What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is that branch of dentistry which specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances (such as braces, plates, headgears and functional appliances) to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.

What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has become a registered specialist in orthodontics in much the same way that a cardiologist is a doctor who is a specialist in heart problems.

In Australia, an orthodontist must:
• Complete a five-year, full-time Bachelor degree in Dentistry.
• Complete a three-year, full-time Masters degree in Orthodontics.
• Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by a State Dental Board.
In short, an orthodontist is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat any problems you might have in the alignment of your teeth and jaws.

The Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
We all know that orthodontic treatment leads to a beautiful smile, but did you know that the health and function of the teeth are also improved?

Properly positioned teeth are much easier to clean, thereby making them less susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Correction of the bite can also improve chewing and speech, reduce the risk of trauma to the teeth and gums, and also plays an important role in minimising excessive and uneven wear of the teeth. In addition, the improvement in aesthetics that occurs with treatment can also increase an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.

When should a child see an orthodontist?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends a child first be seen by an orthodontist as early as age 8; earlier if a problem is discovered by a parent or family dentist. By this age, the six-year molars and several of the front permanent teeth have usually erupted, which will allow the orthodontist to determine if an orthodontic problem is developing.
An early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin.

When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?
Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if treated prior to the completion of growth.

Early treatment may prevent the need for extraction of permanent teeth, surgery and other serious corrections later in life. However, knowing to the complex nature of orthodontics, early treatment may not be right for every child. Only after a clinical examination of your child can the proper treatment plan be determined.

Am I too old for braces?
Many people who missed out on having their teeth straightened as a child can still benefit from treatment as an adult. Age is not a factor against receiving orthodontic care. In fact, about 20% of orthodontic patients are adults.

What types of braces are available?
Braces are the most precise and effective way to correct tooth alignment problems.

Metal braces, which are made from high grade stainless steel are the most common braces in use. The wire is attached to the braces with rubber ties, which come in a range of popular colours.

At Creating Smiles Orthodontics, we use self-ligating braces and hi-tech wires, which are the most technologically advanced braces system available today.

They offer enormous advantages over traditional braces including reduced treatment time, the need for fewer adjustment visits, gentler forces to the teeth, and less patient discomfort. For adults who may be self-conscious about wearing metal braces we offer a range of aesthetic alternatives. These are so subtle that your friends may not even notice that you are undergoing treatment.

What are retainers?
At the completion of the active part of orthodontic treatment, the braces are removed and retainers are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth. Retainers play an important role in orthodontic treatment for, if they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original position.

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