FAQ’s

Do braces hurt?

Fixed braces will initially hurt when you first get them for 2 or 3 days. The pain will dissipate after that as things start to move. If pain continues for more then a week, contact your orthodontist. Your mouth may ache for about an hour after your arch wires are changed. Removable appliances may also ache a little when you first get them.


What happens when you get braces?

To begin with we need to get as much information as possible about you and your teeth. We will need to asses your teeth and take some measurements, specialised X-rays, as well as arranging for photos and models to be taken. Measurements, photos and models are done within the practice however we will need to refer you to have the X-Rays done by an imaging service. Once we have gone through all the information we will then sit down and discuss with you what treatment options are best for you.

If we need to take other models for either Invisalign® or Lingual appliances this will be arranged after these initial appointments. Any other appointments that are required for fitting braces or other appliances will be organised as required.

Full quotes with payment plans and direct debit options will be discussed fully with you prior to treatment commencing.

Once we have arranged a time to start, we will normally fit the braces in a hour appointment and at that time also discuss the care and maintenance that will be required.

We will place our initial thin starting wires and then allow the teeth to start to move before we progress with other wires..


Can I play a musical instrument with braces?

Yes, you can play the instrument of your choice with braces on your teeth. It may take a few days getting used to playing with the braces on. Remember practice will always make it easier.


What happens when your braces are "tightened"?

At a regular appointment, usually around six to eight weeks apart, you will go to have your braces reviewed. With fixed braces, this may involve removing the arch wire and replacing it with a newer one as required and reviewing to see if any of the brackets need to be replaced or repositioned.

The new arch wires will probably be a slightly different size or shape than before to help move the teeth to a new position.

With Invisalign®, each new appliance will move the teeth a small amount to apply more (or less) pressure to the teeth in selected areas, in order to move them slowly into the desired position. Occasionally, a small amount of space may need to be made to allow for tooth movement to occur. This is done by running a fine abrasive strip or disc between some of your teeth, this procedure is quite painless.


What age do you get braces?

Depending on the concerns and the problems, usually full fixed appliance therapy will start once all of the permanent teeth are through, commonly around the 10-13 years of age group. However, sometimes a period of early intervention is required required with either a removable appliance or partial fixed appliances to correct a significant x-bite or offer problem.

Adult braces are becoming more and more common. Around 25% of braces wearers are adults.


What foods can't you eat with braces?

It is a good idea to avoid the following kinds of foods, as they may damage your braces:

  • Chewy foods: Hard rolls, Licorice
  • Crunchy foods: Popcorn, Ice, Crisps
  • Sticky foods: Caramels, Chewing Gum
  • Hard foods: Nuts, Confectionery
  • Foods you have to bite into like Apples and... Fingernails, Pens, Pencils

However, most foods can be eaten if carefully cut them up and you are aware of where your teeth are meeting prior to “chomping” down.


Signs that you or your child has a bad bite

  • Top front teeth cover more than 25% of the bottom front teeth when the back teeth are biting together
  • Upper front teeth that protrude or are "bucked" - one of the most common dental problems
  • An open bite when your front teeth remain apart when your back teeth meet; the tongue is often still visible between the upper and lower front teeth
  • Top front teeth grow in behind the bottom front teeth a “x-bite”
  • A space exists between the top and bottom front teeth with the back teeth biting together
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth or extra teeth
  • Baby teeth are slow in falling out or incorrect timing
  • The centres of the top and bottom front teeth not lining up
  • Finger sucking habit continuing after six years old
  • Difficulty with chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly
  • Jaws that shift off centre when the teeth bite together
  • Excessive spaces between teeth that persist after the top permanent canine teeth appear
  • Teeth or smile often hidden by hands
  • Impacted teeth - in some patients, secondary teeth come through in the wrong position or do not erupt at all

Dr Tony Stankevicius is in practice at:

Orthodontist Burnie Orthodontist Tasmania