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800 Gympie Rd,
Chermside, Brisbane, QLD, 4032


Answering the most commonly asked question we hear from our patients; our FAQ’s cover all areas of orthodontic treatment. From braces to invisalign, oral hygiene to recommended diet; our FAQ’s have you covered.

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    What is an orthodontist/what does an orthodontist do?

    An orthodontist is a registered dental specialist who, after an additional 3 years of training (on top of a five year degree), is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat problems with the alignment of teeth and jaws.

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    Why is early diagnosis so important?

    It is important to diagnose orthodontic conditions early, to help prevent more serious problems developing in later years. By seeing the patient early, the orthodontist can monitor growth and development to establish the ideal time to begin treatment.

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    How long will Orthodontic treatment take?

    The length of treatment depends upon the severity of the problem. 2-30 months is within a normal range. However in a normal braces treatment, the average treatment time is 18 months.

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    What are the benefits of Orthodontic treatment?

    The main benefits of orthodontic treatment are improved function of the teeth, a beautiful smile and an enhanced facial appearance. Increased self-esteem and confidence as well as improved dental health are also major advantages of treatment. You may also be surprised to know that it is much easier to keep straight teeth clean and free from plaque. When teeth are crooked or overlapping, plaque can accumulate on teeth and if not removed may lead to decay or gum disease.

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    Have I left Orthodontic treatment too late?

    Orthodontic treatment is possible in adulthood. In fact, as long as the supporting bones and gums are healthy, the teeth can be moved with little risk of damage. Certain types of problems cannot be fully corrected in the absence of childhood growth; however, there are always options. Treatment can result in a marked improvement. Rarely we may suggest a combination of orthodontic treatment and surgery, if full correction to an ideal bite is to be achieved. Tooth coloured braces, invisible aligners (Invisalign) and lingual incognito appliances behind the teeth have made orthodontic treatment acceptable to an ever-increasing number of adults.

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    How do I know if Treatment is needed?

    Ask your family Dentist or make an appointment at Northside Orthodontics for a consultation (you don't need a referral). Our knowledgeable and friendly team is happy to answer any questions you may have with regard to your Orthodontic treatment.

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    Should I continue to see my family Dentist?

    The answer to this question is an emphatic yes. You should continue to visit your family Dentist at least every six months or as advised for your routine dental check-up.

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    How much does Orthodontic treatment cost?

    Orthodontic treatment is an investment for life. At your first consultation, one of our Orthodontists will give you an estimate of the cost of your treatment. After a specific diagnosis is made we will give you a written fee quote and payment plan, allowing you to pay for your orthodontics interest free over an 18 month period. If you are a member of a Private Health Fund, we can provide the item number so you can check with you fund to find out your level of benefit. When treatment is commenced, we can provide the item number so you can check with your fund to find out your level of benefit.

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    What do I do if I have a problem during treatment?

    If you have a problem at any time during the course of your treatment, please contact us as soon as possible. If outside of practice hours, our answering service will provide you with the contact details of one of our Orthodontists. Many problems can be overcome by over-the-phone advice, saving you a trip to the practice. If we cannot solve the problem this way we will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible.

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    How often do I need to have my braces adjusted?

    Adjustment visits, once braces are in place, are short appointments that occur 3 to 8 weeks apart.

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    Will I need to have teeth removed before treatment is commenced?

    In some cases to make enough room to fit crowded teeth or to camouflage bad bites, teeth may need to be removed. Fortunately, modern orthodontics involves a much lower requirement to remove teeth, and, if treated at the correct age, teeth may only need removal in 10 to 15 percent of cases.

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    Do Braces hurt?

    It is painless to have braces fitted, however, the majority of patients experience discomfort 4-6 hours later, when the teeth begin moving. This usually peaks at the 24 hour mark, after which the discomfort subsides.

    At Northside Orthodontics we are committed to reducing discomfort. You will be reassured to know that Colin lectures internationally on the topic of pain management in orthodontics.

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    Will I still be able to talk when I have Braces?

    Yes, standard braces should not affect how you talk or the sound of your voice. In certain cases, we may need to use an appliance that could get in the way of your tongue (for example, twin blocks, functional appliances). You may then experience trouble talking clearly for a day or two. However, your tongue will then readjust and you will be able to talk normally.

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    Will Braces cause ulcers in my mouth?

    When you first get braces, you may experience ulcers in your mouth. Rinse in warm salty water and they usually heal within a few days. We provide Orthodontic wax to place over areas where the brackets may irritate the inside of your cheeks. This helps protect them from rubbing against the brackets, which in turn helps prevent ulcers forming. Your gums and cheeks will become accustomed to the braces and after a while you shouldn't need to use wax anymore.

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    Does it hurt to eat with braces?

    After treatment for the first few days your teeth will feel a little tender and you may wish to eat softer foods. After this you should be able to eat normally again.

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    Is there anything I can't eat when I have Braces?

    Hard, sticky, gooey or crunchy foods should be avoided because they may stick to the brackets and pull them off your teeth. In addition, the sugar can get around and in behind the braces and cause cavities. Foods which should be avoided include;

    • Toffee
    • Caramels
    • Caramelised Apples
    • Boiled Lollies
    • Popcorn
    • Peanuts
    • Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating)
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    What happens if a bracket falls off?

    We will simply re-attach it. Usually this is not a problem; however, if this does occur please make an appointment with us as soon as possible to avoid unwanted tooth movement.

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    When should my child see an orthodontist?

    We recommend that you consult an orthodontist by the time your child is around the age of 7 to 8 years, so that problems can be identified early and the optimum starting time for treatment can be determined

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    When are braces used?

    Braces are usually used as they are the most precise and effective way to straighten teeth. Some problems can be treated with simpler or alternative devices such as removable plates. An orthodontist will be able to advise what is most suitable for your child.

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    Why should I have orthodontic treatment?

    People have orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance, health and function of their teeth.

    People are very aware of how teeth look and an attractive smile can play an important role in enhancing self-confidence.
    These days, with good oral hygiene and regular dental care, your teeth should last a lifetime - wouldn't it be nice if they looked good too?

    It's more difficult to clean your teeth when they are crowded and overlapping. Inadequate cleaning is a major factor in tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
    Whilst it is possible to keep even the most crooked teeth clean, having your teeth straightened will make it easier for you to look after them.

    Tooth wear
    It is claimed that some bad bites lead to clenching, grinding, and excessive wear and/or uneven wear of the teeth.

    Gum damage
    With extremely bad bites the teeth can damage the gum.
    For example, in cases of deep bite, the lower front teeth can bite into the gum behind the upper front teeth.

    Jaw joint problems
    It is claimed that some bad bites stress the jaw joint causing damage and pain in and around the joint.

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    Is adult orthodontic treatment different from that given to children and teenagers?

    Yes. The main difference is the absence of jaw growth, potentially worn, broken or missing teeth and susceptibility to periodontal disease. Adult teeth tend to move more slowly than children and teenagers. An adult patient with a jaw-related bite problem, may sometimes require jaw surgery. Adult patients with worn teeth or periodontal (gum) disease, may need to see other dental specialists as well as an orthodontist to get the best possible result..

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    Are there alternatives to braces and orthodontic treatment?

    Braces are currently the most precise and effective way to correct problems with tooth alignment. For those who are concerned about the appearance of metal braces, there are more aesthetic alternatives. At Northside Orthodontics, we offer ceramic braces which are tooth-coloured and aren’t very noticeable. Another option is ‘Invisalign,’ which is a series of clear aligner plates that straighten the teeth without any wires or brackets. Orthodontic treatment conserves your natural tooth structure, unlike some ‘quick-fix’ alternatives like veneers and crowns.

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    Should I take our health insurance cover?

    Health funds repay some of the cost of orthodontic treatment for fund members who have the appropriate level of dental insurance. Please carefully check the premiums, conditions and level of rebate to see whether you will be better off with or without insurance. Some health funds have been directing patients to "preferred" providers. The Australian Society of Orthodontist does not support this action as it believes health funds should not be interfering with a patient's choice of doctor and the quality of treatment.

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    How do I find an orthodontist?

    A referral is not needed to see an orthodontist. Your dentist can recommend one or, if you prefer, you can contact an orthodontist directly for an appointment. Orthodontists are listed by name and locality on the Australian Society of Orthodontists' web site (, in the Yellow Pages (Dentists - Specialty Guide - Orthodontics), or may be found by a google search.

Contact Our Team Today:
07 3350 1133