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Child Orthodontics

Child Orthodontics

Investing in a straight, beautiful smile for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make for them. Undoubtedly, having a great smile will boost your childs self-esteem and confidence, which in turn will have a positive effect on their life personally and in time professionally. Therefore, it makes sense to help your child reap the benefits of a wonderful smile while they are young, created as a result of treatment from our top orthodontists.

We offer a wide variety of treatments, with our specially trained and experienced orthodontists. Your child’s initial consultation will be free of charge and will cover all options available for you and your family.

We often get asked what is the right age to bring them for an assessment. Some treatment can be carried out in the mixed dentition phase, when both baby and adult teeth are present, so bringing your child as early as age 7 can be beneficial to help eliminate treatment which could be more complex if left until they are older.

Functional Appliances

Functional appliances are removable braces that work on the upper and lower teeth at the same time. For example, with an appliance known as a Twin Block braces, when you bite together the blocks on the braces fit together in a certain way that encourages your jaws to grow or move into the correct biting position. For this reason they are mainly used in growing patients (children ages 11-18) as they gain the most benefit from this technique. Functional appliance are one of the fastest and most effective methods to correct receding jaws or prominent teeth.

With Bionator/Frankel appliances, these braces are worn in the evenings and overnight. These are most commonly used braces when deciduous (baby) teeth are present.

The first few days are tough with all braces & appliances. Initially saliva flow increases and speech is difficult. It is very important that you wear the appliance as instructed and practice reading out loud concentrating on pronunciation so that the braces becomes comfortable in the shortest possible time. Intermittent wear will prolong the problems.

The braces are removed for tooth-brushing. Clean the appliance with your toothbrush carefully. If braces are removed for eating or sport they must be placed in suitable container.

Typically this treatment should be completed in 9-12 months. You may then have to wear the braces overnight or progress to the next phase of treatment.

Fixed Braces

Fixed braces are the most common type of orthodontic appliances. They consist of small brackets that are attached onto the front surface of the teeth. The brackets are then connected with a thin wire. These braces require elastics to be fitted around the brackets, but to make orthodontic treatment fun we have coloured elastic options available. These elastics can be changed at most appointments, so you can choose your favourite colour, the colours of your football or rugby team or a colour for a special occasion, such as Christmas.

There are various types of fixed brace systems available ranging from metal brackets to clear or tooth-coloured brackets. They enable the orthodontist to accurately move the teeth into the desired position.

Fixed braces orthodontic treatment usually lasts from 6 to 30 months depending upon the severity of the orthodontic problem and the scope of the proposed orthodontic treatment.

Most patients will need to visit our orthodontist for regular appointments (usually every 8 weeks) for the braces to be adjusted.

Once the active phase of the orthodontic treatment has been completed, the majority of patients are provided with retainers in order to maintain the finished result. Retainers can be removable or fixed onto the teeth. Failure to wear or maintain retainers as instructed is likely to result in the teeth becoming more crooked and crowded as they try to move back to their pre-treatment position.

Removable Braces

Removable braces are very simple devices which clip on to the teeth (usually the upper arch) and they can make simple movements such as moving a tooth forwards that is trapped behind the bite (i.e. in a ‘crossbite’). These tend to be used in simple orthodontic cases where a fixed brace (metal or ceramic) may not be a suitable choice or where a patient would rather a less invasive treatment. They are also used for on young patients who are not yet ready for a comprehensive correction but need some early intervention to prevent other problems developing over time.

Invisalign Teen

For teens who don’t want braces. Are you worried about how braces will look? Are you worried about how braces will feel? Don’t be. Metal braces aren’t your only option, we also offer Invisalign Teen. Unlike braces, Invisalign doesn’t require any metal at all, just thin, clear plastic aligners so it’s almost invisible! To learn more about Invisalign please visit our treatment page.

It’s Invisalign but with added benefits. Invisalign Teen offers the regular benefits of Invisalign but with some added bonuses. The product includes six free aligners in case you lose or break one or two and for the benefit of parents and doctors, also includes a blue indicator that allows the doctor to ensure the teen has been wearing their aligners for the prescribed period of time.

Removable to fit in with your lifestyle. Although the aligners must be worn for 22 hours a day, they are removable so you can take them out to eat, brush, floss and on special occasions.

More hygienic than traditional treatment options. You remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth so it’s much easier to maintain your good dental hygiene.

Top 10 frequently asked questions about dental braces are: Do braces hurt? What causes crooked teeth? Can I get my braces off sooner? Are there clear or less noticeable braces? Can I get braces just on my top or bottom teeth?

1. Do braces hurt?

For the most part, braces do not hurt. The procedure of getting braces simply involves gluing the braces to your teeth. The day after you get braces, your teeth may start feeling sore and may stay sore for a few days. The soreness usually peaks during days 2-3, but should start getting better by days 4-5. Future adjustments may or may not cause you discomfort depending on what is being done to your teeth. To alleviate the discomfort, you can take whatever pain medications you would normally use for a headache.

Because your lips, cheeks and tongue are not accustomed to rubbing against the braces, you may experience sores. The sores may last for one to two weeks until your lips, cheeks, and tongue get used contacting your braces. If there is part of the braces that is irritating your mouth, you can place orthodontic wax to help smooth the rough area of the braces. After your lips, cheeks and tongue get used to the braces, you may even forget you have them on.

2. What causes crooked teeth?

If you have crooked teeth or a bad bite you probably inherited these traits. However, losing some baby teeth early or indulging in harmful habits such as thumb or fingersucking can also cause your teeth to be crooked.


3. When is the best time to schedule a consultation with the orthodontist?

We would recommend that all children see an orthodontist for an evaluation no later than age seven. There are a few orthodontic problems that should be corrected at that age. If your orthodontist determines that no treatment is necessary at that time, he or she will be able to offer you guidance on when to start treatment or when to bring your child back for re-evaluation.

For adults, treatment can be started at almost any age as long as the gums and bone surrounding the teeth are healthy.

4. Can I get my braces off sooner?

Unfortunately, orthodontic treatment time is limited in part to how quickly or slowly your bone can remodel, thus allowing your teeth to move. In younger patients with less-developed bone, teeth tend to move faster than in older patients with more-developed bone. Some patients think that if the orthodontist “tightens” the braces more, the teeth will move faster. Indeed, the teeth need force in order to move. However, there is an optimal force that moves teeth, and increasing the force level after the optimal level has been reached may actually cause damage to the bone and surrounding tissues, and may slow down tooth movement. The best way to ensure that your braces come off on time is to not break anything, wear your elastics and prescribed, and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

5. Can I get braces just on my top or bottom teeth?

That depends. Besides straightening your teeth, orthodontists are also concerned about correcting your bite if needed. Many times, if only one arch is treated, the bite will still be uncorrected. Over time, a malocclusion (bad bite) could cause damage to your teeth, tissues, and jaw joints.

6. Do I need a referral from my dentist to see the orthodontist?

No. While dentists can refer patients to the orthodontist, many patients actually are referred to the orthodontist by family and friends of existing patients.

7. Are there clear or less noticeable braces?

Yes. Compared to 30 years ago, braces have gotten smaller and can be directly bonded (glued) to teeth. The bands or metal rings that used to be placed on every tooth now only need to be placed on the back teeth, if they are placed at all.

Besides smaller braces, there are also clear braces or even lingual braces that are bonded on the tongue-side of the teeth. Another option to straighten teeth is not to use braces at all, but a series of clear aligners such as Invisalign. Your orthodontist can determine which option would be best for you.

8. Can wisdom teeth (third molars) cause crooked teeth?

Research has shown that wisdom teeth or third molars do not necessarily crowd teeth. In fact, some people who have had their wisdom teeth removed still get crowding, while others that still have their third molars erupted or impacted do not have crooked teeth.

9. What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional two to three years of training at an accredited residency program after graduating from dental school. During their program, orthodontists learn to diagnose and treat dental, facial, and jaw problems. Orthodontists typically limit their practices to the field of orthodontics to focus on correcting misaligned teeth and jaw problems.

When choosing an orthodontist, you are not only getting someone who has undergone significant additional training, but someone who deals with orthodontic problems every day.

10. Do I need to be numbed up?

No shots are generally needed for orthodontic treatment. However, if your orthodontist refers you out for other procedures such as extractions, surgical exposure of teeth, or miniscrews , you may need a local anesthetic.


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