – your orthodontist will make recommendations for you if you’re uncertain.