Brace Yourselves – read this if your kids need braces

Attention mums and dads, I would like to share with you the Top 10 Braces FAQ’s I’ve answered for my patients. Orthodontic treatment is one of the rapidly changing areas in dentistry – just take a look at the rising popularity of Invisalign and clear aligner technology companies. So what are we seeing? Progressive and disruptive technologies which reduce the amount of time braces are being worn and eliminate the need for invasive adjunctive treatment.

Less time + Less treatment = Decrease in COST  (which we all love)

If you’ve browsed online, it can be difficult to differentiate between out-dated answers and new, research-based answers. So hopefully you get some more clarity after reading this blog. If you have further questions, please contact me at Riverstone Family Dental on (02) 8678 3538.

Orthodontic FAQ’s


  1. When is the best time for my child to get an orthodontic assessment?

Maximal jaw development occurs between the ages of 9-10yo. Therefore we recommend children present to us for an orthodontic assessment at 7-8yo. At this age we can give you the best treatment plan, starting with preparing the mouth for braces which includes managing oral hygiene, treating decay or gum problems and creating space before braces. This can mean shorter time wearing braces and less risk of requiring jaw surgery later on.

  1. Why do you need measurements and xrays?

Knowing what stage your child is at in their growth development is key to successfully treating their dental malocclusion (dental problem). Getting in there and treating your child at the stage when their growth is the fastest means they will have a shorter treatment time and more effective treatment.

  1. Why should I fix my child’s overbite?

Having a big overbite is when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth by more than 25%. It is important for us to diagnose this at a young age. The reason for this is that as you get older a deep bite worsens. What happens is that with years of chewing, you wear your teeth down. If you have a large overbite then the teeth get worn down even more so and you gradually crack and breakdown the enamel on your front teeth. This leads to sensitivity and your lower face may even start to look shorter. Fixing these as an adult is definitely manageable, however, as the bone gets denser and the teeth get shorter, you’re treatment time is likely to be longer. By this stage, the deep bite has destroyed the enamel on these front teeth so fillings may be required.

  1. Will my child have to have teeth out?

Where possible we try to avoid extractions. Photos, xrays, teeth molds and a thorough examination of your mouth and face is required in order to form a diagnosis of your condition. Once we know what your diagnosis is, there are usually a range of options you can choose from when going ahead with orthodontic treatment. Some options may be surgery or taking teeth out. Taking teeth out for braces depends on many factors including:

  • the relationship of the jaws to one another
  • the degree of crowding (overlapping teeth)
  • the presence/absence of wisdom teeth
  • the presence/absence of problems (decayed or compromised teeth)
  • the presence of supernumery (extra) teeth
  • the shape of the jaw arches and face
  • if teeth are protruded (sticking out)
  • if the bite is open (the front teeth don’t meet each other)


  1. What will stop me from getting braces?

  • Poor oral hygiene: if you do not brush twice a day and floss once a day, you will not be able to get braces. The reason for this is that braces make it easier for food to get stuck to your teeth. This can cause gum infections and tooth decay.
  • Untreated tooth decay: you need to restore these teeth before starting orthodontic treatment. All dental work must be up to date before you get brackets bonded to your teeth.
  • Untreated gum infections: (gingivitis, periodontitis) these conditions can delay orthodontic treatment time. All gum concerns must be treated before starting treatment. The only exception would be areas of gum recession where you can get a gum graft after finishing your course of orthodontic treatment.
  • Unmotivated: we find that most adult patients are very motivated, so this point is mainly for kids and teenagers. As parents, you want the best for your kids so please make sure you highlight the importance of their orthodontic treatment at home. This type of treatment takes time and with anything that is done over a long period of time, motivation can wane. So ensure your kids are constantly reminded of what they should be doing and why they are doing it.


  1. How much will braces cost me?

The price of braces depends on how long the braces will be on for. The more complex the case, the longer the treatment and the greater the price. Prices can vary from $4500 to $8500 depending on the time required. Remember this includes visits for adjusting and reviewing every 6-8 weeks.

  1. How can I get an accurate quote?

We need to have a look at your child’s teeth and bite. They will need to come in for a consultation and we take measurements of their mouth, photos and xrays. Then we make calculations and formulate several treatment plans. You come back in and we outline the length of treatment, costs and answer any questions you may have.

  1. How often do I have to come back to see you?

Every 6-8 weeks is the usual time frame.

  1. What precautions does my child need to take?

Your child needs to avoid sticky and hard foods. They will not be able to bite into things like apples or eat foods like popcorn. These foods can break their brackets which will greatly delay treatment finishing time.

  1. What happens after the braces come off?

Your child will have fixed retainers on their teeth – this is a thin metal wire which is cemented (glued) onto the back of their front teeth. This is to help prevent relapse, this means we prevent their teeth from moving back into their original position.

Kids love our friendly and knowledgeable team at Riverstone Family Dental. Parents enjoy knowing their kids are in professional and safe hands in our accredited dental practice.

If you’d like a consultation call us on (02) 8678 3538

Happy smiling!


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