Frequently asked questions

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Explore our gallery of frequently asked questions.

Discover more about orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign

Is there anything that Invisalign® cannot correct?

In some situations, existing dental work or current tooth alignment may make it difficult to straighten teeth with Invisalign®. To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign®, you will have to meet with one of our experienced doctors in person.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

The benefits of Invisalign® include:

  • Removable – can be removed for eating and cleaning

  • Virtually invisible – no one knows you are having orthodontic treatment

  • Comfortable – no more rubbing metal on the inside of your cheeks

What do Invisalign® aligners look like?

Invisalign® is very similar to the retainer that you wear after finishing orthodontic treatment with traditional braces. The aligners are clear and designed to gradually move your teeth into the desired position step-by-step.

What are some of the things that Invisalign® can’t correct?

Some issues that can make it difficult for Invisalign® to work include:

  • Certain tooth shapes that prevent the aligners from getting a proper grip on your teeth

  • Tooth crowding that causes your molars to be rotated more than 20 degrees

  • Having a total of more than six millimetres of space between teeth on a single arch

  • Having dental restorations that the orthodontist cannot bond Invisalign® attachments to

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced doctors to find out if your teeth qualify for Invisalign.

Are the Invisalign® aligners for teens removable?

Yes, the Invisalign® aligners are completely removable. It is important, however, that teenagers wear their aligners for the recommended 22 hours per day to achieve the desired results. To ensure your teen is wearing their Invisalign® aligners regularly, you can request to have a discreet blue indicator dot placed on their aligners. This dot fades away only if the aligners are being worn as directed.

Can you eat with Invisalign?

No, you cannot eat with Invisalign. We recommend that you remove your aligners when you want to eat. You should only drink water when they are in your mouth.

Are traditional braces faster than Invisalign?

Ultimately, it comes down to determining the specific needs of each patient and deciding which treatment will meet that need in the best way.

Do you offer Invisalign® for teenagers?

Yes, we offer Invisalign® for teenagers. It is virtually invisible and works by straightening the teeth without the use of a noticeable orthodontic device. Advanced aligners guide the teeth into place gradually over time.

Orthodontics for Children

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

We recommend that children visit an orthodontist by the age of seven. Orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, however. About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you are considering treatment for yourself or for your child, any time is a great time to visit the orthodontist.

When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?

Smiles can be enhanced at any age, but most orthodontic problems are easier to correct when a person is young. We recommend scheduling an initial assessment for your child when they are eight years of age so that treatment can begin at the ideal time. 

In certain situations, early orthodontic intervention can take advantage of facial growth and tooth eruption to help reduce the severity of a problem and make future treatment less complex and less time-consuming.

Orthodontics for Teens

What orthodontic treatments are available for teenagers?

Our orthodontic treatments for teenagers include Invisalign, traditional braces and clear braces. Each of these treatments has unique benefits, and the treatment best suited to your teenager will depend on their specific needs and desired outcome.

Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument or singing?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces. We can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard.

My teenager is self-conscious about their teeth. Can you help?

Absolutely! We offer a diverse range of treatments to help resolve orthodontic issues for teenagers. We want our teenage patients to choose a treatment that will make them feel confident about their smile. During the initial consultation, our team will discuss the various options that are available and tailor an orthodontic treatment plan to suit your teenager based on their unique needs.

Orthodontics for Adults

Can I get braces during pregnancy?

Yes. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment when you become pregnant, you should not stop treatment. It is also possible to have new braces fitted during pregnancy, but we advise you to wait until after giving birth to avoid any potential complications.

Am I too old for orthodontic work?

Absolutely not. Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Modern techniques and materials have allowed our mature patients to successfully and happily undertake orthodontic treatment. Adult patients can start treatment at any age but may require a longer treatment time because of having a denser bone structure than children have.

Braces

When is the best time to get braces?

The developmental stage of growth during the teen years is the ideal time to address orthodontic concerns. During those years, we experience rapid bone growth and dental development. Skeletal structures around the mouth and jaw are not yet cemented in place and this makes it easier to move teeth.
Although it is easier to move teeth in the teen years, it is still possible to get braces at an older age.

If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

The amount of time spent in braces varies from patient to patient because every smile responds differently to orthodontic treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from six to 30 months, but most standard treatments take an average of 22 months.

What are braces?

An orthodontist places braces to help improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces

  • Ceramic braces

  • Gold braces

  • Lingual braces

  • Invisible braces

  • Traditional metal braces

At Ocean Orthodontics we offer traditional, clear ceramic braces and Invisalign® clear aligners.

How often do I have to get my braces adjusted?

Adjustment appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient’s needs and the current stage of treatment. Most patients are seen once every four to eight weeks.

What happens after I get my braces off?

You will likely need to wear retainers to ensure that your teeth stay in their new positions after your braces have come off. The longer you wear your retainer, the better your chances that your teeth will remain straight for life.

What is retention? How long will I need to wear retainers?

After braces are removed, a retainer is worn to prevent your teeth from moving back into their original position. Retainers provide assurance that your teeth will stay in alignment while your jaw continues to grow. The longer you wear your retainer, the better your chances that your teeth will remain straight.

What happens after I get my braces off?

After your braces come off you will need to come in a few more times before your treatment can be completed. You will likely need to wear retainers to make sure that your teeth stay in their new position. We will also take the opportunity to ensure that you are happy with the results and to answer any queries you may have about how to maintain your new smile.

Do braces hurt?

Braces do not usually hurt, but you may feel mild discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. This discomfort is easy to manage with things like pain relieving medication and orthodontic wax. We will give you personalised advice on how to make your braces as comfortable as possible.

How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces or a retainer?

  • Brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day

  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and use a fluoride rinse if your dentist or orthodontist recommends it

  • Put your orthodontic retainer directly in its case any time you are not wearing it to avoid losing or breaking it

  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.

  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the number of bacteria that grow in your mouth)

  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods, hard foods or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces

  • Schedule your routine check-ups with your family dentist over the course of your treatment. We recommend that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

What are the different types of braces?

We offer a comprehensive range of adult braces and orthodontic treatments that can give you the straight smile you have always wanted. These include traditional metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign.

Are traditional braces faster than Invisalign?

Ultimately, it comes down to determining the specific needs of each patient and deciding which treatment will meet that need in the best way.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will remove any food that may be caught in your braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. We will teach you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

If I have braces, do I still need dental check-ups every six months?

Yes. In fact, it is even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. When you wear braces, food may get caught in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. This causes a buildup of bacteria that can lead to cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

How long will I need to wear braces?

The length of treatment depends on the severity of your orthodontic problem. More severe problems take longer. In general, braces need to be worn for between six and 30 months. The average amount of time spent wearing braces is 20 to 24 months, but that time may be longer than estimated if your treatment is interrupted or if you miss adjustment appointments. At Ocean Orthodontics, we will do all we can to help you stay on-track with your treatment so that it’s completed as soon as possible.

General Orthodontics

What is "Orthodontics"?

Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialised form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of abnormalities in tooth and jaw positioning.

What are removable appliances?

Removable appliances are useful for making minor tooth movements over a relatively short period of time (up to six months). For any removable appliance to work efficiently, it must be worn according to the orthodontist’s instructions. If it is not worn as required, the treatment time will take longer than planned.

What about COVID-19? Is it still safe to get braces?

Yes. Getting fitted for braces is a non-invasive procedure that does not involve any drilling or the generation of aerosols. Our Ocean Orthodontics team is taking extra precautions to maintain social distancing and to ensure the safety of our patients.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.
We offer three ways to book a visit:

  • Call us on 07 5493 3200 (Warana location) or 07 5443 4233 (Maroochydore location).

  • Schedule a free initial consultation online

How do orthodontists fix overbites?

Overbites make up close to 70% of dental disorders in kids. There are a few primary treatments that our orthodontists use to address overbites. One of our skilled orthodontists will assess you or your child’s overbite and then recommend an appropriate treatment such as Invisalign® or traditional braces.

Why should I get orthodontic treatment?

While there are a plethora of reasons to get orthodontic treatment, most patients are drawn to the potential functional and aesthetic benefits of straightening their teeth. Having straighter teeth not only improves the appearance of your smile, but it also means that your teeth are easier to clean and get rid of the plaque bacteria that wreak havoc on your oral health.

Do I need a referral?

No. We do recommend, however, that you see your dentist for a check-up before your braces are fitted.

How much will my treatment cost? Are financing options available?

It is impossible to give you an exact cost until we have examined your teeth. The cost of your treatment will be presented to you at your initial visit. We have several flexible payment options available to suit your needs and we will discuss these with you at your initial consultation.

What are fixed expanders?

Expanders are used to expand the upper jaw to correct crossbites or to make space. We use two different expanders – the quad-helix and Hyrax Screw (Rapid Palatal Expander) – depending on the severity of the problem.

If you are fitted with a rapid palatal expansion screw, you will need to follow the activation schedule recommended by the orthodontist for the treatment to be effective.

What is headgear?

Headgear is used to place gentle pressure on the upper jaw and teeth to correct a discrepancy between the top and bottom jaws. Headgear consists of two parts: a metal facebow and a safety strap. The facebow attaches to tubes on the upper back teeth while the strap usually fits around the neck and is then connected to the facebow. Headgear is only worn at home.

At what age can people have orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens. Our range of treatment options includes something for patients of almost all ages. However, we do recommend that you bring your little ones in by the age of seven so that they can begin any needed treatment right on time.

What are the most commonly treated orthodontic problems?

Crowding
This is generally caused by poor alignment and can result in the recession of your gums, poor biting relationships and a generally undesirable appearance.

Protruding upper teeth
Aside from being aesthetically displeasing, one of the major problems with upper front teeth that protrude more than usual is that they are more prone to injury.

Deep overbite
Also known as a deep bite, this occurs when the lower incisors end up biting too close to your gum tissue that lies behind your upper teeth. This causes significant bone damage and discomfort.

Underbite or lower jaw protrusion
When the lower jaw is somewhat more protruding than the upper jaw, it can cause your lower front teeth to then protrude ahead of the matching front set.

Do I need to see my family dentist while I have braces?

Certainly. Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy during your orthodontic care.

What are functional appliances?

Patients with a severe protrusion of their upper teeth (overjet) often have a discrepancy between their upper and lower jaws. Functional appliances are removable appliances which are designed to utilise normal facial growth to correct a jaw discrepancy. Because of this, these appliances are only suitable for growing patients. Treatment should start at around ten years of age.

There are numerous types of functional appliances and our preference is the Twin Block appliance.

This appliance is easy to use, removable and comes in two parts to permit normal movement and ease of speaking. Functional appliance therapy normally lasts around nine months to a year and is usually followed by fixed braces. The best results are achieved by wearing functional appliances as directed.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. An orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct a misaligned jaw and improve the function of your smile.

Can you have cavities filled with braces on?

You can still get a filling during orthodontic treatment. However, braces are difficult to manoeuvre around so a bracket may need to be removed to complete the filling. Excellent oral hygiene will help you to avoid dental decay in the first place.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Fixed and removable orthodontic appliances apply gentle and steady pressure to your teeth which gradually moves them into the desired position.

How much will my treatment cost? Are financing options available?

It is impossible to give an exact cost estimate until we have examined your teeth. We can give you an estimate at your initial visit. We have several flexible payment options you can choose from and we will discuss these with you.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?

Orthodontic treatment is used to correct any misalignment of the teeth and jaws.

Misalignments are usually caused by genetic or environmental factors such as improper jaw positioning, thumb-sucking or missing teeth. Misalignments in the teeth are called dental malocclusions. When alignment problems occur in the jaw, they are called skeletal malocclusions.

At your initial appointment with Ocean Orthodontics, we will provide a thorough examination of your occlusion to determine the best course of action before recommending a custom orthodontic treatment plan for you.

What are the functions of an orthodontist?

The primary function of an orthodontist is to help patients with the treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They offer treatment options to address crooked teeth, overbites and underbites and to bring the jaw into proper alignment.

While dentists and orthodontists both treat issues with the mouth, an orthodontist is a dental specialist focusing on straightening teeth and correcting improper bites.

Are there foods I can't eat while wearing braces?

Yes. Hard, sticky and most crunchy foods should be avoided. Being careful about what you eat can help you to avoid emergency visits to repair broken or loose braces. Also, beware of chewing pens or pencils as this kind of habit may also damage your braces.

Can I still play sports?

Yes. However, we recommend that our patients protect their smile by wearing a mouthguard while playing athletic sports. If you play some kind of sport and need a mouthguard, please let us know and we will create one for you.

When do the teeth reach their permanent structure?

Once we reach the age of about 20 years old, our smiles have reached their permanent structure. After this age, the structure of the smile is not as malleable since the developmental stage of growth is over. Although orthodontic work is generally more simple during the teenage years, it is still possible to undergo orthodontic treatment at a later stage in life.

Is an orthodontist the same thing as a dentist?

Dentists address a broad range of oral health issues with a focus on repairing damaged teeth. An orthodontist on the other hand, is a specialist who focuses on issues such as straightening teeth and correcting improper bite patterns.

While orthodontists complete the same general dentistry degree as dentists, they then go on to complete an additional three years of university training to become specialists in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of facial irregularities.

How often will I need to come in for an office visit?

At the beginning of your treatment, you can expect to come in to see us a bit more regularly so that we can adjust your braces and ensure that you are taking care of them properly. Each visit also helps us to make sure that everything is going according to plan and that your teeth are moving into their correct positions. Once we are confident that things are going according to plan, we will probably schedule your future visits at eight-week intervals.

Do you remove teeth?

We prefer to avoid this but in some cases removal of teeth may be recommended. This decision will only be made after careful analysis of all possible alternatives. We do not recommend the removal of teeth unless it is absolutely necessary.

Oral Health

Do I need to see my family dentist while I have braces?

Certainly. Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy during your orthodontic care.

How can I take care of my teeth if I'm wearing braces or a retainer?

  • Brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day

  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and use a fluoride rinse if your dentist or orthodontist recommends it

  • Put your orthodontic retainer directly in its case any time you are not wearing it to avoid losing or breaking it

  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.

  • During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the number of bacteria that grow in your mouth)

  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods, hard foods or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces

  • Schedule your routine check-ups with your family dentist over the course of your treatment. We recommend that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.

Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will remove any food that may be caught in your braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. We will teach you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

Can you have cavities filled with braces on?

You can still get a filling during orthodontic treatment. However, braces are difficult to manoeuvre around so a bracket may need to be removed to complete the filling. Excellent oral hygiene will help you to avoid dental decay in the first place.

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Ocean Orthodontics

5/3 Kawana Island Blvd
Warana
QLD 4575
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
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Ocean Orthodontics
Level 2
94 Memorial Avenue
Maroochydore
QLD 4558
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
Chat to us on live chat between 8am and 8pm
book a free appointment