A mouth guard is the best way to protect your mouth, braces and teeth from injury during contact sports. They are usually pieces of plastic that surround your teeth to cushion any impact. Some are large and bulky while others are slim and custom-moulded to your mouth. It is also possible to wear a mouth guard during sleep. These are not for braces but act similarly to a retainer. The rigid polymer keeps one or both sets of teeth in a set position while protecting them from any night time grinding that may occur. A night guard is not designed to help move teeth into a better position but rather stop movement and tooth drifting.
Before purchasing your mouthguard, you should determine the cost and amount of use you will need it for. If you will be using your mouthguard rarely and the need is small, then it is best not to go extravagant. If you expect a lot of contacts or to be using it often then do spend a little more to make sure that it fits correctly. Chat to the coach to see what types of injuries are normal and how often they have happened in the past. Playing sports or any other contact activity increases your chances of damaging your teeth and braces to ensure that you have sufficient protection to prevent injuries that could be avoided.
There are a number of different mouth guards on the market.
First is the simple boil-and-bite which is a plastic over-the-counter guard that you mould to your teeth. They are not usually used for braces as they are bulky and the plastic may catch on the braces.
Second is the dental grade, a custom-fit mouth guard that is made by your dentist. These are made precisely to your teeth and are crafted out of a durable material that lasts longer and offers more protection.
There are also flavoured mouthguards available that come in unique flavours like orange. Mint, lemon, bubble gum and fruit punch. While not designed for heavy hitting sports, they do offer good protection although they are less durable than others. The novelty of the flavour is just a fun way to add protection for lower contact sports.
If your child suffers from no pre-existing conditions, then the best age to bring them in to the dentist would be between the ages of 6 – 7. It is extremely important to know that not all conditions can be immediately treated when identified early. Patients who have protruding or inward turning teeth are normally only treated between that ages of 8 and 10. Other problems such as deep bites and severe crowding may only be addressed between the ages of 11 – 12. And even more pronounced issues such as a protruding jaw, gaps between the main two front incisors and congenitally missing teeth are best treated between the ages of 13 and 15. For this reason, it is vital to visit the dentist from early on as they will be able to properly diagnose and potential problems and create a long-term treatment plan based on how your child’s teeth are growing. Starting the process early doesn’t mean your child will get braces right away. It just means the orthodontist will be able to find problems and decide the best time to start treatment.
They are not nearly as bad as they were in the past. Though no braces experience can be considered enjoyable, modern braces are less noticeable, less painful and more efficient than what they were. It is also possible to get clear brackets, Invisalign or lingual braces for a less noticeable look. Even the more traditional metal brackets are much smaller than in the past. New heat-activated wires move teeth with constant and gradual pressure meaning that each adjustment hurts less, and teeth realign more quickly. Computer tech has also improved within orthodontics, giving us “smart” wires and brackets that move teeth quicker and more efficiently.
Children should have their first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. Your regular family dentist will easily be able to tell you if your child would benefit from seeing an orthodontist, regardless of their age. There are some signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate a need to see the orthodontist:
- Early, late or irregular loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty in chewing or biting
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Crowded or misplaced teeth
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Biting of the cheeks or roof of the mouth
- Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
- Teeth and jaws that are out of proportion to the face
If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is recommended that you bring your child in for a visit with the orthodontist
When we put our teeth together, the upper teeth should typically fit slightly over the lower teeth, allowing for the points of your molars to fit perfectly into the grooves of the opposite molars. Malocclusion is when this does not occur, resulting in improperly alignment due to a number of reasons. More often malocclusion is hereditary but there are a number of other causes including size differences between your jaws, certain birth defects, extra or missing teeth and ill-fitting dental appliances.
If you suffer from an underbite or overbite or have crooked or overcrowded teeth that prevent them for aligning correctly, it is likely that you may suffer from some effects of malocclusion. Many people battle with chewing due to malocclusion, straining their jaws, muscles and even teeth, all increasing the risk of breaking a tooth. Malocclusion can also make it more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene, with overlapping teeth making it difficult to floss and properly clean, increasing the risk of cavities and gingivitis.
Braces are a tried and tested orthodontic appliance that has corrected teeth for many years now. There are a number of options available within the braces categories including lingual braces which are set along the inside of your teeth – making them less noticeable as well as ceramic clear braces which are far less visible than the traditional wire braces. However, the newer option of invisible braces is ever popular because not only are they almost undetectable but they also come out, allowing you to eat any food that you like. Invisalign is a custom-fit mouth piece made of high-grade medical plastic that slowly corrects your teeth positioning without the need for braces. Speak to your orthodontist to find out which treatment is most suitable for you.
An orthodontist is trained in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of jaw concerns and malocclusions. Initially trained as a dentist, an orthodontist will have then completed additional three years of study to attain a Master’s degree in the Discipline of Orthodontics.
While dentists can often straighten teeth, it is important to entrust your orthodontic health with a trained orthodontist. An orthodontist undertakes an additional three years of study to educate them on the mechanics of preventing and correcting malocclusions, jaw concerns and crooked teeth. An orthodontist primarily corrects orthodontic concerns, thus they bring a wealth of experience to correcting you smile, where as a dentist addresses a number of different oral health concerns.
Although orthodontics can be delayed until adolescence, Dr Kerry Lester actively encourages parents to have their child assessed when they are around seven to eight years of age. This allows a window of opportunity, if required, for interceptive orthodontics. Early treatment may prevent the need for future treatment or reduce its complexity.
Early treatment during this stage can range from simple supervision and guidance of the maturing dentition to the use of fixed and removable appliances. The aim of this therapy is to intercept and prevent a malocclusion (bad bite) from fully developing and to correctly develop the maturing jaw structures into their proper proportions to establish the best facial balance and harmony.
No, you do not need a referral to visit us here at Ortho3. You can simply contact our team and request a consultation.
You may be required to see a dentist if you haven’t been for a general check-up within the last 6-12 months.
The results of orthodontic treatment are available to anyone of any age. Despite this, as we age often the required orthodontic treatment time grows.
We have a number of different orthodontic treatment options available to suit our patients of all ages. Due to advances in orthodontic technology we also have a range of discreet and subtle options for adults wishing to correct their smile
At Ortho3 we offer a range of discreet options for those who are self-conscious about straightening their smile. These options include:
These orthodontic treatments can help you to achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile without any indication you are receiving orthodontic treatment.
Arguably the most important aspect of your orthodontic treatment is retaining the results. Teeth have a natural tendency to shift back into their original placement following orthodontic treatment. It is crucial that you safeguard your new found oral health and aesthetically pleasing smile with the use of a retaining deceive. To learn more about how you can prevent your teeth from shifting and overcrowding via the use of retainers please visit our retainers information page.