• 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!

     

  • Sleep-disordered Breathing & Airway Problems In Children

    Sleep-disordered breathing appears to be a significant problem for a proportion of children.

    I see a lot of children whose parents ask questions about improving the breathing or airways of their children, often having already been informed such treatment is necessary and important by another dental professional. I would therefore like to briefly outline the scientific evidence currently available related to treatment of airway problems in children.

    The first line of treatment is commonly the removal of enlarged adenoids and tonsils. This is well supported in the scientific literature and needs to be performed with the appropriate guidance from ENT specialist doctors

    I would like to have something positive to say about the role of facial growth and orthodontics and treating childhood breathing problems. After all this is a problem and we would like to be able to help. However there is often a desire to “do something” without regard to the cost-benefit analysis – ie are we actually making a positive difference with our treatment for our patients?

    Unfortunately there is no or minimal research evidence that supports the use of orthodontic treatment as part of the treatment of sleep disordered breathing in children. Some dental professionals promote “airway friendly orthodontics” but there is no reputable scientific support for many/most of the claims made for such treatment. It may give the appearance of “doing something” but appears to fail in any cost-benefit analysis in the majority of cases

    There is very weak evidence that mode of breathing influences facial growth and skeletal pattern.

    There is very weak evidence that orthodontic treatment has a role in treating sleep disordered breathing.

    However, this is a growth area in orthodontics, with active promotion of orthodontic treatment in treating sleep disordered breathing.

    So what do I believe, based on the best scientific evidence available?

    My treatment will be directed at correcting problems of crowding and bite (occlusion) and if we get an improvement in breathing this will be a bonus. I certainly will not be informing my patients that I am carrying out treatment to improve their breathing. I can still sleep at night.

     

    Book a consultation today.

  • Mouth Ulcers – Causes & Treatments

    Mouth ulcers are very common, but can be very annoying. The shallow sore may clear up in a day or linger, causing pain for weeks, depends on the type of ulcer it is.

    Most mouth ulcers are caused by some kind of trauma in your mouth – biting your tongue or lip, the rubbing of braces or sharp food. These ulcers usually do not last long.

    When the hard surfaces of braces or wires rub against the inside of your mouth they can cause mouth ulcers. The frontline defense against this is to place orthodontic wax over the object that is causing the rubbing.

    Another type of mouth ulcer, known as recurrent or apthous mouth ulcers, can last a lot longer, and then, after healing, reappear in a different spot. Between 10 and 20% of people will experience them, usually between 10 and 30 years of age. These ulcers are often smaller (1-2mm) but may last two weeks. Stress, poor nutrition or ill-health are sometimes associated with these ulcers, but the actual cause is thought to be a local immune reaction, when the immune system responds to something in that small section of skin in your mouth.

    We do not really know why these form, but being sick, stressed or having poor nutrition will make them more likely to occur.

    Treatment of ulcers is usually limited to pain relief in the form of steroid cream, paracetamol or antiseptic gel.

    There is some inconclusive evidence of a link between recurrent ulcers and deficiencies in micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, folic acid and iron.

    To learn more mouth ulcers and how they can be treated, call our Brisbane clinics anytime for a more detailed discussion.

  • At Home Hygiene With Braces

    No one likes bad breath or discoloured teeth, not to mention tooth decay or gum disease.

    Good oral hygiene is the simple preventative measure that you can take to avoid all these issues. But when you have orthodontic treatment it can be difficult to maintain the same standard of cleanliness.

    Below are just a few methods to maintaining a high level of oral hygiene while wearing braces:

    Brush, Brush, Brush

    Unfortunately, there is no magic replacement for brushing. It is the simplest and best method of maintaining dental hygiene. When you have braces, you may need to increase the frequency of brushing. Three times per day is a better goal for brushing when you wear braces – morning, after lunch, and after dinner

    An important thing to remember is that you may need to replace your toothbrush more often when you have braces. Bristles will wear faster during this time.

    Use Interdental Brushes – Often known as Piksters

    Interdental brushes are an integral part of maintaining oral hygiene when you have braces. The wires of your braces, can make it hard for standard toothbrushes to loosen or remove trapped food particles or plaque buildup. Interdental brushes are designed for cleaning around braces, under wires, and in between larger gaps where floss would be less effective. Piksters are a well-known brand of interdental brushes, and are readily available.

    Floss

    “Remember to floss” has become a tired mantra, but it really an important part of maintaining dental hygiene. If you are finding conventional flossing with braces too difficult, talk to your dentist about a floss threader, or a Water Flosser (Water Pik).

    Water Flossers replace conventional thread floss with a jet stream of water that removes stuck food particles and plaque.

    Rinse

    Rinse your mouth first with water, and then with a quality mouthwash. This will ensure that your mouth is clean, help reduce outbreaks/duration of any ulcers, and will give you a minty-fresh smile! Ask your orthodontist for a recommendation or proper technique if you have any questions.

    Have A Quick Look

    Before you finish your routine, make sure you flash a smile in the mirror. This serves two purposes. The first is a final check to ensure that no particles have remained. The second is because a smile never goes astray.

    When in doubt… Ask your Orthodontist!

    If you have any questions regarding maintaining oral hygiene, talk to your orthodontist. Tony Weir Orthodontics are your local family orthodontists. Contact us today to book an appointment or simply talk to our friendly staff in Greenslopes or Corinda, in Brisbane

  • It’s Not Easy Being a Teenager with Braces

    It’s already complicated being a teenager and sometimes braces can only worsen the struggle faced by a young person while they navigate their way through adolescence. Braces can cause self-esteem issues and be nuisances in everyday activities such as eating, talking and playing sports. However, the work is always worth it in the end! In this article, we look at how we can help teenagers through their treatment and hopefully make it that little bit easier.

    Investigate Alternatives

    In many cases, there will be alternatives to a regular brace that can achieve the same result. If your teenager is particularly unhappy with the effect that braces have on their appearance, then you can look into lingual braces or Invisalign . These treatments can be more expensive than a traditional external brace, but if it makes the patient significantly happier then that means an easier life for them, their parents and their orthodontist!

    Find Someone Who Can Empathise

    Sometimes braces can be uncomfortable, painful and frustrating to wear. If you had braces yourself in the past, then talk about your experience with your teenager so that they know that you understand what they’re going through. If you’ve never had a brace, then ask a family member who has to have a chat with your child so that they feel they have someone to talk to about their issues.

    Perhaps an older sibling or cousin had braces previously and can show your teenager before and after photos of their treatment so that they know it’ll be worth it in the end – the important thing is that your teenager knows they aren’t alone.

    Turn Low Self Esteem into Brace Pride

    We live in a modern society and wearing braces doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Spend some time with your teenager looking at photos of celebrities who wear or have worn braces and you’ll be surprised at what you find. Try searching Instagram for #braces, #braceface or even #babeswithbraces and you’ll instantly find thousands of photos of people happily undergoing orthodontic treatment. A brace is an investment in a future perfect smile and with many options of colours and types of braces, your teenager has some control over customising their look.

    Focus on Results

    Your Brisbane orthodontist will be able to give you a rough estimation of how long the treatment will take, so keep your teenager upbeat by focusing on how soon the day will come when they are brace-free with a beautiful straight smile. To your teenager, it may seem like they’ll be wearing the brace forever but with a busy life of schooling, extra-curricular activities and socialising, the final day will arrive in no time. Take photos along the way when their brace is changed so they can visualise their progress for extra motivation.

    To find out about the range of braces we offer at Tony Weir Orthodontics, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

  • Braces – Side Effects and Problems

    Braces can achieve amazing results in straightening your teeth and correcting misalignment or poor bites, but there are many factors you should consider before undergoing treatment. Here, we’re investigating the most common side effects and problems that patients experience during treatment.

    Discomfort after Tightening

    When you’re wearing a brace, the wires must generally be tightened every four to six weeks in order to gradually move the teeth into their correct position. These adjustments apply pressure to the teeth which can cause some discomfort or pain.

    Some patients at our Brisbane office experience soreness in their teeth or jaw for a few days after the adjustment, and the pressure on your teeth can cause your gums to be tender. Fortunately, this pain is usually short-lived and can be easily managed with painkillers.

    Oral Hygiene Issues

    You may have heard stories of people wearing braces and developing tooth decay or gum disease as a result but this is not true. Wearing braces does not have a detrimental effect on your oral health; it simply requires more attention to maintain. When you are wearing a brace, it’s very important to brush and floss your teeth after eating in order to keep the area clean and free of bacteria, but there is no reason that the braces themselves should affect your oral health.

    Injuries from Your Appliance

    It is unlikely that your brace itself will cause you any injuries but it is possible for this to happen on occasion. Loose or broken wires and brackets can scratch or irritate the cheeks, gums or lips, so it’s important to get breaks fixed as soon as they occur.

    You can reduce the likelihood of harming your appliance by avoiding hard and crunchy foods as these can catch in the wires or brackets.

    Mouth Ulcers or Canker Sores

    When your brace is first fitted, you may notice ulcers or sores inside your mouth caused by the appliance rubbing against your cheeks and lips. Over time, the inside of your mouth will become resistant to this contact and the sores will disappear. Until then, if you find your brace causing continued discomfort to the soft tissue of your mouth, you can try using orthodontic wax strips which form a protective barrier between your brace and cheeks.

    For more information on the potential side effects of braces from the team at Tony Weir Orthodontics, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.