visiting us for the first time?
Your first visit will consist of highly advanced digital X-Rays, pictures of the face and teeth, a thorough clinical examination of the face, jaw joints, smile, mouth and a discussion of your concerns and/or orthodontic problems. Your concerns and desires are our highest priority. If it is the appropriate time to address these orthodontic problems, Dr O’Callaghan will thoroughly analyse these comprehensive diagnostic records to determine the best course of orthodontic treatment and to develop an individualised treatment plan. Our treatment coordinator will discuss all treatment options with you and outline an affordable payment plan for treatment.
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Retention is important
To ensure your smile lasts a lifetime, follow the retention plan below from Dr O’Callaghan:
- Wear your retainers full time, until instructed otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating or swimming.
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with toothpaste and warm water to remove plaque and odours.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in their case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak, but practice will help you get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive. but with proper care, they will last for years!
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Reducing your retainer wear
It’s important to continue the wear of your orthodontic retainers, as your teeth will continue to move throughout your lifetime. To achieve a minimum schedule, a gradual reduction in wear is recommended in the following manner:
- Wear your retainers alternating nights (i.e. every second night) for a further three months.
- After three months, reduce to twice a week (i.e. Monday and Thursday, NOT consecutive nights).
- Again after three months, reduce wear to one night a week.
If your retainers seem difficult or tight to place in your mouth, you may not be ready to reduce the wear at this stage and will need to reverse the schedule and resume wearing the plates for a further three months at the previous rate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself, or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth, and floss, then remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean too by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use denture cleaner twice a week. Do not use hot, boiling water or the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities).
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes) or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc). See our complete lists of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.
- Be sure to schedule your routine check-ups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
Braces do not often hurt; however, you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth gets used to your new braces.
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know, and we will provide you with all of the information you need.