Orthodontics FAQs

Orthodontic treatment does come with a lot of questions. Here are the answers to the questions we get asked most often.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental speciality which focuses on the correct alignment of teeth and jaws. It also looks at your overall facial profile to ensure your teeth and jaws are growing in proportion to your overall face shape.  

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

An orthodontist has first trained as a dentist and spent several years working in general dental practice to establish a solid skill base in the industry. They have then undertaken further post-graduate university study in the speciality of orthodontics. This is a specialist qualification which takes an extra two to three years. At Torque Orthodontics, our orthodontists continue to embark on training to make sure they provide our patients with the latest in orthodontic care.

When should I see an orthodontist?

We should all have a family dentist who we see regularly, ideally every six months, for a check-up. This is to maintain oral hygiene and check for any cavities that may be developing or plaque building up on our teeth. If your teeth or jaw require alignment or you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth this is when you will need to see an orthodontist. Your dentist can refer you for treatment however a referral is not required to book a consultation appointment.

What problems can an orthodontist fix?

Our orthodontists have experience with all sorts of orthodontic problems, from crooked teeth to gaps between teeth, bite issues where teeth protrude out to misaligned jaws. An orthodontist is the best person to treat these problems as it’s what they do every day.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

No, orthodontic treatment doesn’t hurt but it can be a little uncomfortable to begin with. When your braces or aligners are first fitted and your teeth begin to move, this can give you some discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relief that you would take for a headache is usually all you will need for this. The discomfort should go away in a day or two.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

This is entirely dependent on the type of orthodontic treatment you are receiving and your specific case. Because every set of teeth is different, no two patients have the same requirements. However, you can usually expect orthodontic treatment to take between 12 and 24 months. Invisalign does have a method of treatment which is designed for people who only require minor tooth movement.  This can be achieved in as little as 6 months. 

How often will I have appointments?

Adjustment appointments are usually scheduled 8 to 12 weeks apart. If you are using dental monitoring software as part of your treatment, we can monitor your treatment via your smartphone which reduces the number of check-up appointments you’ll be required to attend.

Can I play sport while having orthodontic treatment?

Yes, but if you play full contact sports, such as football or hockey, you need to wear a mouthguard. A custom-made mouthguard be will required however they will need to be adjusted during treatment as your teeth are moving. Our orthodontists can arrange manufacture of a mouthguard for you, so please inform us if you require one.  There is an additional cost for a mouthguard. 

What should I do if I have a problem with my brackets or wires?

Poking wire As your teeth straighten, the archwire may begin to poke out of the very back brackets and bands, causing it to rub on your cheeks. Place wax over the poking wire. If the wire gets too long, call our office and we will arrange an appointment for you to have the wire trimmed.
Snapped archwire If the archwire is poking out, place wax over the area. Call our office so that we can arrange an appointment for you to have the wire replaced.
Loose bands or brackets Place wax over the band or bracket if needed. Call our office so we can arrange an appointment to fix the problem.

In an event of a true orthodontic emergency (out of hours), a patient can phone our practice to be diverted to an afterhours contact. Still got a question about orthodontics? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

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