• The History of Braces

    Throughout history, people have been preoccupied with straight teeth, even dating back to Ancient Egypt when people, including Cleopatra, used animal intestines as a way of achieving a straighter smile. Today, braces are more advanced and use wires and brackets, but the intention is still the same- to achieve a straighter, beautiful smile.

    The Etruscans wanted their deceased to maintain their looks in the afterlife, which led to the use of dental appliances. These devices were made from pure gold and acted as ‘bridges’ and preserved the spacing of the teeth.

    Another technique that was created in an attempt to straighten teeth was the use of finger pressure. This involved applying pressure to teeth at regular intervals. A Roman Encyclopedist was the first to record the attempts and hypothesized that the teeth would slowly move and realign with the regular pressure.

    Not only have mummies been found with dental devices, but Roman tombs have been opened up only to find that the people had braces like devices on their teeth. Small golden wires had been used to try and close any gaps in the teeth.

     

    1700s

    The 1700s marked the beginning of braces as we know them, with the concept starting to appear in books around 1770. One new concept at the time was the device called a “Bandeau”. The horse-shoe-like device would be inserted into a person’s mouth in an attempt to maintain the natural arch. Teeth could be tied to the Bandeau with silk to try to move them. Other ideas that emerged around this time included the theory that removing the wisdom teeth could prevent overcrowding.

    1800s

    One of the first forms of modern-day orthodontic treatment came in the early 1800s. A wire crib was a version of what we now know as braces. Wire cribs were a half-circle device that had the intention of keeping the teeth aligned.

    By the mid-1800s, elastics were introduced as a way of realigning the jaw. Then at the end of the century, X Rays were used in dentistry. This allowed dentists to see future teeth and remove them before they caused issues, which also eliminated the need to remove other teeth that didn’t need extracting.

    1900s

    The term ‘braces’ was introduced in the 20th Century and whilst they were vastly different from braces today, they still worked towards achieving alignment of the teeth. Different materials were used, such as ivory, wood, copper, zinc, silver or gold. Gold was the preferred material, due to its flexibility, however, it all depended on budget and accessibility.

    The 70s welcomed some breakthroughs in orthodontics, in particular the use of dental adhesives to hold dental brackets to the teeth. Until now, the wires were wrapped around each tooth. Stainless steel was also introduced, much to the relief of patients and orthodontists. This material was much more affordable and flexible. After braces became more affordable, people were hoping to find a more discreet alternative to the bulky headgear and wires. This was when dentists started experimenting with ‘invisible’ braces and placed the wires and brackets on the inside of the teeth. People could now straighten their teeth without the visible wires and brackets.

    The idea of invisible braces continued to develop but it wasn’t until two graduates worked on creating an alternative to braces. After Zia Chishti realised that his teeth shifted when not wearing a clear retainer he paired up with Kelsey Wirth and together they combined 3D computer technology and the existing plastic retainers. Doing so allowed them to show what progression patients teeth would need to fully realign. Once they had this information they could create plastic retainers that would achieve different stages of alignment by gradually shifting the teeth. This was the creation of Invisalign which became available to the public in 2000.

     

    With the introduction of finer braces and Invisalign, orthodontic procedures are common, with children and adults straightening their smiles. Over the years, braces have grown and developed and will most likely continue to do so, getting more affordable and quicker.

     

     

  • Common Dental Problems

    Each person is unique, including their teeth and jaws. While one person may experience crowding another might have spacing issues. That’s why we treat each person case by case. Braces and Invisalign can resolve these issues so you can achieve your dream smile as quickly as possible.

    Crossbite

    What?

    A crossbite means that teeth are misaligned. Top teeth will sit inside the lower teeth when your mouth is closed. There are two types of crossbites- posterior and anterior. A posterior crossbite sees your back top teeth sitting inside the bottom teeth. An anterior crossbite sees a few top teeth sitting behind bottom teeth, however, this is not an underbite.

    Consequences:

    You could experience a change in how your jaw sits, which can cause lopsided jaw growth. A crossbite can wear down the enamel on your teeth, weakening them and increasing the likelihood of chipping your teeth.

    Underbite

    What?

    An underbite occurs when your lower teeth overlap your top teeth.

    Consequences:

    Similar to a crossbite, underbites wear down the enamel of your teeth. This issue can also cause stress on your jaw and may contribute to sleep apnea.

    Open Bite

    What?

    An open bite can be caused by thumb sucking and forces the teeth to misalign. An anterior open bite is when your back teeth are together but your front teeth aren’t, whereas a posterior open bite is when your front teeth meet whilst your back teeth do not.

    Consequences:

    An open bite can create issues with swallowing as the tongue pushes through the teeth. It can also cause speech issues and difficulty with chewing or biting food.

    Deep Bite

    What?

    A deep bite is when your top teeth cover the bottom teeth too much.

    Consequences:

    A deep bite can cause the upper teeth to dig into your lower gums or vice versa. This can create gum issues, such as gum disease and ulcers, making eating a painful process. This issue will also wear down your tooth enamel, weakening the teeth.

    Crowding

    What?

    Crowding of the teeth is a common problem and occurs when there isn’t enough space in the jaw or when there are large teeth. This may then lead to teeth overlapping, rotating or becoming crooked.

    Consequences:

    When crowding occurs, it makes cleaning your teeth hard to clean. When teeth aren’t cleaned properly cavities and gum disease are more likely to occur. Aesthetically, crowded teeth don’t look nearly as good as straight teeth.

    Spacing

    What?

    Spacing is the opposite of crowding and occurs when there is too much room in the mouth or if teeth are underdeveloped and small. Missing teeth can also create spacing.

    Consequences:

    When your teeth are spaced out, you are more likely to get food stuck in the open areas. Gum disease and cavities can also be a consequence.

    Protrusion

    What?

    When your jaw is too far forwards or backwards, it creates protrusion of the teeth. Sometimes when your teeth have grown in at an angle, they can also cause the front teeth to then stick out.

    Consequences:

    When you have protruding teeth, they can be prone to being damaged. Having teeth that stick out can mean that you aren’t able to comfortably close your mouth and lips. This can dry out your oral tissue, which can lead to gum disease. Speech problems can also be a result of teeth protrusion.

    If you notice your child developing any of these problems, we recommend coming in for a consultation. It’s always better to work on the issue as the child’s mouth is developing. However, this doesn’t mean that the problems are unfixable once a mouth has fully developed. We can also successfully treat adults with these problems.

     

  • Post Braces Care

    Getting your braces off is an exciting time as you can finally show off your new smile.

    After the time and effort put into achieving your dream smile it’s important to maintain those straight teeth. This is why orthodontists and dentists prescribe retainers. Wearing a retainer is a reliable way to ensure that your teeth stay in place.

    Once your braces have been removed you’ll most likely experience extra sensitivity, so we recommend avoiding extra hot or cold foods for a little bit, just until your teeth adjust. This also applies to crunchy or chewy foods. Whilst you may be eager to embrace your new smile, we suggest waiting a month or two after removal before getting your teeth whitened. This process can be uncomfortable on sensitive teeth, so it’s best to avoid!

    Hopefully, you were able to maintain good dental hygiene throughout the braces period, but it’s still important to have checkups and cleans after they have been removed. A good, post-braces clean, will ensure that any built-up tartar is removed. Then it’s up to you to maintain a good routine with flossing and brushing your teeth, as well as your retainer.

    The initial period after your braces are removed is the most crucial. This is when your teeth are going to do the most moving as they settle and adjust, without the braces holding them in place. This movement is why orthodontists recommend wearing a retainer straight away. It’s not possible to over-wear a retainer. It’s best to wear it as much as possible to maintain your dream smile. Retainers are ideal because they are removable, so when you’re eating or brushing your teeth you can easily take it off. However, be sure to put the retainer back in its case. You don’t want to lose your retainer in a restaurant or risk a pet turning it into a chew toy!

    Just like braces, retainers may feel odd at first. You might experience more saliva in your mouth or talking could become harder, but with time you’ll adjust to the retainer. Unlike braces though, retainers are much more comfortable as no wires or brackets are rubbing your cheeks.

    Your mouth is ever-growing and changing, including the position of your teeth, so it’s important to follow the braces process with maintenance measures which is why we recommend wearing a retainer for as long as possible, even for life. At first, it’s best to keep the retainer on as much as possible, but after some time, nighttime wear will suffice. Further down the track just a few nights a week could be enough to maintain your straight teeth, however, it all depends on your and your teeth, as every mouth is different!

     

  • Did You Know…

    Learn more about your teeth!

    – Teeth can come into the mouth with a cavity already.

    – Baby teeth are called “deciduous teeth” from the Latin word “decidere” which means to fall off or to be shed.

    – Enamel is the hardest part of your entire body, even harder than bones, however, teeth are not bones. Enamel is not living tissue meaning that teeth can’t heal the way that bones do. However, if you lose an adult tooth you can sit it in milk and then put it back into place until you can get to a dentist, but make it quick, this is only a temporary solution.

    – Just like fingerprints, no two people have the same set and layout of teeth nor the same tongue print. Your mouth is unique!

    – A person spends an average of 38.5 days brushing their teeth throughout their lifetime. Most people only brush their teeth for 45-70 seconds, however, dentists recommend brushing for 2 minutes, plus flossing, to get the ultimate clean.

    – Many diseases are linked to oral health including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

    – It’s very important to floss! When you don’t you actually miss 40% of your mouth, which can contribute to cavities and overall health and hygiene.

    – Only two-thirds of your teeth are visible, the other third are underneath your gums. Another reason why flossing is crucial to maintaining good oral hygiene, you have to get into all the crevices!

    – Cheese can protect your teeth. Cheese has calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, but it can also balance pH levels. This helps to reduce acidity in your mouth, in turn minimizing the risk of cavities.

    – Regularly drinking green tea can improve oral health. The tea has antiseptic properties that help with gum health, cavities, and bad breath. So next time you are craving some caffeine, opt for a green tea instead of coffee.

    – The word, Orthodontics, is of Greek origin. “Ortho” means straight or correct and “dont” means tooth. Literally translating to “straight teeth”.

    – Teeth move in response to pressure over time, so habits such as thumb sucking are going to negatively influence how your teeth are shaped. When it comes to orthodontics, constant, gentle pressure is applied to gradually get the teeth to the ideal position.

    – Braces were originally made from gold. Until the 20th century, braces were reserved for the wealthy. NASA helped change that with the discovery of the nickel-titanium alloy. This material is used in most braces today and made them more affordable.

    – Braces may seem like a recent practice, however, teeth straightening has been a process for centuries. Evidence has been found in Egyptian mummies, with some of them being uncovered with bands made from animal organs on their teeth, suggesting that they were using techniques for teeth straightening. The first official braces were created by Pierre Fauchard in 1728, who used wires and gold thread.

    – The basis of Invisalign was created by students in 1997, who developed Align Technology at Stanford University.

  • 10 Questions to Ask your Orthodontist

    Do I really need treatment?

    Going through the process of straightening your teeth is an investment of your time and lifestyle. Confirm that straightening your teeth will be a necessary and overall beneficial process before making any serious decisions. Getting your teeth straightened is an effective way of ensuring that your adult teeth are strong and healthy for as long as possible. When you have overcrowding, it can be hard to clean your teeth properly. Straightening your teeth will allow you to keep them attractive, clean and healthy for longer.

    What are my treatment options?

    Once you have established that straightening your teeth is necessary, you may want to explore your options before committing to just one. We can talk through your options in detail and ensure that the treatment is going to suit you. At Tony Weir Orthodontics, we have several straightening treatments- braces, Invisalign and Lingual Braces. Each option serves its purpose and has its benefits but will all result in a beautiful, straight smile. With a variety of options available, you have the freedom to choose what will work best for you. During a consultation, we provide professional advice for each option and come to a decision and plan together.  

    What will change when I get treatment? What changes will I need to make?

    Straightening your teeth can be a lengthy process, and it can have some influence on your lifestyle. The treatment option that you choose will affect how much your day-to-day life will be changed. If you opt for braces, you may find that certain foods will have to be avoided and your cleaning routine, altered. Invisalign are the most flexible as you can remove them when it comes to eating, but it also means that you need to remember to put the aligner back on.

    How long will I need orthodontic treatment for?

    Every person is unique, so every case has a different timeline. Again, the treatment that you choose will affect how long the process will last. During your consultation, be sure to ask for a realistic timeline so you aren’t disappointed further down the track. You may also want to know how many appointments you’ll need to have throughout the process.

     

    Will I experience any pain?

    Your treatment process is bound to be uncomfortable at times, however, if you’re unsure, ask us what to expect. We can talk you through the entire process and the types of any discomfort you may experience. 

     

    How can I maintain dental hygiene?

    Invisalign are convenient when it comes to maintaining dental hygiene as you can easily remove the aligner when you need to. However, when it comes to braces, you’ll need to consider the braces and wires and work around them. We can provide you with tools, tips and tricks to ensure that your mouth stays healthy throughout the treatment. 

     

    Can I see some examples? Previous, similar cases?

    As with any other procedure, you should ask to see previous work, to assure yourself that you have come to the right place. Seeing other cases similar to you can also get you excited for the result!

     

    How much will it cost?

    Each case is different, so establishing the cost with your orthodontist will allow you to prepare financially. Once the treatment requirements have been established, we will be able to give you a detailed quote and work with you to develop a payment plan. 

     

    What will be involved? (bands/retainers etc.)

    At your consultation, you should ask for details of what will be involved during the straightening process. Each case is unique, so don’t assume that you’ll have the same experience as your friend. You might require elastic bands or extra time, but whatever it is, we can provide you with information in the beginning and throughout the treatment.

     

    Do I need to do anything after the treatment?

    After getting teeth straight the process is not over – you need to keep them straight! Whilst it may seem far away, understanding the post-treatment process is important from the very beginning. 

     

    Contact our friendly staff today to book in a consultation to discuss your straightening options.

     

     

     

  • Can Invisalign Fix Overbites?

    It might be hereditary or the result of childhood habits, whatever the reason, overbites make up to almost 70% of dental problems. Adults, teenagers and children alike can all face bite issues, but it’s better to solve the problem sooner rather than later. Invisalign could be the solution to this problem; a discreet, wire and bracket free option that can still treat problems such as jaw alignment.

    Types of Overbites

    There are a variety of teeth alignment issues, including overbites and underbites.

    An underbite is when there is a misalignment of the top and bottom rows of teeth. The top teeth sit behind the bottom row, this can be due to development issues of the jaw.

    An overbite is when the upper teeth sit in front of the bottom row of teeth. There are two types of overbites; horizontal and vertical. A horizontal overbite is when the top teeth jut out in front of the bottom teeth, whereas a vertical overbite sees the top teeth overlapping the bottom row of teeth.

     

    What causes Overbites

    There are several causes for jaw and teeth misalignment, however, genetics is the most common, especially in regards to underbites, which are often due to an under-developed, or over-developed jaw. However, an overbite can be the result of other behaviours; childhood habits can affect the structure of the jaw. Thumb sucking, nail-biting and teeth grinding can all contribute to the formation of the jaw, especially in early, developmental years. This may then lead to teeth not sitting correctly in the jaw; they are either over-crowded or too spaced out, causing an overbite.

     

    Problems

    If left untreated, overbites can cause changes in the facial structure; which may affect self-esteem, and there may be serious health complications, such as jaw pain and tooth decay. The formation of a jaw significantly affects everyday life; everything from speaking to eating can be impacted by an overbite. Even sleep patterns can be affected by an overbite, people may experience sleep apnea when it goes left untreated.

     

    How Invisalign can help

    Invisalign is a discreet alternative to braces and can help in fixing over or underbites. The clear aligners gradually shift your teeth, which then assists in shifting your jaw. We can map out your treatment, allowing you to see how your teeth will look throughout the process. We recommend that our patients visit every 6-8 weeks for a progress check and to receive a new set of aligners. The clear aligners are easily removed, making it easy to eat and clean your teeth. Each case is unique, so how long the process will take will depend on how severe your bite is, but a consultation will be able to determine if Invisalign is the most suitable treatment for you and your teeth.

     

  • Why Adults Are Taking Up Braces Later In Life?

    The years of orthodontic stigma have well and truly passed. “Tin Grin”, “Metal Mouth”, and “Tinsel Teeth” are not the insults they once were.

    In fact, braces have become a desirable right of passage for many young people. But what about their older siblings, or parents, or grandparents? Like their fresh-faced counterparts, the stigma of adult braces is also passing.

    30 years ago, approximately 1% of patients undergoing braces treatment were adults. Today, this figure is closer to 50% in some clinics! This stunning uptake begs the question, why are adults taking up braces later in life?

    Braces distinctly improve oral health

    Crooked teeth create pockets for food and bacteria which leads to a number of conditions; from bad breath and tooth decay to heart disease! Correctly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean preventing these issues. Taking care of your teeth in this way can help you keep your own teeth late into life, reducing the need for invasive dental work or dentures.

    Affordable and Unintrusive

    There are so many options when it comes to orthodontic intervention. For people who can’t have conventional braces, for whatever reason, there are alternatives such as Invisalign or Lingual Braces. The cost of these procedures is very affordable. For patients who may not have been able to afford these procedures years ago, there are now a wealth of  options available.

    Braces can make other procedures easier

    Using braces as part of a multi-step treatment plan has become much more common in recent years. For patients who require a bridge there may not be sufficient space. Using braces to subtly alter the alignment of teeth can reduce the need for surgery and other invasive measures. Furthermore, braces can correct bite patterns. Unnecessary pressure caused by incorrectly aligned teeth can lead to headaches, misaligned jaw, and needless wear on teeth.

    Adults want to look good too!

    Being self-conscious is not a feeling restricted to adolescents. Many adults dislike their crooked teeth and as adult braces become more socially accepted, patients feel more confident about undertaking measures to correct features they dislike. Procedures such as Invisalign and Lingual Braces offer correction that is almost undetectable to outside parties.

    If you would like to learn more about orthodontic correction in adults, such as adult braces, then contact the friendly team at Tony Weir Orthodontics today!

     

  • 10 Invisalign Myths

    Learn more about the 10 major myths that surround Invisalign

    Myth 1: You cannot treat complex cases with Invisalign. WRONG. Invisalign has been around for 20 years and there are hundreds of thousands of complex cases involving extractions, missing teeth, surgery, correction of bad bites and severe crowding that have been successfully treated with Invisalign

    Myth 2: You can treat every case with Invisalign: WRONG. Some cases are still not able to be effectively treated to a high standard with Invisalign. Cases with severely worn or short teeth, too many missing teeth, those problems requiring complex jaw surgery, movement of certain  extremely severely displaced teeth and where multiple teeth are buried under the gums still are not suitable for Invisalign treatment

    Myth 3: Invisalign treatment is shorter than braces. WRONG. The two appliances work at roughly the same speed – it is biology that determines how teeth move, not what you choose to move the teeth with. Some cases may be slightly faster with Invisalign, some may be slightly slower, but in general, the same case, treated with the same plan, to the same standard of outcome will take the same time

    Myth 4: Invisalign treatment means sandpapering your teeth. WRONG. Sandpapering teeth is not required any more or less than it is with braces (where it is used sometimes but fairly uncommonly for most doctors)

    Myth 5: Invisalign treatment means you do not have to have teeth taken out. WRONG. If your problem needs teeth to be removed then what appliance – braces or Invisalign – you choose to use does not change the need to remove teeth. Invisalign is less used to treat problems that need extractions because doctors do not always know how to use Invisalign properly and braces can often get a better result faster for extraction cases.

    Myth 6: You cannot use Invisalign for children. WRONG. Invisalign was initially used for adults, but there is no reason why is cannot be used for treating children. Indeed increasing numbers of teens have been effectively treated with Invisalign

    Myth 7: But children will lose their Invisalign. WRONG. The company making Invisalign, with more than 6 million patients treated, has found children are no more likely to lose their aligners than adults!

    Myth 8: Any doctor can do Invisalign well. WRONG. Any doctor can do Invisalign. However the skills to use it well and consistently are still uncommonly found – Invisalign is very different from braces, even for orthodontists very used to braces treatment, and requires a very steep learning curve. Unless or until a doctor has had significant experience with Invisalign the doctor is unlikely to be able to treat moderate or difficult cases well.

    Myth 9: With Invisalign the treatment plan and design of the Invisalign aligners is all done by the Invisalign company – the doctor just takes moulds of the teeth and gives you the aligners and Invisalign does the rest. WRONG. The doctor is solely responsible to the treatment plan and the design of the Invisalign. If doctors do not take the time and effort to plan and design the treatment themselves the outcomes will be very poor – like buying a piece of clothing without trying it on – if the clothing fits will you are lucky.

    Myth 10: All aligners are the same. WRONG. Doctors who do not use Invisalign will claim the aligners they use are just as good, work just as well. This is simply not true. All the scientific research there is shows that most aligners available are less effective than Invisalign, and most of them have not even made it to being researched. Would you buy a car from an unknown car maker that has never been adequately test-driven? Invisalign has been around for 20 years and is the subject of 3-400 scientific papers to date. No other aligner can claim more than about 5 reputable studies at best, and for most there is NO evidence at all.

    Find out more about Invisalign and our orthodontic services here: 

  • 8 Myths About Braces

    Find out more about the 8 biggest myths in relation to Braces.

    1: I am too old for braces. WRONG. People can have orthodontic treatment successfully at any age. Whether braces or Invisalign is used, teeth can move well for adults of any age.

    2: You always need braces on all your teeth – top and bottom. WRONG. If there is only a localized problem – such as one or two crooked teeth, or if there is a desire for a simple cosmetic change without changing everything to perfect it is possible to have braces on only upper teeth or only lower teeth or only on the front teeth.

    3: If braces are done “properly” you don’t need retainers. WRONG. Teeth move throughout life, sometimes to positions they never had before treatment. All orthodontic treatment needs retainers. Without retainers any treatment is likely to eventually relapse to some degree.

    4: Different types of braces work very differently from each other. WRONG. There are many different types of braces, and the manufacturers of these braces all like to claim special properties about their braces. However teeth are dumb. The do not know what sort of brace is putting pressure on them to move. Only minor differences result from different braces being used. Using Brand A does not mean that now you can avoid teeth being removed, if that is required.

    5: After having braces removed you will get marks on your teeth from where the braces were placed. WRONG. Any marks on teeth after orthodontic treatment come from poor brushing around the braces during orthodontic treatment. The braces protect that part of the tooth they are stuck to, but the surrounding tooth becomes damaged from the acid in plaque, making the tooth surface change colour.

    6: Braces can be used on everybody. WRONG. If you have bad gum disease, severely damaged teeth or the roots of teeth, severe jaw joint problems, difficulty in keeping teeth clean, or many severe medical conditions then braces are not a good idea. In most of these circumstances any orthodontic treatment is not a good idea.

    7: Any doctor who uses braces is an orthodontist. WRONG. Any doctor can place braces. Orthodontists are specialists who have years of additional training and a proper postgraduate qualification. Orthodontists limit their work to orthodontics only. It is all they do, so they are the most qualified to treat orthodontic problems properly.

    8: Braces treatment can be made a lot faster if I use accelerated orthodontics – such as fancy vibration devices. WRONG. All the reputable science available to orthodontists shows either zero or very minimal effect on treatment times and outcomes with use of any “accelerated orthodontics” techniques.

    If you would like to find out more information about our Braces and orthodontics services, please click this page  https://www.orthodontistbrisbane.net/treatments/braces/

  • 9 Reasons Why To Choose Invisalign for your child’s Orthodontic Treatment?

    We provide the top 9 Reasons why you should choose Invisalign for your child’s Orthodontic Treatment in Brisbane.

    1. There is no charge for replacement aligners if any are lost
    2. It is the same fee for Invisalign or braces
    3. Fewer office visits are needed – this is great for people with busy lives
    4. Invisalign aligners can treat a wide variety of orthodontic problems
    5. Aligners are great for teenage activities e.g sports, playing musical instruments, drama performances
    6. Oral hygiene is better than with braces
    7. There are no emergency visits for broken braces and poking wires
    8. It is much more comfortable than traditional braces
    9. Appointment times are shorter in duration

    If you have any questions at all regarding Invisalign for your teenager, make sure you call our friendly team today to talk you through the process and what’s involved.