In addition to the comprehensive general dentistry services provided at North Brisbane Dental Clinic, Dr Georgia Sheahan and Dr Brodie Hawker also offer fixed (braces) orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages.

A straight smile means a healthier smile. When properly aligned, teeth are easier to keep clean , which means they're less likely to have problems with decay, infection or staining. Quality orthodontic care can mean less wear and damage from a misaligned bite and improved comfort. Properly aligned teeth also improve jaw function for patients who experience TMJ dysfunction. Not to mention, a straight smile can add confidence in all you do.

Early Childhood Orthodontics

As part of each child’s paediatric dentistry treatment, an early childhood orthodontic evaluation provides us the opportunity to determine if your child’s bone, teeth, and jaw are developing normally. In most cases, it is not necessary to intervene and start treatment until all of the permanent teeth are present. This is usually around age 11-13 for girls, and 12-15 for boys. There are some specific issues, however, that do benefit from early intervention. These would include crossbite or asymmetry, among others. At each checkup, your dentist will assess your child's teeth and jaws to determine if any orthodontic treatment is required.

Braces for teens and adults

For children, teens, and adults, traditional braces offer a reliable solution for any orthodontic condition. Your dentist bonds brackets directly to the teeth and controls movement with a thin, pliable wire. With regular adjustments to the shape of the wire, teeth will gradually move into their ideal location. Treatment could take anywhere from 6 - 24 months, depending on your particular case. Modern braces are available in silver and tooth-coloured alternatives. The porcelain (teeth coloured) braces are less noticeable than their metal cousins, but both modes of treatment straighten teeth with minimal fuss. Braces are less obtrusive and more comfortable than they used to be, however a certain amount of discomfort is to be expected when teeth are being moved. Thankfully, any discomfort you experience as your teeth begin to move, generally eases off quite quickly. 

Braces can treat many orthodontic conditions, including:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Over crowding
  • Protruding teeth
  • Irregular spacing
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Complex bite and jaw issues

If you opt for braces, you will need to avoid biting into foods that can damage brackets and wires – sticky and chewy foods in particular.

We have had many dismayed looks from kids who are told they can't have pork crackling or redskins for a while while their braces are on. If we're feeling a bit cheeky we sometimes encourage these kids to binge on their favourite sweets just before braces go on, so hopefully they're had enough to last them a while. It's the only time you'll ever hear a dentist telling you to eat sweets, so our advice is, take advantage of it while it lasts! Rest assured, there's still plenty of treats you can indulge in while braces are on, just not the really chewing, sticky kind. We recommend going for ice cream instead.

Treatment times for braces vary from person to person. Once we've had a chance to examine your teeth, we will give an approximation of what we predict the treatment time to be. However, there is always some variation between cases. Some people's teeth just flloat in to place nice and quickly, and others are a bit more stubborn. The good news is, even if treatment takes longer than expected, there is no extra charge for the extra time. The quote you receive at the initial consultation is fixed in stone.

I want to get braces. What should I do now?

A consultation with Dr Georgia or Dr Brodie will give you an opportunity to discuss all of the options available, along with treatment times and cost. These consultations are complimentary, and usually take around 20-30 minutes. We are happy, if not eager, for you to bring along a list of questions so you don't forget to ask anything. 

If you decide to go ahead with treatment, you will be given an information pack that explains the process of orthodontics and what will be happening throughout treatment. The only thing left to do is book an appointment to get braces put on.

The process of getting braces. How does it work?

Once you've decided to go ahead with braces, you're ready to book in and get started. The initial "band up" appointment takes approximately 1 hour. We will take a full set of clinical photos and a 3D scan so we have a rendering of exactly where the teeth and jaws start out. Your teeth are cleaned, and braces are glued on. This process is not painful at all, but sometimes people just get bored sitting there for so long. We take our time cementing the brackets on each tooth, as it's crucial we measure every single bracket and place it perfectly in order to give you an ideal result. And of course, this is the time you can choose colours for your elastics! We have 24 colours to choose from (including plain clear ones if you're not feeling adventurous). The elastics get changed out every 6 weeks, so you're not committed to any colour choice for too long.

Once the braces are on, everyone is given a pack with special brushes and instructions on how to keep the braces nice and clean. As Dr Georgia and Dr Brodie are always saying, when it comes to teeth brushing, if you're cleaning your braces correctly, it takes twice as long as it does without braces. Our lovely hygeinists, Samantha and Brooke give everyone a lesson on how to use the brushes, as well as orthodontic wax for increased comfort.

After this initial appointment, we need to see you approximately every 6 weeks for review and adjustments. These review appointments are usually 10-20 minutes long. 

Once your teeth are perfectly straight and the bite is stable, we get ready to remove the braces.

Protecting Your Smile with an Orthodontic Retainer

Whether you opt for traditional orthodontics or Invisalign clear aligners, Dr Georgia or Dr Brodie will recommend the use of an orthodontic retainer to keep your teeth from drifting back to their original location. This condition, known as orthodontic relapse, is easy to avoid by wearing your retainer for the recommended number of hours per day.

We offer a variety of retainer options, including fixed and removable. We will discuss each type of retainer option as we near the end of treatment.

Retainers are just as important to your orthodontic outcome as the actual braces. Nobody wants to be that person who goes through all the trouble of having braces, only to have crooked teeth again years later. In fact, retainers are so important, that we guarantee them for life. So any time in years to come, if your retainer breaks or cracks, just let us know and we will make you a new one free of charge (assuming it broke during normal use. We don't cover retainers eaten by your dog;)

Are You Ready for a Beautiful, Healthy Smile?

We welcome you to get in touch with our friendly staff at North Brisbane Dental Clinic to arrange an orthodontic evaluation with Dr Brodie Hawker or Georgia Sheahan. They will discuss all of your options and help you make a choice that will benefit your smile for a lifetime.