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Orthodontics At Any Age

There is a common misconception that braces and orthodontic treatment are for children and teenagers. Increasingly, however, here at iSmile Orthodontics we are seeing adults coming to treat their crooked teeth, improve their oral health and create that dazzling smile they always wanted. It is possible to undergo orthodontics at any age, so don’t think it’s too late. We specialise in family orthodontics and actively encourage parents and children alike to get treatment for the good of their health and their confidence. We have a range of kids braces and adult braces options to treat any misalignment problems.

Why Family Orthodontics?

Straightening your teeth is not all about that perfect smile. Straight teeth are also healthier and boost self-confidence. Improved oral health, reduced heart risk and better digestion are all linked to straight teeth. So if you didn’t have the option to undergo orthodontics as a child, why be denied that now? Or if you had kids braces but over time your teeth have moved back, why not correct them again? Adult braces are becoming increasingly popular and by offering discounts, we actively encourage family orthodontics. Additionally, malocclusions are often genetic. This means if you have crooked teeth or an overbite, it is likely that your children will too. If you have a large family and are faced with the cost of multiple sets of kids braces, we hope our family orthodontics options will help you financially.

Kids Braces

We can see children from the age of seven and upwards. By starting treatment early, we are able to undertake preventative orthodontic treatment. It is clear from the development of their milk teeth and through x-rays how your child’s teeth will develop. Some treatments at an early stage will reduce the length of time your child will need to wear their braces later in life, once all their adult teeth have erupted. Some minor issues may even be treated to avoid kids braces all together. The sooner you bring your child for their first, free consultation, the smoother their orthodontic journey will be.

Adults Braces

While adults can be fitted with traditional metal braces, many wish to have more a discrete orthodontic appliance. We are fully licensed Invisalign providers, the world’s most popular choice for invisible adult braces. Alternatively, we can use ceramic braces. These work the same way as metal braces but are made of an invisible material and therefore are far less noticeable. Since Invisalign has its limitations when it comes to severe malocclusions, sometimes adults need ceramic braces which offer a greater range of movement options.

If you, your children or your entire family are in need of orthodontic treatment, contact iSmile Orthodontics today. We offer a free consultation for every patient to allow us to assess your teeth and recommend any necessary treatment. Specialising in family orthodontics, iSmile welcomes all family members and works hard to make sure your appointments are conveniently scheduled as well as providing discounts for siblings and family members.

Sports and Braces

Having braces does require some changes to your lifestyle. There are many kinds of food which should be avoided during your orthodontic treatment to prevent damage to the braces themselves and make cleaning easier. If you are a keep sportsperson, there are also some precautions you should take to protect your mouth and minimise the chances of your braces becoming damaged. Take a read of our tips below and if you have more questions, make sure you ask your orthodontist for advice.

Wear A Mouth Guard

Many contact sports require all players to wear mouth guards, irrespective of whether you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. This is predominantly to protect your teeth in general from being broken or chipped in a collision. If you have braces, a mouth guard will protect you from any facial impact. While a football to the face wouldn’t necessarily cause any lasting damage if you don’t have braces, with them is another story. The metal can cut the inside of your mouth badly and healing times are prolonged because of the braces themselves. They can also dislodge the brackets themselves. In the case of extreme damage, orthodontic treatment may even be paused and your entire schedule pushed backwards. If you are at all at risk of receiving impact to the face, wear a mouth guard, just in case.

Your mouth guard should be comfortable, fit you well and not move much once in place. Many professional athletes have custom-made mouth guards. While you are wearing braces, it is not necessary to invest in one of these. A regular ‘braces mouth guard’ or an orthodontic mouth guard can be used which not only accommodates the additional substance in your mouth but can be moulded to fit individuals fairly comfortably. They are made of silicone and connect to your brace using flanges which both hold them in place and protect your lips. You can also get styles called a ‘boil-and-bite’ mouth guard which are made of thermal plastic and are ideal for players with braces. Simply heat them up, bite down and the mouth guard will be the correct shape for your mouth. Ask your orthodontist where to purchase one. If you have dental insurance, it may be worth checking whether your policy covers injuries which are obtained wearing a generic mouth guard because some don’t. In this case, an orthodontic mouth guard would be the best option.

When you’re not wearing your mouth guard, make sure it is cleaned and stored somewhere dry. They can be washed in water and even brushed gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Again, every mouth guard is different so ask your orthodontist for specific instructions. Once you’ve cleaned it, make sure the mouth guard is completely dry before you put it away to prevent bacteria from growing. If your mouth guard becomes damaged, either through a collision or overuse (biting wears the surfaces down), replace it. A degraded mouth guard does nothing.

Try Some Different Sports

Perhaps having braces is the perfect opportunity to try a different sport. Low impact activities which have minimal contact are far safer and can be enjoyed throughout your orthodontic treatment. Swimming, running, and dance are all great examples of sports which are entirely safe for people with braces. Basically, anything without a ball involved will be very low risk.

Don’t allow your orthodontic treatment to dictate your life for two years. You can still enjoy the sports you love as long as you take the correct precautions. For the best protection, speak to your orthodontist about obtaining an orthodontic mouth guard and get back to living life to the full as you work towards achieving that perfect smile.

Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment

If you are thinking of orthodontic treatment for your child, we recommend that they first see an orthodontist when they are seven or eight years old. This may sound young but scientific research illustrates there are many advantages to obtaining early orthodontic treatment. Whether your child needs braces or alternative procedures, it is best to consult an expert at a time when treatment may be less extreme and even preventative.

 

When your child first meets one of our orthodontists here at iSmile Orthodontics, we will take the time to carefully evaluate the way in which their jaws are developing, the growth of their permanent teeth and whether there is enough space in their mouth. This is a process which can begin before all the baby teeth have been lost so there is no need to delay. Most early orthodontic treatments can begin once the four front upper teeth have descended. Peace of mind is as easy as booking in for an expert consultation. You don’t need to be referred by your dentist. It may be that your child does not need any treatment or your orthodontist may recommend you wait a few years until all the teeth have grown to have braces fitted. Even if this is the case, consulting with an orthodontist at an early stage means they can identify the optimum time to start treatment for your child.

 

By identifying and addressing any malocclusion problems early, an orthodontist can begin to correct the already grown teeth to make space for those teeth which are incoming. This is commonly called Phase One Treatment and can reduce the risk of your child needing extractions in later life. Treatments can include appliances, expanders and space maintainers and are intended to improve the growth pattern of teeth. Until we are eighteen, our jawbones continue to change shape and harden. Children’s jaws are more pliable and their teeth will accept the movement better than adults, making it more effective and quicker to conduct orthodontic treatment at a younger age. Phase Two Treatments, such as braces, may come later after all of the teeth have descended to correct the alignment of the adult teeth. Some children may not need future work if they attend an orthodontist from an early age because potential problems could have been avoided through early treatment.

 

Common signs your child may require orthodontic attention in the future include:

 

  • Losing teeth either early or late – most children start to lose teeth when they are five and have all of their adult teeth by the time they are thirteen.
  • Speech problems
  • Mouth breathing
  • Problems chewing or biting
  • Sucking their thumb past the age of five – if this persists, the habit can push the adult teeth out of place.
  • A shifting jaw when your child opens their mouth – also known as a crossbite.
  • Crowded front teeth – this is not usually noticeable until they are about eight and many of adult teeth have grown in.
  • Their teeth do not meet properly

 

Even if you do not recognise any of these symptoms in your child, making an appointment with an orthodontist is always recommended. A professional may be able to identify a mild problem or foresee a future issue. Whatever the recommendation, the younger a child visits, the better chance the child has of minimising their need for extreme dental treatment. In some cases, braces may be avoided altogether.

 

Here at iSmile Orthodontics our staff have extensive experience treating children of all ages. We work alongside the child and their parents to ensure everyone involved understands the treatment process, what stages to expect and also to develop an affordable, flexible payment plan. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly staff members and make an appointment for your child.

Invisalign’s 3D Technology

Invisalign & iTero’s 3D Scanner

Orthodontic services are benefiting from recent technological development. Invisalign retainers can be created using 3D technology based on 3D images; making the process of being fitted for your aligners quicker, easier and more precise than ever before. This technology also enables replacement aligners to be made immediately in the event of one being lost or broken so your treatment time isn’t extended. Comfortable, invisible and removable, no wonder Invisalign is a favourite amongst patients and orthodontists.

Patients like to see a projection of what their smile will look like after they have finished their orthodontic treatment and with Invisalign, this is possible. We can create a digitised graphic of the journey your teeth will take and their end position, so you can see the goal we are all working towards at the start of your treatment with us. This is just one of the great advantages of Invisalign and its digital technology which supports you and your orthodontist throughout the process.

Each Invisalign aligner, of which patients receive 12 to 48, depending on their treatment, is worn for approximately two weeks as it gently coaxes the teeth into their new position. With Invisalign, it is not necessary to sit for hours with uncomfortable and unpleasant-tasting moulding in your mouth to create these aligners. Instead, they are crafted by 3D technology based on 3D images of your mouth. The custom-made aligners are sculpted from a material designed by Invisalign called SmartTrack which is smooth and comfortable to wear. The scanners are also able to create multiple aligners at once so you don’t have to return to your orthodontist more than once every two months. We will give you several sets of Invisalign with instructions on how often to change over the aligners for a hassle-free treatment style.

Invisalign sets can be removed by the patient; a real selling point for this product. Take them out to eat, play sports and brush your teeth so your lifestyle needn’t be impacted by your orthodontic treatment style. However, it is inevitable that removed aligners are occasionally lost or damaged. In the event of this happening, iSmile will replace your aligners quickly and free of charge. We don’t want your treatment time to be lengthened because of a simple mistake. Thanks to Invisalign’s 3D technology, new aligners are quick and easy to make so your teeth won’t have a chance to move back.

Interested in Invisalign? Make an appointment with iSmile Orthodontics today and find out if this technologically superior style of braces is suitable for you. Our orthodontists offer Invisalign through our customised, interest-free payment plans too so they’re affordable for all patients seeking to achieve their perfect smile. Call today to book your free consult in one of our three Melbourne clinics.

What Not To Eat With Braces

If you’ve recently had braces fitted, you may be struggling to eat comfortably. As well as your mouth feeling tender at first and after tightening sessions, it is important to consider carefully the impact hard or sticky food will have on your mouth hardware. Orthodontists throughout Melbourne will recommend types of food to eat and those to avoid with braces. Here’s a list of foodstuffs we really advise you steer clear from whilst wearing braces. Remember, it will be all worth it for the perfect smile.

Firstly, let’s explain why it’s important to be careful about what you eat when you have braces on your teeth. Although sturdy, we don’t recommend you test the strength of your braces by biting into hard food. Similarly, sticky food can cause strain to your braces and all Melbourne orthodontists would recommend avoiding these sorts of treats. This food can get stuck in between your braces and teeth and make cleaning a real challenge. Also, if your braces are of the traditional ‘train track’ variety, the risk of staining to your teeth due to poor dental hygiene is higher. Remember to always clean away any trapped food from around the brace itself to ensure your end result really is a perfect smile. Now let’s take a look at what food Melbourne orthodontists and those all over Australia recommend avoiding:

  • Popcorn – always high on the list because the hulls are a real nightmare for brace-wearers when they get trapped in the wires or between teeth
  • Ice – bad for your teeth enamel and your braces, ice is very hard and can cause some serious damage to your mouth if munched on
  • Gum – really, it’s not worth the clean-up task afterwards
  • Hard food – biting into something hard can damage the metal and dislodge parts of the brace frame, forcing an unscheduled trip back to your orthodontist. Specifically avoid:

– Cookies
– Crackers
– Chocolate
– Lollies
– Whole raw vegetables (carrots and corn on the cob, in particular)
– Corn chips, taco shells and pretzels – the starchy nature of this food has a habit of burrowing its way into the brace frame and making cleaning very difficult
– Nuts

  • Crusty bread and pizza – again, it can damage the braces and can become lodged in the wires. In order to still enjoy this food, cut it up into smaller pieces instead of biting down with your front teeth
  • Sticky food – as mentioned above, food which has sticky qualities can be incredibly harmful to the braces and even disconnect the wires from the brackets. Specifically avoid:

– Caramel
– Gooey chocolates
– Chunky peanut butter
– Chewy lollies (no more gummy bears …)

All Melbourne orthodontists understand the frustration and difficulties which comes with braces but we also know how important it is for our patients to adhere to these rules if they truly want to achieve a perfect smile by the end of the treatment. It can take some getting used to but you need to adapt your diet towards softer foods and ensure you regularly brush and floss between your teeth to minimise chances of decay and any plaque build up. As a general rule, steer clear of all food which requires too much chewing and we can guarantee when you are ready to have your braces removed, you will have the perfect smile you always wanted.