Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions from patients at Infinity Smiles. Some of the most common FAQ’s we have answered about Orthodontics and wearing braces.


Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Braces, Aligners and other appliances/devices are used to make these corrections by moving teeth and bones.

People get braces for a whole host of reasons. This can be from the purely aesthetic and cosmetic, to improving self confidence. Whatever the reason for choosing braces, you can be guaranteed a fantastic result with the latest advances in orthodontics and specialists available at Infinity Smiles.

Just as we inherit eye color from our parents, mouth and jaw features are also inherited. Local factors such as finger sucking, pacifier sucking, high cavity rate, gum disease, trauma and premature loss of baby teeth can also contribute to a bad bite. One out of every five school age children have a severe bite problem so it is not surprising that you might need brace.

The problems that can occur which require orthodontic treatment are generally classed by the type of malocclusion or ‘bad bite’ they fall under. There are several classes, from 1 to 3, and most people can be categorised into these.

Braces consist of brackets and wires. The wires apply light pressure to each tooth while the brackets are the handles that transmit the force to the tooth. During the treatment, the orthodontist will periodically make adjustments to maintain the directional pressure required to continue the movement of the teeth.

Part of the orthodontic consultation process is making sure that all aspects of any problems can be investigated and subsequently cared for. Panoramic radiographs, skull or facial x-rays and intra-oral or mini x-rays of the teeth are all used by your orthodontist to achieve this. X-rays can help to decide whether it is necessary to have teeth removed, or where crowded teeth are impacting on your smile.

When you smile it is generally only the front six teeth which people focus on. However, this is not all there is to having straight teeth! Straight teeth should be assessed on the basis of 32 adult, healthy, working teeth arranged correctly in the upper and lower jaws. The relationship between all teeth, adjacent and opposing, within each jaw should be harmonious and aesthetic.

Orthodontics is for everyone! It is a myth that having treatment is only for children and young people. More and more adults are embracing orthodontics as a way to improve themselves. This can be simply for the cosmetic reason of wanting a great smile, or because of ongoing orthodontic problems such as poor bite or crowded teeth.

It is recommended that your child get an orthodontic check-up not later than age 7. Early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. Early treatment can eliminate the need for more drastic measures. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. With proper timing, children may not have to endure years of embarrassment.

It’s never too late to have a beautiful smile! 20% of orthodontic patients are adults who in the pursuit of a healthier, younger, appearance include straightening their smile as part of their total body improvement plan.

Wearing braces

There have been some fantastic advances in the way we do things now in orthodontics to make treatment more comfortable for our patients. These include smaller, smoother brackets, and gentler wires which provide a continuous light force over a long period of time rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort two to three days after each adjustment that regular pain relievers can take care of.

If you play a wind instrument then you may feel that your playing is affected initially by your braces. However, this is not a permanent situation and the more you practice the less of an impact your braces will have!

It is extremely important when wearing a brace that good oral hygiene is observed and maintained. Teeth must be brushed after every meal to avoid decalcification and plaque build up. Disclosing tablets help you to see where you might be missing brushing.

A balanced and healthy diet is important for all of us but even more so as a brace wearer. Certain foods can cause decalcification and over time can damage teeth so it is essential to educate yourself about the best options for you.

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. Complex/severe bad bites take longer. The average treatment time is 27 months. The better you are following your orthodontist’s instructions and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Remember that no one else can wear your braces for you!

Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move, or tend to relapse. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed while the teeth stabilise.