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Orthodontics & Age Groups

We look at several critical factors whenever assessing Orthodontic treatments. Age is a critical component, along with the severity and the expected outcome for each patient. This will impact the treatment approach and time required to achieve that beautiful smile.

Adults || Teens || Children || Early Prevention




Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens. In fact, The Australian Society of Orthodontics cites that in the past, orthodontic treatment was generally restricted to children. However, the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age therefor orthodontic treatment is also successful for adults. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, now you can too.


Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:

  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

  • Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth wear, decay or gum disease

  • Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth

  • A desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile


Treatment options for adults:

For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customised to meet your needs. Types of orthodontic treatments include:

  • Ceramic self-ligating braces

  • Invisalign Clear Aligners

  • Lingual (behind the tooth) braces

  • Traditional metal braces


You have just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”


Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colours, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past. 

Many of our teenagers now even have Invisalign!


How long will I have to have orthodontic treatment?

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

  • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment and in some cases it may be recommended a patient waits until they are older to receive treatment.

  • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Patients react to treatments differently, so while it may take one patient only 12 months to complete their treatment, it may take another 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.

  • YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!

Our practice offers a variety of orthodontic treatment, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:

  • Ceramic Braces

  • Invisalign

  • Traditional Metal Braces


While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, The Australian Society of Orthodontics recommends visiting an orthodontist by age seven.

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

Early treatment allows your orthodontist to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight

  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches

  • Create more space for crowded teeth

  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life

  • Stop thumb-sucking and help improve minor speech problems


For parents, it is not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

​Here are a few things to look for that may mean your child needs to see an orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • A hard time chewing or biting food

  • Mouth breathing

  • Finger or thumb sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth

  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing

  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all

  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face

Early Prevention

“Orthodontic problems are usually apparent by the age of seven when most of the adult front teeth have erupted. However, your dentist may detect an orthodontic problem earlier." -The Australian Society of Orthodontics

Early Examination
Early examination allows the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and to plan an appropriate treatment schedule.

Early Treatment
Early Treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing or make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Early treatment may also achieve results that are not possible once the face and jaw have stopped growing. In most cases, orthodontic treatment is commenced once the last baby tooth has been shed. This usually occurs in the early teens. In some cases, there is an advantage to start just before the last baby teeth are shed.

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialised process combining tooth straightening and physical facial changes. The purpose of two-phase treatment is to maximise the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if I put off treatment?
Putting off treatment can result in a need for more invasive treatment later in life that may not completely fix your smile. Early treatment is most effective for achieving lasting results.

Phase — One
Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

The goal of phase one treatment is to help the jaw develop in a way that will accommodate all of the permanent teeth and improve the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. Children often exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper jaw that is growing too much or is too narrow can be recognised at an early age. If children over the age of six are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. Also, if children around the age of 8 have crowded front teeth, early treatment can avoid the need to extract permanent teeth later.


Planning now can save your smile later.
Children benefit tremendously from early phase treatment. Receiving early treatment may prevent the removal of permanent teeth later in life, or the need for surgical procedures to realign the jaw.

Making records to determine your unique treatment.
Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, X-rays, and photographs. During your child's initial consultation, your doctor will take records to determine if early treatment is necessary.

Resting Period
In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are left alone as they erupt. Retaining devices may not be recommended if they would interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement. A successful first phase will have created room for permanent teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring your teeth's progress.
At the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.


Phase — Two
Stay healthy and look attractive.

The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Phase two usually involves full upper and lower orthodontic appliances.

At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. The second phase begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces or Invisalign on the top and bottom teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.

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