Does your child need braces? Dr Lewis, one of our specialist orthodontists at North Shore Orthodontics, answers our top 10 most commonly asked questions.
1. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO START ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
It varies. At North Shore Orthodontics we recommend a first orthodontic evaluation for children between 7-9 years of age as some children benefit greatly from early intervention and we can take advantage of natural growth or prevent damage to teeth occurring. Wearing certain appliances may reduce a child’s time in braces later and may also make treatment more effective. Most children will start treatment between 12-15 years of age however early assessment is important to determine what is best for your child.
2. AFTER AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT, WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ORTHODONTIST FEELS MY CHILD IS NOT READY TO START TREATMENT YET?
At North Shore Orthodontics we have a wonderful free review programme which is great news for parents. If your child is not ready to start treatment, each year we will see them for a short visit to monitor their growth and development. We do not charge for these reviews and parents can have peace of mind that their child’s orthodontic treatment will start at the ideal time.
3. DO MANY ADULTS GET BRACES?
We are seeing a growing trend in adults wearing braces with many people choosing to improve their smile and undergo treatment at later stages. At North Shore Orthodontics we offer many aesthetically pleasing options including invisible braces.
4. HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO WEAR BRACES?
Most people wear braces for 1-2 years. After they are removed we fit the patient with a special retainer to keep newly straightened teeth in place. Retainers protect and maintain beautiful new smiles into the future.
5. HOW MUCH DO BRACES COST
Orthodontic costs will vary depending on the treatment needed and will be explained and set before treatment commences. At North Shore Orthodontics we offer flexible, interest free payment plans to suit most budgets. If you have health insurance, you may also be entitled to claim a portion of the treatment cost back from your health fund.
6. WILL WEARING BRACES GIVE ME A LISP?
Most braces will not impede speech. Lingual braces that are worn behind your teeth, and some plates, can take time to get used to and may temporarily impact speech.
7. ARE WEARING BRACES PAINFUL?
Wearing braces is usually simple and easy with the modern brackets and wires available today. While it is normal to experience some discomfort soon after braces are first fitted, and sometimes after they are adjusted, it can be taken care of with non-prescription analgesics such as Panadol if needed.
8. WILL MY CHILD STILL BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE ACTIVITIES THEY LOVE & ARE THERE ANY FOODS TO AVOID?
At North Shore Orthodontics we have a variety of braces and treatment options that will fit your child’s lifestyle. Some braces are removable, and some stay fixed in place. If you choose fixed braces for a child who plays contact sports, we recommend a mouth guard to protect their new smile. Children who play wind instruments usually adjust to braces quickly and easily. A patient who wears fixed braces will need to avoid hard and sticky foods and cut fruit and veggies into sticks and wedges.
9. DO YOU NEED A REFERRAL TO SEE AN ORTHODONTIST?
A referral is not needed to see an orthodontist however many people are referred to our practice by their family dentist.
10. WHY SEE A SPECIALIST AT NORTH SHORE ORTHODONTICS?
We all want to look our best and that includes having the best smile that we can have. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment and that is why you want the most qualified person with the most expertise to create your smile or correct your bite. Our specialist orthodontists have completed a master’s or doctorate degree requiring an additional 3 years of full-time university training on top of their general dental degree. As specialist orthodontists we limit our practice to orthodontic treatment all day, every day. With our doctors regularly attending professional development and our teaching commitments at the University of Sydney, patients can be assured they will receive the benefits of the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies.
Simply call our practice on 9418 1660 to book an orthodontic assessment or go to our Contact Us page and submit a request. We look forward to creating your beautiful, healthy and straight smile.