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Orthodontics in Adelaide: A Comprehensive Guide to Braces

Orthodontics is a specialised field of dentistry that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaw irregularities. Braces play a crucial role in orthodontic treatment by gradually moving your teeth into their proper positions. If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about crooked or misaligned teeth, braces can help transform your smile for a more confident you. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of orthodontics in Perfect Smile Adelaide and delve into the details of braces.

What are braces?

Braces are orthodontic tools designed to fix crooked teeth and bite problems. They consist of brackets, wires, bands, and elastic bands, which work together to straighten your teeth gradually. 

  • Brackets are small metal or ceramic attachments bonded to the front surface of each tooth.

  • Archwires are thin metal wires that connect the brackets and apply gentle pressure to move the teeth.

  • Bands are metal rings placed around the back molars to anchor the archwire.

  • Ligatures are small elastic or metal bands that secure the archwire to the brackets.

  • Elastic bands are an optional component used to exert additional force for complex tooth movements.

Braces work by applying continuous pressure to your teeth, gradually moving them into their correct positions. The brackets and wires create tension on the teeth, which stimulates bone remodelling and eventually allows for proper alignment. All these work together to improve your crooked teeth and jaw problems, keeping your mouth healthy in the process. 

Types of braces

In terms of options, there are several types of braces available for you, each with its unique features and benefits. The following explains each type in detail and how they work to straighten your smile:

  • Traditional Metal Braces: These braces are made of durable metal brackets and wires, providing effective treatment for misaligned teeth. While they are visible, they remain a popular choice because they are more reliable and affordable.

  • Ceramic Braces: These braces use tooth-coloured or clear brackets, offering a more discreet appearance compared to traditional metal braces. This makes them a preferred option for those who are conscious of the visibility of their braces.

  • Lingual Braces: Lingual braces are placed on the back (lingual) surface of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front. They offer a discreet alternative for individuals concerned about the aesthetics of traditional braces. However, they are not appropriate in some cases. They may require more effort in cleaning and can initially cause tongue interference.

young woman with crooked upper and lower jaw smile before teeth  straightening and braces

What orthodontic problems do they fix?

Braces are a powerful tool in addressing various orthodontic issues. These problems come in different forms, and each requires a tailored treatment approach. Read on to see what they are so you can identify your case before getting the treatment. 

  • Overbite: You may have an overbite if your upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth. Beyond aesthetic concerns, an overbite can lead to functional bite issues if left untreated.

  • Underbite: If your lower front teeth protrude further forward than the upper front teeth, you likely have an underbite. This misalignment can impact chewing and speech functions, as well as facial aesthetics.

  • Crossbite: A crossbite occurs when some upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when biting down. This misalignment can affect both the front and back teeth and may result in jaw misalignment.

  • Open bite: You may have an open bite if there is a gap between your upper and lower teeth when biting down. This condition can lead to speech difficulties and problems with proper chewing.

  • Crowding: Crowding arises when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth to align properly. This can result in overlapping or rotated teeth, making oral hygiene maintenance challenging.

  • Spacing/gaps: Spacing issues involve gaps between teeth, which can be due to missing teeth or teeth that are naturally spaced apart. Diastema refers specifically to a gap between the front two upper teeth.

How can I start my orthodontic journey in Adelaide?

To begin your journey, it’s essential to find a reputable dentist who offers braces and orthodontic treatment. Seek recommendations, research their experience, and evaluate their credentials.

During your initial consultation, your braces dentist will conduct a thorough examination, which may include X-rays, photographs, and impressions of your teeth. This assessment helps determine your specific orthodontic issues and the best treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Based on the evaluation, the dentist will develop a personalised treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This plan outlines the duration, type of braces recommended, and expected outcome of the treatment.

What to expect when getting braces

Before getting dental braces, your dentist may recommend certain preparations, such as dental cleanings, extractions, or other preliminary procedures, to create the ideal conditions for treatment.

Getting braces involves several steps, including teeth cleaning, bonding brackets, insertion of archwires, and adjustments to ensure proper fit and alignment.

After getting braces, it is common to experience some discomfort or soreness as your teeth adjust to the new pressure. Your braces dentist can provide recommendations for pain management, which may include over-the-counter pain relievers or orthodontic wax to alleviate any irritations.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential throughout your orthodontic treatment. Brushing and flossing techniques will need to be adjusted to ensure effective plaque removal around the brackets and wires.

guy wearing mouthguard while playing sports

Living with braces

Now that you’ve got your braces, it’s time to discuss a few adjustments to your daily routines:

  • While wearing braces, it is important to be mindful of the foods you consume. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that could damage the braces or get stuck. Opt for softer, braces-friendly alternatives.

  • Initially, you may experience slight changes in your speech as your tongue adjusts to the presence of braces. With time, your tongue will adapt, and your speech will return to normal.

  • Engaging in sports or physical activities with braces requires protective measures. Mouthguards can help safeguard your braces and teeth from potential injuries during contact sports.

Useful tips for maintaining your braces

Proper oral care is essential to ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment. Remember these tips to help you maintain your braces:

  • Tip #1. Proper brushing techniques are vital to prevent plaque buildup and maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, angle it towards the gumline, and brush in small circular motions.

  • Tip #2.  Flossing can be more challenging with braces, but it is essential to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Orthodontic floss threaders or water flossers can assist in reaching these areas.

  • Tip #3. To protect your braces from damage, it is important to avoid habits like nail-biting, chewing on pens or pencils, or opening packages with your teeth. These habits can bend wires, dislodge brackets, or cause other complications.

How can I deal with the discomfort?

It is common to experience soreness or irritation in the initial days after adjustments. Rinsing with warm salt water or using orthodontic wax can help alleviate discomfort. In the event of loose or broken brackets, contact your orthodontist promptly for advice.

Should you lose or break the brackets, it is important to contact your Adelaide dentist immediately. They will advise on whether it requires immediate attention or if it can wait until your next appointment.

Food particles can become lodged in braces, leading to potential hygiene issues and discomfort. Using interdental brushes or a water flosser can help dislodge trapped food.

How much do braces cost?

The cost of orthodontic braces can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the type of braces chosen, and the duration of treatment. Dental insurance plans such as Medibank and may partially or fully cover orthodontic treatment. It’s essential to review your insurance policy and consult with your dentist’s office to understand the coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.

guy looking at mirror pointing his straightened teeth after braces

Achieve a straighter, healthier smile with Braces

Orthodontics offers a comprehensive solution to orthodontic problems, with braces playing a significant role in achieving a straight and healthy smile. By understanding your orthodontic issues, the mechanics of braces, proper oral care, and the importance of post-treatment retention, you can embark on your braces journey with confidence. 

If you have any questions about braces in Adelaide or orthodontic treatment, contact Perfect Smile to begin your transformative orthodontic experience. 

Call us on (08) 8210 9414 or book an appointment online and we’d be happy to get you started.

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